Kansas City Royals: Nick Goody is a reliever worth pursuing

(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

Cleveland designated Nick Goody for assignment yesterday to make room on their 40-man roster. He is a player the Kansas City Royals should consider.

Nick Goody is an interesting major league pitcher. And, hopefully, he is one the Royals have been keeping an eye on. Since Goody first came up as a 24-year-old for the New York Yankees he has been able to strike guys out. After a season as a league-average middle reliever for the Yanks, he was moved to Cleveland.

In Goody’s first season with the Indians, he was excellent. He threw over 54 innings in 2017. He struck out almost 12 per 9 innings. He finished with a FIP of 3.45 and a WHIP of 1.079. He was on his way to becoming a very reliable reliever, possibly even a future closer.

2018 would only bring Goody disappointment as he only made it through 11 innings before losing the season to injury. After having arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow, he did not pitch again for the Indians until June of 2019. And he seemed to pick up right where he had left off. In August, however, his numbers began to collapse. He would only make it through 6 more innings after that month was finished.

So, his numbers from August through September are the ones worth examining. Those are the numbers that got him cut. He still struck guys out, more than one per inning. He did have issues with walking guys once August began, but his second-half WHIP of 1.31 is still good. What ruined the season for Nick Goody was home runs.

In his over 40 innings of work in 2019 Nick Goody only gave up 16 earned runs. Going into August, he had only allowed 4 earned runs. But beginning on August 14th, he would give up 5 homers over a month’s worth of time. Those homers would account for 13 runs!

After only giving up two solo shots through the first half of the season, Goody would get nailed for two 3-run homers and a grand slam, plus 2 other lesser home runs, over the course of a single month. After that, he would only make three more appearances.

Goody still finished 2019 with an ERA of 3.54. His WHIP was still a very decent 1.279. That just happens to be precisely the same number as Ian Kennedy in 2019, who led the Royals in that statistic. Nick Goody would be an immediate upgrade to our bullpen. He will probably never be a closer but can certainly be a Ryne Stanek level middle reliever. He is what the Royals are hoping Scott Barlow can become over the next few seasons.

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2020 will be Nick Goody’s age 28 season. His price tag for Cleveland, which they declined to pay, was just over a million dollars. We are talking about a bullpen pitcher that should have his best years ahead of him. He comes at a reasonable price. He has already put together two nice seasons as a middle reliever. Cleveland got scared off because of a bad month of giving up home runs. I would be willing to take the bet that he can avoid doing that again. Especially if he is pitching in Kauffman Stadium.