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Did the Royals just cut their second best reliever?

Mar 16, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

It’s still pretty early on in the spring for notable cuts, but one from Tuesday will force me to revise my projections a bit, as the Royals optioned right-hander Carlos Rosa to Triple-A.
Now, I’m sure most won’t care about such a move. Rosa was, at best, going to be a setup man for one of the worst teams in baseball. He was regarded as one of the Royals’ best prospects at one time, but that changed due to injuries that eventually led to his conversion from a starter into a reliever.
Rosa, though, showed some real promise while working out of the pen last year. Here’s the writeup I gave him for the Rotoworld draft guide:

Instead of signing Kyle Farnsworth and Juan Cruz to multi-year deals, maybe the Royals should have just given Rosa a chance to win a job out of spring training last year. The right-hander, who was one possibility to go to the Marlins for Mike Jacobs before Leo Nunez was traded instead, didn’t have an exceptional Triple-A ERA in his first year as a reliever, but he fanned 80 batters and allowed just six homers in 71 innings in the Pacific Coast League. The Royals finally called him up in September and he picked up a save in his season debut on his way to amassing a 3.38 ERA in 10 2/3 innings. Rosa works at 93-96 mph as a reliever, and along with his hard slider, he still uses the average changeup he honed as a starter. The package should make him a nice setup man, perhaps right from the start of 2010. He definitely deserves the opportunity to overtake Farnsworth and Cruz.

Of course, there’s no real harm in the Royals’ decision to send Rosa down for a few weeks in order to take a longer look at Rule 5 pick Edgar Osuna and some guys who are out of options. It’s not like a handful of innings in April are going to make the difference in whether they reach the postseason. It’s just that it’s disappointing how rarely talent seems to win out in Kansas City.

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