KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The most perplexing pitcher on the Royals' staff the first two months of the season was right-handed reliever Kelvin Herrera.
Blessed with a 100-mph fastball and a devastating changeup, Herrera, 23, has tantalized Royals fans with such electric stuff that he often appears unhittable.
And for the most part, he was in 2012, sporting a 2.35 ERA in 76 appearances.
But this spring, Herrera mysteriously lost his command. And that 100-mph heater couldn't rescue him when he left pitch after pitch in hittable zones.
The damage? Eight home runs in just 18 innings, an unnerving total for a guy who had given up just five home runs in his previous 78 games.
Royals manager Ned Yost tried his best to stick it out with Herrera, who has closer's talent and was slated to be Greg Holland's primary setup man.
Finally, though, Yost and general manager Dayton Moore reluctantly shipped Herrera out to Triple-A Omaha in hopes he could rediscover his command.