When the Royals’ signing of Jonathan Broxton was announced this morning, the reaction of most people was “wait, isn’t the Kansas City bullpen kind of crowded already?” Why, yes. Yes it is. But it won’t be going forward because Dayton Moore was just on the radio and said that Joakim Soria will remain the closer, Broxton will set up and Aaron Crow will be moved into the rotation.
Which seems smart to me. Crow was a starter in college and in the minors and when you have a young guy with great stuff like his, you have to figure out if he can handle the bigger job. His control is obviously the big questions — Crow walks a lot of guys — but if he can figure that out he could be a useful starter, and the Royals need a couple of those.
Of course, the scrap heap is filled with guys who had great stuff and bad control of whom it was said “if they can just figure that out,” so we’ll see.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.