Royals Receive Pitcher To Complete Guillen Trade

The Jose Guillen era in Kansas City officially came to a close on Oct. 15 when the Royals received right-handed pitcher Kevin Pucetas as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Guillen to the San Francisco Giants in August.

Continuing to add to their arsenal of young players as they build for the future, the Royals add a 25-year-old candidate for their pitching staff in exchange for Guillen, who was shipped to free up room in the KC outfield.

With their roster loaded with right-handers, the Royals hope Pucetas can rebound from a rocky 2010 to play a part in their rebuilding effort – something the 34-year-old Guillen no longer fit.

Pucetas made a push to be included in the World-Series-bound Giants pitching staff during the spring, but wound up spending the entire season struggling for Fresno of the Triple A Pacific Coast League. Having won numerous awards at lower levels of the minor leagues, Pucetas ran into a wall in 2010, going 5-7 with a 5.69 ERA.

The graduate of Limestone (SC) College shone in three seasons at low levels of the minor leagues, winning’s award for Class A Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2007 and being named California League Pitcher of the Year in 2008. In 2009, however, Pucetas’ ERA ballooned to 5.04 in his first year at Fresno, in spite of a 10-6 record.

The Giants acquired Guillen as a power bat in their drive to win the NL West. Now if the Giants are to bring home their first MLB championship since 1954, they’ll have to do it without him. A nagging neck injury prompted the Giants to leave him off their playoff roster.

The Giants gave Guillen every opportunity to contribute, using him in 42 of the 45 games following his acquisition on Aug. 13. Guillen batted .266 with three home runs and 15 RBI’s, but languished down the stretch. Over the last 10 days, when the Giants needed every bit of help they could get to make the playoffs, the slugger mustered just 2 hits in his final 24 at bats.

Pucetas, a 6-4, 225 Spartanburg, SC native who was selected by the Giants in the 17th round of the 2006 draft, was added to the Royals 40-man roster.

This is Todd Fertig’s debut article for I-70 Baseball.
You can follow his exploits as a displaced worker at his website by clicking here.

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