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Archive for Saturday, May 17, 2003

Royals demote Wilson, call pitcher Gilfillan

May 17, 2003

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— The Kansas City Royals tried to upgrade their beleaguered bullpen Friday by purchasing the contract of right-hander Jason Gilfillan from Triple-A Omaha and optioning righty Kris Wilson to the minors.

Gilfillan was 3-0 with five saves and an 0.73 ERA in 15 appearances with Omaha.

"He's really taken off. The quality of his stuff has gotten better," Kansas City assistant general manager Muzzy Jackson said. "He creates a good downward plane and throws a lot of groundballs. He's worked his tail off and earned himself an opportunity to be here."

Wilson was 0-0 with a 4.87 ERA in 10 games. He has struggled in May, allowing eight earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Reliever Albie Lopez is 4-2 with a 9.47 ERA. But Wilson had an option remaining and Lopez did not.

"That obviously was a factor in the decision," Jackson said.

Gilfillan was not mentioned prominently with the other prospects in the Royals system before the season, but his performance moved him up the list.

"I started throwing strikes," Gilfillan said. "That helped out a lot.

"I let the defense work behind me. It's something I've had trouble with in the past and I'm doing better at it this year."

Wilson, who has been demoted before, tried to take it in stride.

"I feel like I've thrown the ball well," he said. "They made the decision. I'm not bitter. It's tough to swallow, but this is a business. I'm not going to hang my head. I never had. I'm just going to go down and try to pitch well and get back up here."

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