Barlow logged two perfect innings to earn a hold in Monday's 3-0 win over Cleveland. Barlow has yet to receive a save opportunity in 2021, but he's logged 3.2 scoreless innings across two outings, both holds. He's picked up four strikeouts as well. The 28-year-old right-hander appears set to see plenty of work in close games, but so far he's been limited to setup duty.
Barlow allowed a hit and two walks and struck out four in 1.2 innings to earn a hold in Thursday's 14-10 win over the Rangers. Barlow is in the mix for saves this year, but he entered Thursday's game in the seventh inning. He did well to keep the Rangers off the board -- one of just three Royals pitchers who achieved that in a high-scoring Opening Day game. Barlow was alright with a 4.20 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, seven holds and two saves in 32 appearances last year. The 28-year-old righty is likely to work in a setup role behind Greg Holland to begin 2021.
Barlow has recorded two saves while allowing no hits and one walk while striking out four over three scoreless innings to begin spring training. Barlow saw plenty of usage during the abbreviated 2020 campaign. He converted on both of his save chances and posted a 4.20 ERA and 39:9 K:BB over 30 innings while making 32 relief appearances. Following his strong showing over a limited sample in 2020, Barlow worked during the offseason to physically prepare to pitch well over a full season, Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star reports. The right-hander has performed well early in spring training, but he'll likely begin the regular season in a setup role with Greg Holland the favorite to serve as the closer early in the year.
Barlow gave up one run on two hits and zero walks while striking out one in one inning Saturday against the Pirates. He came in for the eighth inning with the Royals up four and created a save situation that Greg Holland converted in the ninth inning. Barlow is clearly in the setup mix in Kansas City, but Holland, who has three saves in the last four days, is the top closing option.
Barlow allowed one run on two hits with two strikeouts and zero walks during the ninth inning to record the save Tuesday at Cleveland. The 28-year-old gave up a pair of one-out singles and was unable to keep the Indians off the board, but he was still able to notch the save since the Royals supplied him with a multi-run cushion. Barlow has two saves and three holds with a 2.86 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 28:7 K:BB through 22 innings this season and should continue operating in a high-leverage role.
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