MLBTRaderumors is reporting the Royals have claimed left-handed pitcher Patrick Schuster off waivers from San Diego. Schuster has had an interesting off-season. He was in Arizona's organization last year, but was the first pick in the Rule 5 draft this past December by the Houston Astros. The Astros then shipped him to San Diego for pitcher Anthony Bass. Schuster had a decent camp, allowing four runs (two earned) in eight innings of work with just one walk and three strikeouts, but was not going to make the Padres club, so they placed him on waivers, where the Royals scooped him up.
Schuster is a 23 year old left-hander who pitched in High A ball last year in the California League. He has become a full-time reliever, making 55 relief appearances as a situational lefty, posting a 1.83 ERA in 44 1/3 innings, with 45 strikeouts and 18 walks. He has averaged 7.6 strike outs per nine innings in his minor league career, although that has gone up to a strikeout per inning since being converted to a reliever. He has some command issues, giving up 3.8 walks per nine innings. Schuster was originally a 13th round pick out of high school.
Schuster is still subject to Rule 5 draft rules, meaning he must be kept on the Major League roster all season or be returned to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Does his acquisition spell trouble for left-handed reliever Francisley Bueno, who had seemingly made the club? Or are the Royals "acquiring assets" and hoping to find a way to keep Schuster in a deal with Arizona?