Kansas City Royals

Heath Fillmyer to get his shot as Royals’ fifth starter Wednesday against Mariners

Royals recall Heath Fillmyer from Triple-A

Pitcher Heath Fillmyer rejoined the Royals from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. He made 13 starts with the team in 2018, but he'd been sent to Triple-A out of spring training to start the 2019 season.
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Pitcher Heath Fillmyer rejoined the Royals from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. He made 13 starts with the team in 2018, but he'd been sent to Triple-A out of spring training to start the 2019 season.

The Royals will give the ball to right-hander Heath Fillmyer as their starting pitcher for Wednesday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners.

The club recalled Fillmyer, 24, from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday.

The Royals went with just four starters through the first two weeks of the season because of extra off-days that allowed them to remain on regular rest. With a stretch of 19 consecutive games without an off-day having started on Saturday, they’ll move to a five-man rotation.

“Any time you can get up here and try to get an opportunity and make the best of it, you’re thankful for it and it never gets old,” Fillmyer said before Tuesday’s game.

Fillmyer, who went 4-2 in 17 games (13 starts) for the Royals last season, remained in major-league camp competing for a spot in the starting pitching rotation until two days before the club broke camp in Arizona.

His last outing came for Triple-A Omaha on Thursday. He allowed six earned runs on seven hits and four walks in four innings.

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“Working ahead, staying ahead, and just trying to get out as consistently as you can,” Fillmyer said of his focus since leaving big-league camp. “Just getting back into that rhythm, I think that’s big — especially for everybody here. Early in the season, you want to catch that rhythm as soon as you can and run along with it.”

Because of the one-week gap between the beginning of the major-league and minor-league seasons (minors start later), Fillmyer’s most recent start before last Thursday’s outing came in a spring training exhibition game between the Royals and Cincinnati Reds on March 21.

He said he pitched in two intersquad games, three bullpen sessions and another two “touch and feel” sessions in an effort to stay sharp between games.

“I was going out there trying to get my work in and trying to get guys out no matter who it was,” Fillmyer said. “I mean it was intersquads, a lot of bullpens, touch and feels, stuff like that. Just trying to crispen up your stuff and make everything look the way you want it to look out of the tunnels and windows you want.”

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.


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