The Royals are calling up left-handed reliever Richard Lovelady, according to Sixius XM radio host Craig Mish. The 23-year old left-hander was a tenth-round pick in 2016 by the Royals and has excelled at each level in the minor leagues, with a career 1.99 ERA in 167 1⁄3 innings, including a 2.47 ERA in 73 innings for AAA Omaha last year. He tossed 2 2⁄3 shutout innings with two strikeouts in his first two outings for Omaha this year.
Lovelady has the ability to miss bats with a fastball in the mid-90s that allowed him to strike out nearly a hitter-per innings last year. According to Assistant General Manager, J.J. Picollo, “He’s got a ‘plus’ fastball and he’s got deception to his delivery and he just gets after it.”
Lovelady was a bit better against lefties last year, but has not historically had much of a platoon split, so he should be useful against both lefties and righties. ZIPS projects him to be the best Royals’ reliever this year with an ERA of 3.52.
The Royals are searching for answers in a bullpen that has been disastrous so far this year. Royals relievers have a combined 8.89 ERA, second-worst in baseball, and have walked 7.57 hitters-per-nine innings.
The Royals have not announced the move, nor a corresponding roster move. Lovelady will need to be added to the 40-man roster, but the Royals currently have a spot open.
Update: It’s official. Fillmyer will start on Wednesday.
It’s official, per the Royals: They have recalled Heath Filmyer and selected Richard Lovelady. Pitching assistance. Much needed. Tim Hill and Kevin McCarthy sent down.— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) April 9, 2019