Richard Lovelady will hope for a bounce-back season in 2020 with the Kansas City Royals but recently underwent knee surgery.
It’s a good thing the Kansas City Royals aren’t playing October baseball or they could potentially be down a bullpen arm right now. All joking aside, Richard Lovelady underwent successful right knee surgery as confirmed by his Instagram as well as the team. The former 10th round pick of the 2016 MLB Draft had a rough go of it in 25 appearances with the big league club, which could have been attributed to the knee injury.
Obviously being a southpaw, Lovelady plants with his right leg but I’m purely speculating at this point on how the injury happened. He finished the year with a 7.65 ERA in 20.0 innings of work while collecting 17 strikeouts but also allowed 30 hits and 17 earned runs with the big league club.
He’s a heavy fastball user at a 49.1 percent clip and opponents were able to slug 0.535 off his four-seamer and 1.071 on his sinker. His slider, which was utilized at a 39.2 percent rate, had much better success as opponents could only hit 0.250 while whiffing and striking out at a 25.4 and 40.0 percent rate, respectively (StatCast).
He’s proven to be a much better pitcher in the minors with a 3.08 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 26.1 innings this year. He made 24 appearances out of the bullpen in 2019 and 46 a year ago. Lovelady has been susceptible to giving up hits as he allowed 26 and 53 hits with the Triple-A club last year and in 2018, respectively.
We’ll see how he fits into the Royals bullpen plans next season, as his 4.16 FIP suggests that he was really unlucky during his time at the big league level. But for now, we can just hope that he gets back to being 100 percent and then go from there.