Kansas City Royals bolster bullpen with veterans

By Bandon Decker
George Sherrill
Jake Roth – USA Today Sports

The young and effective bullpen of the Kansas City Royals has been one of the brightest points for the team in the last couple of years. The lack of starting pitching has caused them to be very over-worked and that is one of the main reasons why they set and American League record for strikeouts last year, but they have still been very impressive and especially given how young they are on average.

But whenever a young group does well there will be questions about sustainability and presumably mindful of this the Royals made some signings this week to shore the bullpen up with veterans. Both George Sherrill and Dan Wheeler were signed by the club to minor league contracts and will presumably be mostly injury cover. It has not yet been announced whether they will go to Spring Training, but it is expected that they both will.

Both are good acquisitions for the Royals; Sherrill in particular could be very useful. Sherrill has very good career numbers, but missed last year with Tommy John surgery. If he comes back well then he could certainly slot into the major league bullpen; it has been suggested that he might end up a lefty specialist. Wheeler had a horror season last year and ended up at AAA. His overall numbers are okay though and the Royals can be justified in thinking he might make a bit of a comeback. Possibly just as important; Wheeler has pitched in the postseason, including two World Series. If the Royals make a push this year or next it will be very good to have a veteran presence to steady the younger arms.

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