Surely, no one seriously doubts the KC Royals, one of the majors' worst teams, would like to be better than they are. But their two latest acquisitions, one consummated late last week and the other just today, seem curious for a club sadly saddled with too much questionable pitching.
Simply put, the Royals brought aboard Andrew McInvale and James McArthur, two pitchers conspicuous for their shared tendency to give up too many runs.
The KC Royals quietly signed free agent reliever Andrew McInvale last week
In a truly under the radar move, detectable primarily by checking major league transaction logs for May 6, Kansas City inked McInvale to a minor league deal, a signing that followed close on the heels of the righthander's release by the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Miami's Double-A affiliate.
That Pensacola cut McInvale isn't shocking. He'd given up nine runs in 10 innings (8.10 ERA) and at least one run in each of his five appearances this season. In his last outing April 30, he surrendered three runs in three innings to Montgomery.
His strikeout numbers, though, are good. McInvale fanned 16 in his 10 Pensacola innings and brings a four-year minor league career 11.43 K/9 to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where the Royals sent him as soon as he signed. But his control (5.37 career BB/9) needs work, and he yields far too many runs (career 5.91 ERA) for a reliever.
McInvale's won-loss record is 8-9 in 76 games.
Righthander James McArthur is the latest addition to the KC Royals' system
Kansas City announced McArthur's acquisition Monday morning:
As is the case with McInvale, opponents are scoring too frequently against McArthur. Primarily a starter over his three-plus minor league seasons, McArthur brings a pedestrian career 4.36 ERA to the Royals, but he'd given up 13 runs in 16 innings (7.31 ERA) this year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley and had a 5.05 ERA in a 2022 campaign at Double-A Reading that an elbow issue cut short.
He was 0-2 at Lehigh Valley and is 9-21 since 2018. The Royals immediately placed him on their 40-man roster, assigned him to Triple-A Omaha; to create space on the 40-man for McArthur, Kansas City DFA'd Franmil Reyes, who was hitting .200 with a home run in four games at Omaha after slashing .186/.231/.288 with Kansas City.
Minor league outfielder Junior Marin, the only player KC sent to Philadelphia in exchange for McArthur, hasn't played this season, but hit .315 in the Arizona Complex League last year.
How the McInvale signing and McArthur trade work out is anyone's guess. Some observers may find some good peripheral metrics for both, but for now one thing is certain about the organization's two newest pitchers—they're giving up too many runs, and the Royals already have too many major and minor league hurlers doing the same.