Brandon Maurer and Joakim Soria gave Royals fans further reason to worry this week in Oakland. Soria had one of the worst melt downs in recent memory on Tuesday, allowing 4 ER and only getting 1 out. Maurer was barely better on Wednesday, giving up a 2-run HR in the 8th inning to blow the lead on Wednesday afternoon.
Soria has had a weird season. The advanced metrics love him. Literally nothing else does. Regardless, he can’t be the 8th inning guy on a championship team.
Maurer has a 6.19 ERA and a WHIP that exceeds 1.36. That should be enough of an explanation of his struggles.
I still believe that the Royals have a chance to make the playoffs. There’s really no reason to believe that they can’t REACH the playoffs, but if their bullpen doesn’t get right, quick fast and in a hurry, they’re going to have a really hard time WINNING in the playoffs.
Here’s a few guys in the Royals minor league system that might be able to come up and provide a jolt in the bullpen.
1.) Richard Lovelady
We’ve done a ton of coverage on Lovelady here at Royals Farm Report. If you want to read more on him, go check out the rest of the website. There’s lots of good stuff on him there.
Lovelady is left handed and absolutely filthy. He hasn’t appeared in AAA yet, and he’s not on the 40-man roster, but he needs to be here in September.
2.) Eric Stout
Another lefty, Stout has arguably been the best reliever for the Omaha Storm Chasers this season. He carries a 2.73 ERA in 62.2 IP this season out of the Chasers’ bullpen, and has recorded 52 K to only 23 BB.
His delivery reminds me a bit of Mike Minor, in that he does a great job of hiding the ball before coming forward. He appears to have some pretty good tail on his fastball, and he uses it down in the zone pretty effectively. He’s only allowed 11 HR in 207.2 IP in his minor league career. That dog, as they say, will hunt.
3.) Sam Selman
Another lefty, why not? The former 2nd round pick has a 2.57 ERA in relief for the Storm Chasers. The Royals need some help, he can probably help.
Selman has a nice fastball (93-94) and a bit of a slurvy slider that could make him really effective against lefties, if nothing else. With Scott Alexander’s struggles against lefties (.275 BAA), and Ryan Buchter’s struggles in general since coming to KC, the Royals could use a lefty specialist in the ‘pen.
4.) Brian Flynn
Yeah, another lefty. Though he’s been starting in Omaha recently, Flynn has appeared in the Royals bullpen before and to be honest with you, I can’t figure out a good reason for him to not be there right now unless they have plans for him as a starter in the future…