KC Royals: 1 biggest surprise, 1 biggest disappointment from the bullpen

Jake Brentz #59 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Jake Brentz #59 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals’ bullpen has been pretty darn good to start the 2021 season. There were mixed reviews regarding this bunch heading into the season, but they’ve delivered for the most part.

As we near the one-month mark of the start of the 2021 season, the Kansas City Royals are thankful their bullpen has been so good. Anne Rogers, the Royals’ beat writer on MLB.com, tweeted out this stat that blew my mind,

That’s insane! Almost as insane as the Royals having the best freaking record in the entire league. What is happening?! Is this team ready to win big games now? That’s still yet to be answered but the bullpen has given fans a lot of reason for optimism.

People expected Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont to pick up where they left off last year, but there’s a guy who came out of nowhere and has wowed for the boys in blue this year.

Jake Brentz has been the biggest surprise in the KC Royals’ bullpen.

It’s hard not to root for Brentz. This is a guy who hadn’t made a major league roster until this year and he’s crushing it at the big league level. He’s currently sporting a sparkly ERA of 1.86 through 9.2 innings pitched while striking out 11 batters.

Brentz spent seven years in the minors before getting an opportunity to shine in the big leagues and, as I mentioned above, he’s making the most of it. The tweet above was from a few days ago but the point still stands as far as how outstanding Brentz has been.

This really was a good find by the Royals and shows that Dayton Moore has a knack for finding bullpen talent. Brentz is proof of that and nobody was expecting him to be one of the brightest spots on the team one month into the season.

Greg Holland has been the biggest disappointment in the KC Royals’ bullpen.

Holland returned to the Royals last year after falling off the wagon in late 2018 and 2019. He looked recharged and dominated out of the pen for KC, taking fans back to 2013 and 2014 when Holland was one of the best closers in Major League Baseball.

He’s been subpar through nine innings this year, sporting a 5.00 ERA and walking seven batters while striking out eight. He has two saves on his resumé this year, but fans certainly don’t feel the same confidence when Holland trots out of the bullpen as they once did. He hasn’t been the reliable, lockdown guy that we all once knew and loved. Rather, he’s been pretty shaky.

We’re only a month into the season and this bullpen still has a lot of work to do in helping the Royals get to the postseason. Jake Brentz has dazzled during his first year in The Show and it’s safe to say that no one was expecting this. Greg Holland, meanwhile, has struggled more than we were expecting him to. Hopefully, he can figure out what’s ailing him and get back to being that shutdown closer we all remember him being.

Next. Five Huge IFs for Postseason Push. dark

Who has stood out to you in the Royals’ bullpen?