Where does reliever Richard Lovelady stand with the KC Royals?
By necessity, Kansas City's muddled bullpen picture will begin to clear this week. Because the team has far, far more relievers in camp than it can squeeze onto the 26-man regular-season roster, cuts are coming.
One question remark is Richard Lovelady, who somewhat surprisingly found his way back to the mound late last season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery late in the 2021 campaign. After two disappointing tries at the majors (he went 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA across 26 games in 2019-2020), Lovelady was 2-0, 3.48 in 20 games in 2021 before his UCL issue sidelined him in late August.
But the lefthander's recovery went so well that Kansas City worked him in a game at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, then three more at Triple-A Omaha, last September. He looked good, striking out nine and walking only one in four scoreless innings.
And he's pitching well this spring. Lovelady maintained his perfect 0.00 ERA with a scoreless inning against the Angels Friday and has yet to walk a batter in seven frames. He's also fanned a whopping nine batters.
Will he make the Opening Day roster? We shall see, but a good inning or two this week will make it hard for manager Matt Quatraro to say no.
And one final question...