Crow and Broxton Will Save the Royals Bullpen and the Rotation Starts to Take Form

Monday April 16th, 2012

Ryan Ritchey:  As I mentioned in my article a couple of weeks ago, Joakim Soria has gone down with Tommy John Surgery and will be out for the rest of the 2012 season. Now the Royals are playing closer by committee until they find a solid candidate to fill the position for the rest of the year. In my opinion the Royals are not going to contend in the AL Central, so they can give some of their young talent a chance to close.

The best pitcher in the bullpen for the Royals in my eyes is Aaron Crow. He is a young kid with a lot of upside and this is the season that he can get better against some of the best offenses the game has ever seen. Crow is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA but that will change as the season goes on and his arm gets stronger. His last two appearances have been great- with 2 strikeouts, no walks, no hits and a 0-0 record. Crow has recorded one save this season as part of the closer by committee.

Jonathan Broxton is another solid arm in this Royals pen. Coming over from the Dodgers in free agency, Broxton is trying to prove himself to the Royals and the rest of the league. So far in the first 9 games that the Royals have played, Broxton has appeared in 4 of those games. He also has a 0-1 record but his ERA is 2.45 which is pretty good. The big issue that he needs to fix is giving up walks. When you’re a reliever that gives up walks… you won’t be successful in this game. Broxton is also a part of the closer by committee with one save, but also has a blown save on his early KC resume as well.

The Royals went out this off-season and picked up starter Jonathan Sanchez from the San Francisco Giants. Sanchez a lefty to add to this rotation is huge for this team. He has some experience pitching in big games as he won a World Series Championship in 2010. They brought Sanchez in to eat up innings but to also mentor young stud Danny Duffy. In his first start of the season Sanchez pitched well, getting the win against the Angels. Things haven’t been going that well the whole season for Sanchez though. Saturday against Cleveland, Sanchez gave up five earned runs in 2 and 2/3 innings. The big downfall for him was his walks, giving up four of them.

The pitcher of the future for this organization has to be Danny Duffy. A young left-hander with tons of upside, he will have plenty of chances to show what he’s got this season. With a young team all around, the Royals may have trouble scoring runs at times. But that shouldn’t matter with Duffy on the mound. In his first start of the 2012 season, Duffy got the win against the Oakland A’s. Pitching 6 full innings, striking out 8 and walking 4 with 0 earned runs, earned Duffy the win. Going over the hundred pitch mark for the first start of the season is a good sign for the Royals, showing them that Duffy is ready to go and will do get better start after each start. Overall, the Royals pitching staff has a bright future. It is young and with question marks. But in today’s game that is built mainly on solid pitching and defense, the Royals are showing that they have the arms to contend one day very soon.

Ryan Ritchey is a MLB reports Baseball Intern. I am a high school senior, play second base and plan on studying sports journalism in college. I am a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips. Have been a baseball fan my whole life and have been writing about baseball since freshman year. You can reach me on Twitter (@Ryan13Ritchey)


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Posted on April 16, 2012, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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