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Brandon Maurer shipped to Omaha

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Kevin McCarthy comes up to replace the embattled reliever

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have shipped reliever Brandon Maurer to Omaha and have recalled right-hander Kevin McCarthy. Maurer, in his last remaining option year, gave up three hits and a home run in his outing last night against the Angels and has given up six runs in 4 13 innings so far this year.

Since being acquired from the Padres last July, Maurer has been an abject disaster. In 24 13 innings with the Royals, he has given up 42 hits and 24 runs, for an ERA of 8.88. Dayton Moore expressed some of his frustrations with Maurer this morning on KCSP 610 Sports.

“Brandon has clearly struggled....it’s been frustrating for us, its’ been frustrating for him,” said Moore in his conversation with Bob Fescoe. He foreshadowed today’s move by adding, “There may come a point in time where we simply have to send him out and reset a little bit.”

Maurer will be paid $2.95 million this year and has one more year before he is eligible for free agency, although at this rate the Royals will non-tender him this winter.

Worst ERA in Royals history (min. 20 IP)

Pitcher Years IP ERA
Pitcher Years IP ERA
Albie Lopez 2003 22.2 12.71
Joe Mays 2006 23.2 10.27
Lenny Dinardo 2009 21.1 10.12
Brad Rigby 1999-2000 29.2 9.71
Eric Skoglund 2017-2018 22.2 9.53
Victor Marte 2009-2010 39.2 9.30
Don Wengert 1999 24.1 9.25
Jason Rakers 2000 21.2 9.14
Brandon Maurer 2017-2018 24.1 8.88
Richard Dotson 1990 28.2 8.48

The 26-year old McCarthy spent 45 innings with the Royals last year with an ERA of 3.20. He doesn’t strike out many, with a rate of 5.4 per-nine-innings last year, but he induces groundballs with a rate of 54.2%. In 3 13 innings for Omaha this year, McCarthy had given up five hits and two runs, while striking out three and issuing one intentional walk. Royals relievers collectively have a 6.95 ERA, the worst in the American League.