Ho-Ram, the Flaw within the Royals Rotation?

The Royals have only played two spring training games thus far (1-1), and I am already confident in one of my offseason assessments.  Horacio Ramirez has no business being in a major league starting rotation.  However, the Royals seem dead set on making him a starter because they are convinced that they need a lefty in their rotation.

 

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Ramirez, H (L, 0-1)

0.2

7

6

3

0

1

1

40.50

If the above was posted by Jake Peavy, Carlos Zambrano, Josh Beckett, or even Gil Meche we could readily dismiss the above line as “shaking the rust off.”  But we are talking about Horacio Ramirez, and when talking about Ho-Ram the above line does not bode well for his success in the rotation.

Sadly the Royals don’t have any legitimately better/proven options behind Meche and Greinke.  As you can see from the below, Ho-Ram has a legitimate case to be the Royals #3 starter based on statistical performance over the course of his career. 

 

Zack Greinke

Gil Meche

Age

25

30

IP

658.7

1241.7

SO/BB

2.920

1.835

WHIP

1.338

1.393

ERA+ ‘08

123

107

ERA+ Career

105

102

 

Horacio Ramirez

Kyle Davies

Brian Bannister

Luke Hochevar

Age

29

25

28

25

IP

656.7

400.0

385.7

141.7

SO/BB

1.199

1.451

1.685

1.510

WHIP

1.471

1.648

1.372

1.447

ERA+ ‘08

101

105

74

77

ERA+ Career

94

77

93

83

As I stated above, Ramirez has no business being in a major league starting rotation, but statistically he could fit in as the Royals #3 starter.  That statement pretty much sums up how far away the Royals are from being competitive in 2009.

2010 is not looking very good for the Royals rotation either, unless one of the following happens:

  • Hochevar and/or Davies improve significantly
  • They sign a legitimate free agent for the rotation before the start of the 2010 season
  • One of their young starters in the minors breaks through

The good news is that Hochevar or Davies will indeed step forward and lock down a rotation spot going forward.  I’d put my money on that pitcher being Davies this year, but as Royals fans we should not write Hochevar off.  He is only 25 and sinkerball pitchers historically take longer to figure it out than other pitchers do.  Davies pitched two shutout innings with two strikeouts this afternoon in his 1st spring training action, but he also gave up two hits and walked two batters.

No matter what happens with the rotation in the future, the bottom line is that the Royals cannot be successful with Horacio Ramirez taking the ball every fifth day.  The fact that he probably will be illustrates just how much work is yet to be done.

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  • scottw

    Makes me wonder why the Royals didn’t put more focus (free agency budget) on their starting rotation.  Everyone knows that’s a cornerstone of prolonged success in major league baseball.  The back end of their rotation looks like it might be the same old (unsuccessful) revolving door approach, unfortunately.