After a move to the bullpen, this southpaw could help shore up a relief corps that was one of the worst in the majors last season.
A great all-around athlete, he was named Mr. Basketball his senior year of high school, Daniel Tillo has recently switched to the bullpen and could give the Kansas City Royals a boost.
After struggling in the minors as a starter, Tillo produced nice numbers out of the ‘pen in a short stint. That included 11 strikeouts and no walks in 8 frames. A big improvement for a guy who walked nearly four batters per nine innings throughout his professional career.
He was also named to the Premier12 for Team USA and produced a solid eight punchouts, one walk and only two hits in four and a third innings in appearances against Mexico and Australia.
As a franchise, the Royals produced a -5.0 WAR last year for relief pitchers, the third-worst in Major League Baseball. Obviously there is a huge opportunity for Tillo to come in and claim a spot. At 6-foot, 5-inches, he can bring the heat with an upper 90’s fastball with a nasty slider to boot.
While he should start the season back in Double-A or Triple-A, the fans may grow restless if the team continues to bring in pitchers who throw gasoline on the fire. He could be a nice swingman to eat up innings and with the new rule about facing a minimum of three batters, Tillo should have no problem lasting at least that long.
In a perfect world, another season of minor league could be the best scenario for the above players, a taste of big-league action may not be a bad strategy. And if the Kansas City Royals are floundering anyway, let’s give the fans a glimpse of the future.