Two pitchers are working back from injuries. The KC Royals let another go.
Jesse Hahn, a veteran of parts of four major league seasons before Kansas City picked him up in an offseason trade with Oakland in 2018, seemed destined for a significant role with the Royals this year after posting a minuscule 0.52 ERA over 18 games in 2020’s short season.
Instead, early trouble found Hahn. In five games between Opening Day and April 11, he gave up five runs and walked four over 3.1 innings. That right shoulder impingement syndrome forced him to the Injured List April 12 may explain his woes.
The Royals sent him to Omaha on a rehab assignment a month later but, after only a week, transferred him to the 60-day IL. He’s been there since.
Ronald Bolanos, who came to KC from San Diego last summer in the Tim Hill deal, has also missed much of the season after going on the IL in mid-June with a right forearm strain. He rehabbed in the minors until the Royals activated him and optioned him to Omaha earlier this month; since then, he’s pitched three times for the Storm Chasers, but with little success—opponents battered him for 16 runs and four homers, and he walked nine, in 10.2 innings.
Kansas City won’t give up on Hahn or Bolanos. Expect to see them in spring training.
The same can’t be said for Anthony Swarzak, an utterly unremarkable journeyman reliever the club signed in May. Swarzak actually pitched decently (2.89 ERA) for a month before the Royals summoned him June 18, the day they transferred Bolanos from the 10-day to 60-day IL.
But Swarzak’s Kansas City stay didn’t last long. He posted a 9.39 ERA in seven games and was DFA’d July 17. He cleared waivers, rejected an outright assignment to Omaha, and is a free agent.
Players come and go. Some are easy to forget, other aren’t. The KC Royals have been through all of that this season.