SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As the Royals search for options to beef up the back of their bullpen, they could look to converting some of their starters who presently are vying for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.The Royals have a history of converting starters to back-of-the-bullpen guys, doing so
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As the Royals search for options to beef up the back of their bullpen, they could look to converting some of their starters who presently are vying for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
The Royals have a history of converting starters to back-of-the-bullpen guys, doing so with Luke Hochevar and Wade Davis.
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"But remember, I wasn't planning on Wade going to the 'pen until Hoch got hurt that year [spring of 2014]," manager Ned Yost said. "We'll see it how it goes with this group. We'll get to a certain point and see what we need, and we'll make a decision then.
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"Do we have some options in that respect? I sure think so."
Right-hander Wily Peralta, signed as a free agent from the Brewers, has thrown 12 times out of the bullpen in six Major League seasons. Right-hander Jesse Hahn, acquired in an offseason trade with the A's, has pitched only four times out of the bullpen in four seasons.
But while both Peralta and Hahn are vying for the No. 5 rotation spot, they also are out of options, so they'll have to make the roster somehow.
"The kink in the whole thing, and it is a good kink, are the two Rule 5 guys [Brad Keller and Burch Smith]," Yost said. "The big thing is, can they throw strikes? They've been starters and bullpen guys.
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"We've got some power arms [that could be converted to the bullpen]. There's a lot of interesting things to observe."
Don't even ask
Yost continues to make an amazing recovering from a horrific fall from a tree stand last fall that fractured his pelvis.
And Yost bristled at the notion he might need a cane or a cart to move around this Spring Training.
"Come on, seriously?" Yost said. "I've already done my 30 minutes on the treadmill and will do more later. We had 30 sides yesterday and I watched every one of them. I'm moving great."
Didn't deserve it
Royals catcher Salvador Perez didn't seem too bothered about losing out for a possible fifth straight American League Gold Glove Award to Martin Maldonado of the Angels last fall.
"I didn't deserve it," Perez said. "I would have been more surprised if I had won. [Maldonado] was better."
First baseman Frank Schwindel was named the George Brett Hitter of the Year in the organization, while left-hander Foster Griffin was named the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year. Both will be recognized during a ceremony later in Spring Training.
Schwindel set career highs in doubles (43), home runs (23) and RBIs (97) in 133 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha.
Griffin went 11-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 18 starts following his promotion to Northwest Arkansas in 2017.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.