4 other options the KC Royals should use before next Will Smith disaster

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KC Royals fans don't need advanced metrics or decades of baseball experience to see what Kansas City's issue is so far in 2024. It is far and away the bullpen, with presumptive closer Will Smith leading the charge into oblivion. The Royals had several things clicking against the Baltimore Orioles but two walk-off losses really dampened the mood.

That might be an understatement.

Royals manager Matt Quatraro downplayed Smith's first crippling performance against the Minnesota Twins and I called that response tone-deaf. Now, with multiple blown games from Smith alone, Kansas City needs to find other closing options if they have any chance of improving in 2024. Kansas City has allowed eight hits and 10 earned runs in the ninth inning alone so far in 2024. Add in their 18 ERA and .533 opposing OBP in six ninth innings so far, the Royals need another option immediately.

Can the KC Royals move on from Will Smith?

I would love a player like Will Klein, John McMillon, or even Walter Pennington to push their way into a late-inning reliever conversation later this year, but that is down the road. If Quatraro wants to move away from Smith, here are Kansas City's best options and why each pitcher makes sense.

John Schreiber

I know you all are jumping up and down for Smith to move out of the late-inning work into really anything else. But would you take John Schreiber instead? I argue Royals fans need to notice the new righty in Kansas City's bullpen.

The Royals added Schreiber late in the offseason via trade from the Boston Red Sox. Schreiber is only one season removed from his eight-save 2022 campaign, which also saw him lead the Red Sox relievers with a 2.22 ERA, .98 WHIP, and held batters to a .195 batting average. I will take that from a reliever any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I might need it three times on a Sunday for Cole Ragans to finally get a win this year.

His 2024 season so far has been very straightforward: three games, and three innings of work. He had a very rocky start to the season, hitting two batters and loading the bases with one out. Thankfully, Schreiber escaped that jam with a double play. Since then, in his two appearances against Baltimore, Kansas City has a better chance of winning after Schreiber leaves the mound. He is a positive presence in the bullpen and isn't flashy, but gets the job done. Kansas City needs another option immediately, so why shouldn't Quatraro turn to the veteran?