The Kelvin Herrera trade is starting to pay back already. Kelvin Gutierrez was called up by the Royals when Lucas Duda went on the injured list Friday, April 26.
Ned penciled Gutierrez in as the starting third baseman giving Chris Owings the day off and allowing Hunter Dozier to DH.
In the top of the first inning, Albert Pujols hit a grounder that Gutierrez turned into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
In his first major league at bat, Gutierrez walked on four pitches. So technically, he gets another first major league as that turned into his first major league plate appearance.
In his second major league plate appearance, Gutierrez came up with runners on second and third against Jaime Barria. With no outs and a 1-2 count, Barria tried to run one up and in. Gutierrez was able to fight it off into left field for his first major league hit and first two runs batted in.
In his third at bat, Gutierrez didn’t fare as well as he notched his first major league strikeout at the hands of Chris Stratton.
In his last at bat, Gutierrez grounded out softly to third. The Royals won 9-4.
When the trade happened the immediate response from a lot of fans was what? That’s all? But think we got three MLB players in the deal. We knew Gutierrez was a future big leaguer all along. Several of us at RFR have seen him person multiple times and talked about his size, defense, agility, throwing arm, and bat. He is a very good defender with elite range to his left and a solid backhand. He can make all the throws.
Gutierrez has some power but we felt it was just going to take him more time to find it. A lot of people didn’t want to wait because he was 23 already, but not everyone is ready when they are 20-years-old. I felt that Gutierrez really pressed and tried to do too much when he came over. Later in the season after he got comfortable, you could see a difference in his freedom at the plate and in the field.
Today was the start of his big league career. We hope to see him for many years to come competing for multiple champions with his fellow Royals.