While Royals fans await the return of Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino from elbow surgeries and rehab, and also await the maturation of right-handed flame thrower Yordano Ventura, a virtually forgotten name among Royals pitching prospects has finally begun to emerge. Left-hander Chris Dwyer, once considered on the same quick track to stardom as left-hander John Lamb, seems to have overcome two miserable minor-league seasons and now is carving up the Pacific Coast League at Triple-A Omaha. Dwyer, 24, has turned in five impressive starts this month in posting a 3-1 record with a 2.56 ERA. That's a swift turnaround from the struggling Dwyer that the Royals witnessed in 2011 (8-10, 5.60 ERA at Double-A Northwest Arkansas) and 2012 (3-4, 6.97 ERA at Omaha). Opponents are hitting just .228 off him so far this season, and Dwyer has walked just 10 in 31 innings – in two previous seasons he has averaged almost five walks a game. What suddenly triggered the turnaround? "He's locating his fastball better now than we've ever seen him," Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo told FOX Sports Kansas City. "He'd always been a guy who fell behind in the count and that got him in trouble. "But he's always had a really good curve and really good changeup and that has bailed him out to some degree in the past. But now that he can locate his fastball, those other two pitches are really deadly." Picollo also said there has been an improvement in Dwyer's velocity by a tick or so. "He's now getting up to 94 (mph) when he needs it," Picollo said. "And he's usually in the 92-93 range with good breaking stuff. He had fallen off last year with his velocity and no one really knew why."
Royals may have another pitching prospect on fast track
Fox Sports Kansas City | May 1