Jeffress came to the Royals from the Milwaukee Brewers via the Zack Greinke deal. He has struggled throughout his career with his command.
He admitted that he made progress this season with the help of minor league pitching coaches Doug Henry and Larry (LC) Carter:
”In the last year, I felt like I made progress,” Jeffress said. “The first time I came up in April at the beginning of the year, it really opened my eyes. I felt like I had to learn a lot more stuff off the field and to be able to stay focused on my task at hand. The year before, 2011, I just felt like I was all off. It was my first year breaking camp with the big team and when I got sent down, my concentration was just all lost.”
He is expected to head to play winter ball for Bravos de Margarita in Venezuela. The Blue Jays need bullpen help and Jeffress could be a key cog if he can figure it all out.
Later in the day on Thursday, the Royals traded lefty Tommy Hottovy (who was put on waivers at the same time as Jeffress) to the Texas Rangers. The Royals receive cash and a player to be named later.
The local guy (who is one of just five players to play for their local team) spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he made 41 appearances to go along with a 2.52 ERA. He walked just 16 over 50 innings compared to 61 strikeouts. Hottovy made four stints with the big league club, totaling a 2.89 ERA in nine games.
Here is what Hottovy had to say about his time with his hometown team:
“It was an honor to be part of the organization and I’ve got a soft place in my heart, obviously, for the city of Kansas City and the people around here,” Hottovy said. “And if I never get to come back and play here in KC, it’s definitely something that I’ll remember for a long time.”