Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost is going to try something new to start the 2019 season, he isn’t naming a closer.
There are several capable options to throw in that closer role and Ned Yost believes that the pieces will fall into place as the season goes along. This may not be the worst idea for a Kansas City Royals bullpen that was ranked near the bottom in most important categories last season.
The incumbent closer is Wily Peralta, whose transition to the bullpen has titled his career trajectory upward. It seemed that he would be a likely candidate for the job, but the new approach means he will have to earn it all over again.
When Brad Boxberger signed on with the team it seemed like something might have been up with the closer role. It is. But now he is not emerging as the only candidate to get the ball in high leverage situations.
Both Peralta and Boxberger have experience closing games, but with a committee type approach, it could be anyone getting the ball. That means one of the odd men out of the fifth starters job might just find themselves vying for a new role.
A couple pitchers who could take that role if the fifth starter position doesn’t work out is Jorge Lopez or Heath Fillmyer. Both of them are in line to compete for one spot in the rotation, and it seems like the edge might go to Lopez.
Among other starters is the name Ian Kennedy. The veteran starter is not going for the fifth starter and likely has a cemented role in the starting rotation, but if it doesn’t work out for another year he will need to switch something up. The Kansas City Royals believe that could be in the bullpen.
Who To Use
While it may seem smart to use the closer who went 14 for 14 last season, that was Peralta’s first taste as a closer. Boxberger started the year well, but saw a decline in his performance at the end of the season. That poor performance cost him his job.
There is no reason for the Kansas City Royals not to try something new. Their bullpen was bad in 2018. Every little bit will help and Yost is going to let his bullpen arms earn their roles for the 2019 season.