Pitching Perspectives (6/22-6/28)

The Royals finished the week with a 3-3 record, and are now 32-42 on the season.  They remain in 4th place but lost a game in the standings to the 1st place Detroit Tigers and are now 9.5 games back.  The offense has again disappeared as the Royals were outscored 18-22 in the 6 games.  They should have taken advantage of their NL competition but instead finished interleague play with an 8-10 record.

The Rotation:

 

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

PC

ERA

WHIP

Zack Greinke

8.0

8

1

1

0

5

0

107

 

 

 

6.1

7

2

2

0

3

0

80

1.88

1.05

Luke Hochevar

7.0

3

2

2

1

4

1

93

2.57

0.57

Brian Bannister

6.0

6

5

5

2

3

2

93

7.50

1.33

Gil Meche

5.0

5

4

4

3

3

2

84

7.20

1.60

Bruce Chen

6.1

7

4

4

0

2

1

76

5.69

1.11

Totals:

38.2

36

18

18

6

20

6

 

4.19

1.09

Week 1: 3.62 ERA and 1.21 WHIP
Week 2: 1.91 ERA and 1.27 WHIP
Week 3: 4.38 ERA and 1.10 WHIP
Week 4: 6.46 ERA and 1.67 WHIP
Week 5: 2.54 ERA and 1.15 WHIP
Week 6: 6.44 ERA and 1.53 WHIP
Week 7: 4.21 ERA and 1.38 WHIP
Week 8: 4.75 ERA and 1.44 WHIP
Week 9: 6.17 ERA and 1.71 WHIP
Week 10: 1.74 ERA and 0.94 WHIP
Week 11: 7.48 ERA and 1.60 WHIP

The rotation bounced back to have a decent week.  Only Greinke was allowed to top 100 pitches in a start, but only Hochevar’s start merited consideration to throw more pitches.  More time needs to pass to see if Hillman has scaled back his reliance on the starters.  If he has and is doing so due to pressure from outside sources, then he should be fired tonight.  If Dayton Moore or either Glass had a talk with him to that effect, it was a discussion that shouldn’t have been necessary and he therefore still needs to be fired.  Now if this week’s usage pattern was just coincidental, future weeks will bear that out.

The star of the week goes to Zack Greinke hands down.  The Royals won both of his starts, and were it not for inclement weather and a rain delay in Pittsburgh he probably would have gone 8.0 innings again.  His strike out numbers were down in both starts, but he didn’t walk a batter in 14.1 innings and it seemed he was pitching to contact more by design.  He is having the best season by a starting pitcher in all of baseball right now and should start the All-Star game.  Sorry Roy Halladay, but Greinke has pitched better on an inferior team.

Luke Hochevar pitched extremely well again, turning in his 3rd QS in his last four.  On the season he has a 5.87 ERA but a much better looking 3.71 ERA since returning from Triple-A Omaha.  Gil Meche has a sore shoulder or “dead arm” and his velocity was down in his last start. Nevertheless the news came out today that Meche will make his next start on Wednesday.  Brian Bannister had an off start, but he kept his walks down and didn’t get completely blown out of the game. Bruce Chen pitched fairly well and deserved a better outcome that what he got. Neither BB nor Chen should factor into the Royals plans beyond this year.

The Bullpen:

 

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

WHIP

John Bale (L)

2.1

3

2

2

1

1

0

7.73

1.72

Season:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.10

1.45

Roman Colon (R)

2.1

1

0

0

1

2

0

0.00

0.86

Season:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.55

1.03

Juan Cruz (R)

3.0

1

1

1

1

3

1

3.00

0.67

Season:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.23

1.39

Kyle Farnsworth (R)

0.0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

INF

Season:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.24

1.29

Ron Mahay (L)

0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

0.00

Season:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.56

1.77

Joakim Soria (R)

3.0

4

1

1

1

4

0

3.00

1.67

Season:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.04

1.19

Jamey Wright (R)

3.1

0

0

0

1

3

0

0.00

0.33

Season:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.11

1.40

Totals:

14.0

10

4

4

5

13

1

2.57

1.07

Week 1: 2.30 ERA and 0.83 WHIP
Week 2: 5.87 ERA and 1.70 WHIP
Week 3: 3.75 ERA and 1.25 WHIP
Week 4: 2.52 ERA and 1.36 WHIP
Week 5: 1.69 ERA and 1.50 WHIP
Week 6: 2.38 ERA and 1.50 WHIP
Week 7: 8.04 ERA and 2.04 WHIP
Week 8: 9.50 ERA and 2.22 WHIP
Week 9: 4.50 ERA and 1.07 WHIP
Week 10: 4.62 ERA and 1.20 WHIP
Week 11: 7.97 ERA and 1.72 WHIP

Farnsworth is now on the DL, but I’m not sure if that is a bad thing.  Mahay didn’t make an appearance the entire week and John Bale was again pretty bad.  Soria’s last appearance of the week went smoothly but he was a mess in Houston.  Colon, Cruz, and Wright all pitched fairly well.  Cruz finally got some strikeouts recording 3 in 3.0 innings, but it was against NL competition that he was more familiar with.  This week will tell us a lot about whether the 2008 Juan Cruz is finally starting to emerge.

As a whole the rotation was solid, the bullpen was good, and they were playing bad teams from an inferior league.  The fact that they went 3-3 and their 3 wins were all one-run victories is a sign that Kansas City will most likely be picking a player in the top 10 in the 2010 draft.  The Royals win percentage is better than only 4 teams in all of baseball.  Currently only the Nationals (.301), Diamondbacks (.395), Indians (.397), and Athletics (.419) would pick before them if next year’s draft were held tonight.  Injuries have definitely played a factor in the fortunes of the Royals, but this team is not any better at the ML level than it was last season.  The good news is that the organization as a whole is in better shape and continues to move in the right direction.

Tags: AL Central Baseball Brian Bannister Bruce Chen Gil Meche Jamey Wright Joakim Soria John Bale Juan Cruz Kansas City Royals KC Kyle Farnsworth Luke Hochevar MLB Roman Colon Ron Mahay Zack Greinke

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