The Royals acquired Ronald Bolanos from the Padres in 2020 along with outfielder Franchy Cordero for reliever Tim Hill. The Royals shipped Cordero to the Red Sox in the package that brought outfielder Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City. The Royals tried Bolanos in the starting rotation in 2020; but during his two starts, he struggled mightily with a 12.27 ERA. Even though Bolanos struggled as a starter, the Royals still believe he can have a role with the team. However, that role hasn’t been set in stone yet. In my opinion, I believe Bolanos could be a good long reliever for the Royals like Ervin Santana has been in 2021. While Bolanos has only come out of the bullpen a few times for the Royals, he has shown he can eat up multiple innings when needed. Unfortunately, the Royals have had to go to their bullpen earlier in games this season than they would like. This doesn’t surprise me too much with the Royals young starting rotation. I somewhat expected the Royals to rely on their bullpen a lot this season, but I didn’t expect them to go to the bullpen this early in games. Going forward, the Royals need to get more innings from their long relievers out of the pen when the starters don’t go deep into games. That obviously seems like a no-brainer; but this is probably one of the reasons why they signed Ervin Santana and recalled Ronald Bolanos from Omaha. They need the duo to eat up the innings the starters couldn’t. Although we would love to see starters like Mike Minor, Danny Duffy, Brady Singer and others go deep in games, I think it’s also important to remember that the game of baseball is returning back to normal with the 162 game season instead of the 60 game season that was played in 2020. With 102 more games this season, it’s obvious that teams like the Royals, whose rotations don’t go deep in games frequently, have to rely on their bullpens to eat up multiple innings. This is why I believe when Ervin Santana is gone after this season, the Royals will have to rely on Ronald Bolanos to take the long reliever role in the bullpen in the near future. Unless they choose to rely on Jakob Junis to take that role over Bolanos going forward.
Heading into the 2021 season, the Royals improved their starting rotation by signing Mike Minor to a two-year deal to join Danny Duffy, Brad Keller and Brady Singer. Even with the addition of Minor, the Royals still need help in the starting rotation. The Royals ... Read more