One day after several young pitchers took steps forward toward securing major league slots in the Royals bullpen, the very opposite happens in a 12-11 loss to the Texas Rangers. After new starter Vin Mazzaro, acquired from the Athletics in the David DeJesus trade, threw two solid innings, the bullpen came undone allowing multiple homers after several walks put men in scoring position.
Chris Dwyer, Blaine Hardy, Everett Teaford and Danny Duffy all looked abysmal for the most part on the day and ruined any chance of the Royals capitalizing on home runs from their young studs Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Of the players hit hard on Monday, there are still some signs of life for each.
Everett Teaford has always been older for his level, playing at AA last season at age 26, but the results have always been solid and the Royals have taken it slow with the starter. Blaine Hardy is perhaps the best bet to stick after being a late round pick by the Royals in 2008 (22nd round). He's always shown good to great control in the minors and he played a full season at Omaha (AAA) last year in just his third pro season, throwing in 28 games with a 3.49 ERA. Chances are Hardy will eventually find his niche at the major league level.
Danny Duffy is a strong prospect who should begin the year at AA, the same place he dominated late last year for seven starts to the tune of a 2.95 ERA. This first taste of big league action will help him in the future, but for now it's just spring training fodder and giving the guy a look for the coaches at the upper level. All in all, the Royals brightest spots are still far off on the horizon with the hopes that some of the tweeners can actually rise to the challenge and cement their spots.