It is not often that the Kansas City Royals get the better of another team in a trade. Too often has the team dealt a star player and gotten back prospects or draft picks in return that never panned out. When the Royals acquired Felipe Paulino from the Rockies for cash considerations, it appeared that Kansas City was grabbing another player whom would soon be forgotten. Instead, acquiring Paulino now looks like one of the shrewdest moves the Royals have made in a long time.
In his last start, Paulino pitched 6.2 innings while giving up only one earned run and three hits. That lone earned run represents the total number of runs he has given up since joining Kansas City. Paulino's pitching has been remarkable since joining Kansas City; he avoided giving up a walk in his first two starts and has escaped nearly every jam he has found himself in.
Paulino's breakout could not have come at a better time for Kansas City, whose starting rotation has struggled all season. Luke Hochevar continues to fall short of expectations, and Sean O'Sullivan has proven he doesn't have what it takes to be a successful major league pitcher. At the very least, Paulino has kept Kansas City in every game, which is much more than most of Kansas City's starters have done lately. Injuries and poor play forced Kansas City to take a gamble on the hard throwing Paulino, and through three games that gamble has paid off.
Not only has Paulino pitched well, but the Royals gave up next to nothing to get him. Colorado had recently designated Paulino for assignment, lowering his price tag and making him expendable for the Rockies. Rather than losing a player or draft pick, Kansas City simply gave the Rockies cash considerations and demoted Robinson Tejada.
So do we credit the Royals for being lucky or shrewd? Perhaps it is a bit of both; Paulino has shown flashes of brilliance in his short MLB career, and continually throws fastballs in the mid to upper 90's. However, his ERA had inflated up to 7.36 this season with the Rockies before being traded, and he has a career ERA of 5.57.
After struggling throughout his career, Felipe Paulino has done a complete 180 in Kansas City and pitched better than any Royal has all season. While his breakout has come out of the blue, the Royals deserve credit for taking a gamble on the hard-throwing Paulino, as well as acquiring him for next to nothing.