After a shaky 2019 with the KC Royals, Glenn Sparkman is looking to regain some steam and secure a spot in the teams’ bullpen.
The KC Royals have started to make some moves in spring training, sending a good number of players to various minor league locations. There is still a good amount of time left in the spring, but soon the numbers will have to be narrowed down even more and the team will have a good idea who will be on the roster in Kansas City.
The pitching battles are still heated, with many pitchers performing well, and some that were expected to get a spot struggling to keep up. One pitcher doing well to keep his name in the running is Glenn Sparkman.
Fans likely remember Sparkman as he has seen time with the Royals over the last two seasons. He might be remembered for his complete game shut out in July of 2019, or for the fact that he seemed to struggle almost every other time he was on the mound.
Luckily for Sparkman, spring training is going much better. There was talk before spring training began that Sparkman would be moved solely to a bullpen role. He saw some time in both starting and relief appearances in 2019 but never could seem to hold onto the game for very long.
Whether or not this move is the reason for his hot spring training is unknown, but it looks as though he is locking down his spot for a bullpen role early.
So far this spring, over 5 games, Sparkman has pitched 8.1 innings, allowed 5 hits, 1 run, no walks, struck out 12, and holds an ERA of 1.08. Of course, as always, these are spring training stats. A few innings over the next few games could change a lot, but at the moment Sparkman is giving the Royals no reason to leave him out of the bullpen.
Sparkman needs to continue his good spring after his down 2019. Over 136 innings pitched last season, he held an ERA of 6.02 and was susceptible to the home run.
While there is still a 5th rotation spot open, it’s very unlikely Sparkman will find himself in this role. Having experience going multiple innings, though, could set him up for a role as a long reliever which will be crucial for the Royals bullpen that has struggled with consistency and innings over the past few seasons.
If Sparkman can translate his spring success into the regular season, along with the other pitchers starting to shine, the Royals bullpen may finally see some success and those 100 loss seasons may be a thing of the past.
Spring training will be over before you know it and the regular season will be starting. Keep up with the team as they narrow down the roster to see who will make the trip to play at Kauffman for the 2020 regular season.