Friday, April 29, 2011

Rotation issues

If a person were to draw up a disastrous road trip I imagine it would look an awful lot like Kansas City's 6 game swing through Texas and Cleveland. The Royals, outscored 46-22, were of course swept twice. The pitching, the rotation in particular, was abysmal posting a 7.88 ERA. The offense managed a meager .297 OBP and the clutch hits which had been so frequent in the early going were nonexistent. When pitching and offense fail at the same time the results are never good, as the last week can unfortunately attest.

As I mentioned earlier the rotation was terrible, actually terrible may not adequately describe the sheer amount of suck we were witness to, but really, how many words exist that do?

Player Date Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO HR
Jeff Francis 2011-04-22 TEX L 6-11 4.0 9 6 5 1 2 2
Kyle Davies 2011-04-23 TEX L 1-3 6.0 4 3 2 1 3 0
Bruce Chen 2011-04-24 TEX L 7-8 4.1 7 6 6 3 2 3
Luke Hochevar 2011-04-26 CLE L 4-9 6.1 11 6 6 1 3 3
Jeff Francis 2011-04-27 CLE L 2-7 3.0 10 6 5 0 1 0
Kyle Davies 2011-04-28 CLE L 2-8 3.1 9 8 8 1 4 4
Totals

0-6 27 50 35 32 715 12
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used

To break it down even further:

  • 4.5 IP/per start
  • 16.67 H/9
  • 10.67 ERA
  • 2.11 WHIP
  • 4.0 HR/9
  • 5.0 SO/9
Gross.

I may have been too optimistic before the season when I casually dismissed the historically bad descriptions of the rotation. I opined they had the potential to be historically league average, or the very least, historically serviceable. I guess it was that optimism that ignored Luke Hochevar and Kyle Davies being two of the worst starting pitchers in major league history. I expected Davies to be Davies but I believed Hochevar was on the verge of figuring things out. I was clearly wrong.

Just looking at their numbers I guess I should've seen this coming, but for some reason, I didn't. Here are four lists of guys who've pitched at least 400 innings since 2008, Hochevar and Davies are featured prominently, as is former Royal Brian Bannister and current Omaha Storm Chaser Jeff Suppan. It's not pretty.

Rk Player ERA+ IP
1 Luke Hochevar 76 413.0
2 Brian Bannister 78 464.1
3 Manny Parra 79 428.0
4 Jeff Suppan 81 440.2
5 Kevin Correia 81 486.2
6 Fausto Carmona 82 493.0
7 Kyle Davies 83 449.0
8 Livan Hernandez 85 614.1
9 David Bush 86 481.2
10 Zach Duke 87 557.0
Rk Player WHIP IP
1 Manny Parra 1.659 428.0
2 Jeff Suppan 1.623 440.2
3 Kyle Davies 1.539 449.0
4 Fausto Carmona 1.499 493.0
5 LIvan Hernandez 1.491 614.1
6 Brian Bannister 1.490 464.1
7 Kevin Millwood 1.475 558.0
8 Zach Duke 1.472 557.0
9 Gil Meche 1.451 401.0
10 Jason Marquis 1.445 467.0
11 Luke Hochevar 1.443 413.0
Rk Player brWAR IP
1 Manny Parra -3.1 428.0
2 Jeff Suppan -3.0 440.2
3 Luke Hochevar -1.2 413.0
4 Kevin Correia -1.2 486.2
5 David Bush -1.1 481.2
6 Fausto Carmona -0.8 493.0
7 Brian Bannister -0.5 464.1
8 Kyle Lohse 0.3 448.0
9 Scott Feldman 0.9 482.1
10 Aaron Harang 1.7 488.1
11 Kyle Davies 1.8 449.0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used

Rk Player QS% IP
1 Manny Parra 0.333% 428.0
2 Jeff Suppan 0.368% 440.2
3 Brian Bannister 0.383% 464.1
4 Luke Hochevar 0.386% 413.0
5 Jonathan Sanchez 0.396% 542.2
6 Scott Kazmir 0.402% 451.1
7 Kyle Davies 0.407% 449.0
8 Daisuke Matsuzaka 0.414% 402.2
9 Kevin Slowey 0.437% 410.1
10 Armando Galarraga 0.444% 487.2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used

It's even worse when you consider that Sean O'Sullivan would be placed firmly in all four lists had he enough innings to qualify (150.1 IP, 77 ERA+, 1.463 WHIP, 0.0 WAR, 34.6 QS% ). O'Sullivan, to his credit, has been solid in his 2 starts but who knows if that can continue.

So what should the Royals do with the rotation?

Fortunately they do have some depth in this areas. Now should they feel the need to make a change, I'd prefer they didn't panic and promote Michael Montgomery and Danny Duffy just yet, but Vin Mazzaro and Everett Teaford are certainly options. Suppan is there too, but you know, see above. They could also stretch Aaron Crow out to see what he can do, though I find that scenario unlikely.

The point is, they have to do something, because the status quo isn't working. 

1 comment:

  1. Leave the youngsters out for now...

    I think Monty, Lamb, and Duffy will all be great additions to the rotation at some point in the very near future, but no reason to panic and waste service time. I want to see Mazzaro the first to get the starting nod!

    Hes still relatively young. Francis has to get better, Luke has to mature and Chen needs to continue being our ace for the time being!

    ReplyDelete