Opinion

Royals bullpen candidate Yohan Pino impresses in second spring appearance

The Royals got a look at another tempting candidate for their pitching staff when 31-year-old rookie Yohan Pino closed Sunday’s 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels with a perfect ninth inning.
The Royals got a look at another tempting candidate for their pitching staff when 31-year-old rookie Yohan Pino closed Sunday’s 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels with a perfect ninth inning. The Kansas City Star

The Royals got a look at another tempting candidate for their pitching staff when 31-year-old rookie Yohan Pino closed Sunday’s 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels with a perfect ninth inning.

Pino, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound Venezuelan, spent most of the 2014 season with Class AAA Rochester, going 10-2 in 16 appearances and had four stints with the Minnesota Twins, posting a 2-5 record in 11 starts.

Pino struck out the first two batters he faced Sunday and ended the game with a pop fly. It was his second spring training appearance, and he has worked three innings, allowing three hits and a run for a 3.00 ERA.

Pino made his major-league debut last season at 30 years, 175 days, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the oldest starting pitcher to make his debut for the Twins franchise since Jug Thesenga (30 years, 127 days) did so for the Washington Senators in 1944.

“He’s competing for a sport on our staff, like everybody else,” Yost said. “Our starting rotation obviously is locked up now as long as everybody stays healthy, so if he’s going to fit, it’s going to be in the pen somewhere right now.”

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @randycovitz.

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