Royals recall Lively, option Fillmyer to Triple-A

The Kansas City Royals recalled right-hander Ben Lively from Triple-A Omaha on Saturday.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

As Heath Fillmyer found out on Saturday, the reward for a long reliever who goes multiple innings and helps preserve the bullpen is often a trip back to the minor leagues.

The Kansas City Royals optioned Fillmyer to the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers on Saturday, one day after he had arguably his best outing of the season, going three innings against the Los Angeles Angels and allowing three hits, no walks and just one run on a solo homer by Kole Calhoun. To fill his place on the roster, the Royals recalled right-hander Ben Lively from Omaha.

All three of Fillmyer’s major league appearances this season prior to Friday night were starts. He has a 9.00 ERA with seven strikeouts and five walks over 15 innings in 2019.

Lively, 27, made five relief appearances with the Royals last September after being claimed off waivers from the Phillies and posted a 1.35 ERA over 6 2/3 innings. Lively, who was exclusively a starter in Philadelphia, has a 4.61 career ERA over 25 major league appearances. In four appearances (three starts) for the Storm Chasers this year, he has posted a 4.41 ERA with 17 strikeouts and seven walks in 16 1/3 innings.