In his second season with the Royals, Peter Moylan logged his highest innings count since 2010, as he fired 59.1 innings with a 3.49 ERA as a versatile member of manager Ned Yost's bullpen. Although he piled up 24 holds, Moylan's value was limited in leagues counting that stat, as his 46:25 K:BB was nothing to write home about. The value to big-league teams comes from his ability to induce a lot of his outs on the ground, which makes him particularly useful in situations where he enters with runners already on base. After turning 39 in December, Moylan was still weighing his option in free agency at press time. Even if he ends up signing a deal to pitch somewhere in 2018, it's unlikely that he'll begin missing bats at a more fantasy-friendly clip in the twilight of his career, and his improved WHIP (1.10 in 2017) was supported by a low .229 BABIP -- a mark more than 50 points lower than his career mark (.281).
Moylan gave up a hit during a scoreless eighth inning against the White Sox on Tuesday en route to his 21st hold of the year. The veteran has crept his way into the top five for holds among his AL counterparts. Moylan has appeared in 70 games for the Royals this season, managing a 3.67 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while topping 20 holds for the third time in his 11-year career.
Moylan pitched a clean ninth inning in Saturday's extra-inning loss to the Dodgers. The 38-year-old veteran's ERA (5.28) continues to be scarred by a handful of atrocious outings earlier in the season, but he hasn't been nearly as bad as what's seen on the surface. His ERA has been steadily deflating for nearly two months, and Moylan owns a beautiful 1.15 ERA with 18 strikeouts over his last 20 appearances. Furthermore, he's converted all 11 of his hold chances this year, tying him with setup man Joakim Soria for most on the team.
Moylan picked up his ninth hold Wednesday in San Francisco. After logging six holds in 11 May games, it took seven appearances this month for Moylan to pick up his first of June. The veteran has allowed just one run over his last nine contests while managing an 8:1 K:BB in seven innings. Moylan's nine holds this year are second only to his career-high 21 with the Braves in 2010.
Moylan owns a 5.06 ERA and 1.31 WHIP with 10 strikeouts and three holds through 15 appearances (10.2 innings) this season. Moylan's ERA is hugely skewed due to an April 24 implosion against the White Sox when he allowed five runs on five hits while recording just one out. Outside of that disaster, the 38-year-old right-hander has given up just one run over 14 contests. He'll continue to be deployed in often, and could provide decent value -- if the Royals start winning some more games -- in formats that reward holds.
Moylan pitched two clean innings and struck out one in Monday's 2-0 loss to Oakland. The side-arm slinger remains nearly perfect through five appearances this season. Moylan has tossed a combined 4.2 hitless innings with a 5:2 K:BB. Although originally slated for mop-up duties in relief, Moylan could earn himself some higher-leverage opportunities if he continues pitching this well.