For Pete's Sake

Matt Strahm writes that he’s grateful for ‘honor of being a Royal’

Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Matt Strahm.
Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Matt Strahm.

Left-hander Matt Strahm was the key to the Royals’ trade Monday with the San Diego Padres that is bringing three pitchers to Kansas City.

Strahm, 25, was picked in the 21st round of the 2012 draft out of Neosho County Community College in Chanute, Kan. He had a dazzling rookie season in 2016, appearing in 21 games and striking out 30 in 22 innings. Strahm, who had a 1.23 ERA last season, was a key component of the bullpen for the Royals, who made a push for the playoffs that ultimately fell short.

This season, Strahm struggled early and was demoted to Class AAA. After his return, Strahm pitched well in relief before being called to the rotation because of injury. He was bumped back to the bullpen and never complained about the moves. Before his last appearance, Strahm told me: “I just pitch when ask. That’s how I’ve taken it day by day.”

The next day, Strahm suffered an injury and later had surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his left knee.

Strahm still has a bright future in baseball, and that’s why the Padres traded for him.

Hours after the trade, Strahm tweeted a message about how grateful he was to pitch for the Royals.

“For 5 years now I’ve had the honor of being a Royal,” Strahm wrote. “The thrill of having my named called on draft day, the chills I got making my debut, the rush I get every time taking the mound at the K, all came with Royals across my chest. I will be forever grateful to Dayton Moore and the entire Kansas City Royals organization for not only the opportunity, but for always being incredibly classy and treating me like family.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff