After being signed to a major league contract by the KC Royals, this pitcher must perform and show that the teams bet on him was right.
The KC Royals have not made a lot of moves this offseason, but have signed a few players to contracts, both minor and major league. Many fans may be left wondering what the plan is, as it seems the organization is not looking to add any “large” improvements to help the team.
It seems as though the Royals will be betting on their own this year. There are a lot of young players coming up through the farm system, and some that have already seen major league time. 2020 will likely be a make or break year for many players, both position and pitching.
For Jesse Hahn, this may be his final season to convince the Royals he is worth keeping around. Hahn originally came to the Royals through a January 2018 trade with the Oakland Athletics that saw him and Heath Fillmyer come to Kansas City, and Ryan Buchter and Brandon Moss head to Oakland.
Unfortunately, Hahn’s time in Kansas City has been less than ideal. The 29-year-old pitcher has only seen 4.2 major league innings, all of those being recorded in 2019 with an ERA of 13.50. It’s not just that he hasn’t made it to the majors, though. He’s only seen just under 10 innings in the minors in both 2018 and 2019.
Hahn has been plagued with injury and has been recovering his entire career with Kansas City. Before his injury, Hahn showed some promise as a pitcher with the Padres. He typically held an ERA under 3.00 in the minors and saw a great deal of major league starts in 2014-15 between San Diego and Oakland, holding a 3.07 and 3.35 ERA respectively.
2016-17 brought a few years of struggles for the pitcher, but he was also back and forth between the roster and the injured list, starting his road of injury. For the Royals, the hope is that Hahn can once again find the form that he had to start his career.
It’s no secret the Royals are in serious need of pitching, both starters, and bullpen arms. This is why the pressure is so great on a pitcher like Hahn. Though his contract for 2020 is not large, the KC Royals obviously saw something in him that caused them to bring him back.
Other than his few innings in 2019, the team has been unable to get a serious look at what he can do and bring to the mound. For the Royals, this may just be a test. Still wondering if what they got in the trade was worth it, they may have decided to extend a low-cost contract in a bit of an experiment to see if they come out on top.
No matter what, the Royals are looking at Hahn to finally prove what he can offer the team. It’s up to Hahn to show if he is worth the continued look after years of injury.
If Hahn can turn things around, he could be a strong and consistent spot in the rotation, something the Royals typically lack. Though he is 29, he has missed a few seasons and could provide a few more years of decent pitching for the Royals, helping them to rebuild for the future.