Searching for the next HDH Part One

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The Royals are getting towards the end of their rebuild in my opinion. With that in mind, let’s look for the next three headed monster in the bullpen.  I believe the Royals have many options already on their roster to create the next dominant bullpen. I am not saying the Royals shouldn’t bring in a free agent reliever this off-season, I just think they could create a dominant late inning trio with the pitchers they have. Let’s start with the SBZ option. In 2018, the Royals called up Glenn Sparkman to be a member of the starting rotation, but he only made three starts and appeared in 15 games for the Royals. Sparkman ended the 2018 season with a 4.46 ERA. That’s not bad if you ask me, but I think he could have done better. In 2019, the Royals relied on Sparkman heavily. In 2019, Sparkman pitched a total of 136 innings for the Royals; but his ERA didn’t improve, and it just got worse. He posted a 6.02 ERA in 23 starts. It’s obvious he isn’t meant for the starting rotation, but I still think he could have a future with the Royals, in their bullpen. The Royals moved Sparkman to the bullpen in 2019. The Royals used Sparkman in many different roles in their bullpen in 2019. Unfortunately, in 2020, Sparkman was on the injured list most of the season. In 2021, I believe if the Royals could find Sparkman a permanent role in the bullpen, he could help the Royals long-term. If I were the Royals, I would put Sparkman in the seventh inning to set up the eighth and ninth inning relievers. This leads into our next pitcher, Scott Barlow. In 2018, Barlow made his major league debut with the Royals. In 2018, he only pitched 15 innings. During his rookie campaign, he posted a 3.60 ERA. In 2019, the Royals relied on Barlow heavily. During the season, he pitched a total of 70.1 innings. I believe his ERA wasn’t exactly what I expected from him, but it wasn’t bad. He posted a 4.22 ERA in 2019 with 92 strikeouts. The 92 strikeouts show that the Royals can rely on Barlow to set them up to close the game in the ninth inning. I believe the 27-year old could play a big role in the Royals long-term future plans. The final guy who I believe will have a big role with the Royals in the future is Kyle Zimmer. Despite his injury history, I think Zimmer could be a good closer for the Royals. In an article I wrote a few weeks ago, I mentioned Zimmer as a closer, the Royals have held onto Zimmer for many years despite his injury history. Despite Zimmer’s injury history, he is still able to hit 96 mph on the radar gun. His velocity proves he could be a dominant closer, if he can stay healthy and maintain his velocity as the season rolls on.

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Author: Connor Miller

I am a huge baseball fan, mainly Royals. I love writing baseball articles. I have been a Royals fan since birth. I am hoping to become a sports journalist someday.

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