KC Royals: Carlos Hernandez was a bright spot in loss to Cleveland

The KC Royals saw a struggled start to go with their lack of offense in Tuesday’s loss to Cleveland. Luckily, one debut was promising.

The KC Royals are no stranger to reclamation projects. It’s typical for a few struggling veterans to get their shot in KC throughout the season. While it doesn’t always go as fans and the organization hope, some do find a way to come through.

This year, the Royals have seen success with both Trevor Rosenthal and Greg Holland. Rosenthal had enough trade value to be moved for some return and Greg Holland has been a good addition to the bullpen, pitching strong innings and providing a veteran presence for the young arms the Royals have this season.

Maybe it was this success that caused the Royals to sign veteran Matt Harvey and give him a shot. The Royals have seen their struggle with starting pitchers missing games and going to the injured list this season, so it’s normal to want to have extra depth.

Harvey managed a few good innings in his first 2 starts, but couldn’t make it more than a couple of innings in each game. In last night’s loss to Cleveland, the story was different, and not in a good way.

Harvey didn’t make it out of the first without giving up 2 home runs to allow Cleveland 3 runs. He then allowed another 2 run home run in the second, putting the Royals down 5. He managed 1.1 innings before he was taken out.

The bullpen had to go to work early and while the Royals were able to make it through the rest of the game with only a few arms, Cleveland drove in 10 runs before the game was over; Chance Adams was responsibly for 3 of them over his 1.1 innings of work, and Randy Rosario for 2 over his 1.2 innings.

Tyler Zuber pitched a good 9th inning with 2 strikeouts, though down 10-1 after Dozier’s 6th inning home run, there was little hope for the game to get back on track.

In this loss, though, there was a bright moment. When Harvey was taken out of the game during the second inning, the Royals brought in a new face to make his debut, Carlos Hernandez.

Hernandez is listed as the 12th ranked prospect in the Royals system, and while he made his debut last night, he had never played above low A baseball. He has been high on the Royals list with his high-grade fastball paired with a good curve.

Hernandez has seen some struggle with control at times but did well at single-A Lexington during the 2019 season, pitching 36.0 innings with an ERA of 3.50 while striking out 43 batters.

It was thought that Hernadez could be seen in the majors this year, though, many likely didn’t expect for him to be thrown to the fire as he was last night. Hernandez didn’t seem to mind, though.

After coming in for Harvey in the second inning, Hernandez was able to get the Royals back on track and finished the inning without further damage. He went on to pitch 3 more innings, throwing 50 pitches, allowing 2 hits and no runs, and striking out 2.

It is unfortunate for Hernandez that his debut came during a loss as bad as Tuesday’s, but at least it allowed Hernadez to raise his stock for the team. He was able to get things on track and provided a strong appearance while allowing a good portion of the bullpen to get some rest.

It should be interesting to see how the Royals handle things going forward. It’s likely that Hernandez will continue to see innings with Ian Kennedy now on the injured list, but Harvey may be a different story.

The Royals lost again, but at least there was 1 positive. Another young pitcher has found his way to the majors produced when the team really needed it. It looks like the youth movement will continue for the Royals.

Next: KC Royals Midweek Musings: Trade updates and more

The Royals bats were quiet and paired with issues from their starter for the teams most recent loss. The youth movement continues in Kansas City, though, as Carlos Hernadez made his claim for a continuing role.

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