Last season Aaron Crow showed up to spring training with big time expectations by Royals fans. He did everything in his power to meet those expectations during the spring even causing some to think he should be given a job in the bullpen. Last season that would've been too much to ask for Aaron in my opinion as a guy who sat out over a year of baseball but now I think it's time to give him a shot.
Crow's change up didn't do much progressing last season and while I don't have anything against the minor league staff I would like to see how Crow's change developed after working with Bob McClure for a full season. Aaron definitely has the two pitch combo to succeed out of the bullpen. His fastball according to pitchf/x versus Oakland this spring was 94-96 with plenty of movement (4-6 degrees) while his slider was 86-89 with 6 to 8 degrees in movement. That's plenty of velocity and enough movement that if Crow throws strikes he'll succeed in the pen and give the Royals a swing and miss power who can also create groundballs, something they don't have in their other bullpen talents.
The biggest part of this scenario is working with McClure who I think is a above average pitching coach and has done wonders with the pitchers he's had in the pen so far. McClure on multiple occassions (Tejeda, Greinke and Farnsworth) has taken failed or struggling starters and turned them into effective relievers who have at least entered the conversation as possible rotation guys while also helping one become a Cy Young winner. I'm quite confident a year with Bob in the pen would do as much for Crow's career as a starter as anything he would learn this year in AA or AAA.
Couple other notes the Royals released Aaron Hartsock, Scott Kelley, Justin Figueroa and Tom Zebroski this weekend after trading Gaby Hernandez and Alex Caldera earlier. The Royals also picked up John Whittleman from the Rangers.
Whittleman isn't much of a prospect as a 25 year old heading to High A after not posting much of a line last season in AA but I assume he is a great guy and will help fill roster at High A Wilmington.
Cut day is coming soon I think we are gonna see some interesting decisions by the Royals as they decided to send Lorenzo Cain down today.