KANSAS CITY, Mo. Kelvin Herrera was the last remaining piece of the vaunted HDH bullpen that guided the Royals to back-to-back World Series appearances.
But the Royals dominance in the ninth inning actually predates that trio. The trade of Herrera to the Nationals on Monday leaves a void in the Royals bullpen they have not felt in a decade. Because even before Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland, there was a resurgent year from Jonathan Broxton and four dominant seasons from Joakim Soria.
In fact, since 2008, the Royals have had a relief pitcher record at least 23 saves in every season, and seven of the 10 have posted earned run averages of 2.27 or better.