Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Constructing a Royals bullpen

Next to Billy Butler's swing the best thing to watch this season should be the young arms coming out of the bullpen.

Bob McClure said this to Bob Dutton the other day.

“There’s nothing herky-jerky with Jeffress,” McClure said. “It’s smooth. It’s hard, too. It is firm. We’re telling him not to go overboard, and he’s faster than anyone else by far. You’ll see it.

“Keating has surprised the heck out of me. His control is good. He throws hard, and his control is good. You know who else has thrown well? Coleman. But it’s so early, and there are a lot of good arms out here.”

While I expected Coleman to challenge for a roster spot early this season I didn't see Jeffress or Keating with that same opportunity early on. Having McClure on your side is a great start for all three of these guys.

The Royals essentially have four possible spots open in the bullpen after you consider Soria, Tejeda and Wood locked in so lets breakdown the possible positions and where each arm in camp settles in.

The Lefty (2 possible)
Everett Teaford, Blaine Hardy, Brandon Sisk, Danny Duffy or Tim Collins - In January I predicted Tim Collins to win this job. While I'm not changing my prediction it wouldn't shock me if the Royals challenged Danny Duffy with a bullpen spot in the bigs. From some of the reports on Duffy's hiatus last season Danny was questioning his role in life as well as his life within baseball. He doesn't act like a young player from what I've read and could be up for the challenge of big league hitters. If the Royals decide they want two which Dutton has hinted at then I definitely give Duffy and Collins the edge with Blaine Hardy as the possible LOOGY darkhorse

The Long Man (1)
Sean O'Sullivan, Kevin Pucetas, Nate Adcock, Kanekoa Texeira - This isn't really much of a competition as O'Sullivan probably has the most talent and already has a major league track record even if it is bad. Texeira is not really a classic long man but could come in to play if the Royals decide to go with more veterans than youngsters.

The Power Arm (2 possible)
Henry Barrera, Jesse Chavez, Aaron Crow, Greg Holland, Louis Coleman, Patrick Keating and Jeremy Jeffress - If you like hard throwing you'll love this group. Coleman is the lightest thrower of the group but probably has the best combination of talent and current ability. In January I leaned heavily to Holland making it out of this group and while I think it makes the most sense for him to make it he might not have the control that McClure and Yost desire.

My Picks as of Jan. 24

I still like my January picks for now but wouldn't be shocked if Tex or Holland got switched out in favor of Jeffress.

Baseball Intellect


  1. First, I don't see what Coleman has left to prove in AAA. The bullpen should be his for the taking. He has been stellar; plus he is not a youngster (i think 25). You can say the same thing for Collins. And if the Royals didn't put Hardy in as starter last year, you could say the same thing for him.

    Second, Wood, in my mind, doesn't justify being a lock. Neither does Holland. With the step we are at in development, I don't think 'lock' can be used for players in our bullpen (Save, Soria). I don't think Yost is going to have any diapers in the clubhouse this Spring. This has to be the Spring where players step up, or get replaced. If we are going to begin to be good in 2012, 2011 has to be the year we hit the ground running.

    Third, Duffy would make sense in the bullpen; or Teaford. Although shouldn't be the reason, we are going to have a huge traffic jam of talented pitchers in the minors, so to facilitate traffic it would make perfect sense if one of our starters could graduate a little early into the majors.

    -Moose Tracker

  2. Thanks for the comment. Coleman only has one year of pro ball under his belt and delaying him to see a few others doesn't hurt you. The Royals aren't going to contend this year so if they can create value out of a couple guys to flip like they did with Farnsworth last year then its worth it. A couple months won't hurt the young guys.

    I never said Holland was a lock I just love his stuff and think he can earn that spot. Guy has a stiff mid 90s FB and wipeout slider, sick stuff. As for Wood his experience combined with Yost seemingly liking him gives him a significant edge.