After a 12-inning victory over the Rays on Tuesday night, the Royals unsurprisingly brought in some help for the bullpen.
Relief pitchers Seth Maness and Al Alburquerque were added to the Royals’ 40-man roster on Wednesday afternoon, and both were placed on the 25-man roster. Alburquerque pitched for the Tigers from 2011-15, and should be well-known to Royals fans.
Maness, who signed as a minor-league free agent on Feb. 13, is not as well known.
Here are seven things to know about Maness:
1. The two words you’ll hear most when people talk about Maness are “primary repair.” According to this excellent story from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Maness had the relatively new surgery last year. When he went under, Maness didn’t know if he’d undergo Tommy John procedure or a “primary repair.” It was the latter. The Post-Dispatch story called the surgery “a repair and buttressing of the existing ligament at the bone, not Tommy John’s reconstruction of the ligament.” That cut the recovery time down from up to 18 months to less than a year.
2. Maness went 17-10 with seven saves and a 3.19 ERA in 237 1/3 innings (244 games) with the Cardinals from 2013-16. He struck out 172 and walked just 19. Maness also had a 1.46 ERA in 17 playoff games from 2013-15.
3. In 2013, Maness entered Game 4 of the World Series in the sixth inning with the score tied 1-1. Boston had two runners on base with two outs, and Jonny Gomes, who would later play for the Royals, hit a three-run homer. The Red Sox won 4-2 and went on to win the World Series in six games.
4. From 2013 to 2015, opponents hit into 43 double plays against Maness, the second-most in the majors. Only Jim Johnson (46) has had more.
5. Maness was the Cardinals’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012. He led the Texas League in WHIP (1.06) and had the fewest walks per nine innings (0.65) and fewest baserunners per nine innings (9.97) while pitching for the Springfield Cardinals.
6. According to the Fayetteville Observer, Maness signed with East Carolina University “with an understanding that he’d receive a half-scholarship as a sophomore.” Maness ended his college career as East Carolina’s all-time leader in wins (38), strikeouts (334) and innings pitched (411 2/3). He was named All-Conference USA for all four years.
7. At one time, Maness was an avid chess player. Last year, a Belleville News-Democrat story on Cardinals players who played chess in the clubhouse included this quote from Maness: “Any little way to strengthen your mind, I think, can be a benefit in the long run.”