Former Frog Brandon Finnegan and the Kansas City Royals managed to escape the ballpark with a win in Finnegan’s return to the MLB on Tuesday.
Finnegan, who was called up from the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals to join the Kansas City Royals ball club on Friday, was promptly greeted back into the MLB by allowing a three-run homerun to the first batter he faced in 2015, Brandon Moss.
Finnegan later found himself escaping a bases-loaded jam in his one inning of work against the Cleveland Indians.
This was Finnegan’s first time setting foot on an MLB mound since becoming the first player to ever pitch in the College World Series and the World Series in 2014.
Finnegan entered the bottom of the sixth inning with runners on first and second with no outs, with a 3-2 lead, before surrendering a three-run homerun to Moss giving the Indians a 5-3 lead.
Finnegan progressed to load the bases with two outs in the inning before getting Cleveland shortstop José Ramirez to ground out into a force play to end the frame.
Despite allowing the homerun, Finnegan was only charged with one run, while starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was charged with the other two.
Finnegan had posted a 3.86 ERA with six strikeouts over seven innings of work this season in Double-A before receiving his call up to the MLB Friday.
He had struggled during spring training, posting an ERA of 8.53, which indicated that there was still some fine-tuning to be done for the young lefty before making his return to the MLB.
The call up to the MLB for Finnegan came rather suddenly, as the Royals were desperate for pitching after using most of their bullpen in a 13-inning game against the White Sox Thursday.
The Royals had been planning to develop Finnegan into a starting pitcher in the minor leagues, but was called up to help relieve in the bullpen.
“The plan was to develop him as a starting pitcher,” said Lonnie Goldberg, Director of Scouting for the Kansas City Royals. “He has a great change-up, which he developed last year. Just like any pitcher, he has got to learn to be able to use all of his pitches.”
“He has to be able to command his fastball, and has got to be able to throw a breaking pitch when he is behind in the count for a strike.”
Goldberg said that he did not see Finnegan being called up to pitch in the MLB in the near future. However, he did say he anticipated Finnegan to come back up to the bullpen if necessary.