The Royals have signed pitcher Yohan Pino to a Major League deal as reported by Jeffrey Flanagan of Fox Sports Kansas City. The 30-year old Pino made his Major League debut with the Twins last year and posted a 5.07 ERA in 11 starts, although he had a respectable FIP (3.95) and struck out 7.5 hitters per nine innings. Pino missed the last month of the season with a strain in his ulnar collateral ligament and was outrighted off the Twins roster at the conclusion of the season.
The Venezuelan-born right-hander has a 3.76 ERA with 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings in a long minor league career that has taken him through the Twins, Indians, and Reds organizations. He was once considered a decent prospect in the Twins organization and was traded back in 2009 to the Indians for pitcher Carl Pavano. Pino throws in the upper 80s, occasionally topping 91 with a slider, changeup and slow curves to mix in. Here is what John Sickels wrote about Pino.
He clearly deserves more chances and I don't see why he can't have a run of success as a back-end starter and bullpen option. The league will get a book on him soon enough so maybe it will be a brief run, but he's versatile, has plenty of experience, and throws strikes. Maybe he can make it work for awhile.
Pino likely takes over the "Liam Hendriks role" this year as the AAA starting pitcher that can be called up to make a spot start or two. The Royals designated right-handed pitcher Casey Coleman for assignment to make room for Pino. Coleman had a 5.25 ERA in 12 innings for the Royals last year.