by John Viril—
Royals manager Ned Yost today announced that former Arizona Diamondbacks closer J.C. Gutierrez has won the 7th, and final, job in the Kansas City bullpen. The right handed Gutierrez had been in a contest for the final spot with Donnie Joseph, Francisley Bueno, Louis Coleman and Dan Wheeler. Yost cited Gutierrez’s impressive recent performances and a “95 mph fastball that he spots well” during his announcement.
I must confess, I am somewhat surprised that Gutierrez won the job. His spring ERA has been unimpressive (4.50) and his career MLB track record is similarly pedestrian (4.79 ERA in 167.1 IP for a career ERA+ of 91). Gutierrez, however, was out of minor league options, unlike his four remaining competitors. If you believe in retaining bullpen depth in AAA, this decision makes perfect sense. Bueno, Coleman and Joseph all had remaining minor league options, and the veteran Dan Wheeler signed a minor league contract.
The move, however, leaves the bullpen somewhat li...