Aug 12, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Wade Davis (22) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Wade Davis is Mercifully Sent to the Bullpen


Jun 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; (Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Wade Davis (22) reacts after giving up a home run in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

At least one positive has come from Luke Hochevar’s injury – Wade Davis has been sent back to the bullpen.

Davis, who was part of the competition for the Royals fifth starter spot, has been sent back to the bullpen by Ned Yost to make up for the loss to Hochevar. Despite having Davis as part of the competition, the decision to send Davis back to the bullpen was an easy one for Yost.

“He’s a dominant factor down there for us,” Yost said. “Once we lost Hoch, it became apparent to me that his presence was sorely needed down there.”

While Wade Davis may not actually be a ‘dominant factor,’ he is certainly much better as a reliever than as a starter. Over his career, Davis has a 4.57 ERA and a 1.452 WHiP as a starter, compared to a 2.24 ERA and a 1.046 WHiP as a reliever. Last year, the splits were more dramatic, as Davis was a disaster as a starter, posting a 5.67 ERA and a 1.755 WHiP. Somehow, despite all evidence that Davis just is not a good starter, he pitched 125.1 innings in that role in 2013. Meanwhile, in his 10 innings in relief, Davis posted a 0.90 ERA and a 0.700 WHiP.

Yes, that is a small sample size. And that argument would certainly be viable if Davis had not proved throughout his career that he simply just should not be anywhere near the starting rotation. Yet, despite the obvious nature of that statement, Davis kept getting chances to to be an instant rally starter for the opposition. Fortunately, it seems that Ned Yost and the Royals have come to their senses, for 2014 at least.

The injury for Luke Hochevar was unfortunate, and robbed the Royals of a pitcher who performed quite well in the bullpen last year. However, that same injury will, if nothing else, keep Wade Davis out of the starting rotation.

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  • moretrouble

    I read where Davis isn’t happy about being in the bullpen. Has he lost his mind? He’s making fabulous money; he’s living a life most people only dream about — geez, what happens to some of these guys when they arrive in the MLB?

    • Dave Hill

      He may not be happy, but that is what his role should be. Davis has had plenty of opportunities to prove that he can be a starter, but he simply is not good enough to be in the rotation. If another team wants to let him start, then I hope the Royals can get something worthwhile for him.

      • Matthew.Martin

        And thank God for this. Why does it take so long for Ned and Dayton to see, what every single fan in Kansas City sees. Davis ain’t no starter, never should have been, and never will be, and it’s been painfully obvious to all but two men in the Kansas City area. Unfortunately we know who the two men are. Thank god they’re finally waking up and putting players in a position where they can be successful. Same goes for Hochevar.

        • Matthew.Martin

          Reminds me of the times when Marty Schottenheimer was playing Elvis Grbac over Rich Gannon. Every single sports fan in KC and across the country except for one, knew that the best quarterback was sitting on the bench, and that person was Marty himself. It became such a joke that Mike Shanahan told his Bronco’s before we played them, “whatever you do don’t injure Grbac, or we could lose”. I often wonder why Managers and HC’s in pro sports become so blind too the obvious at certain points in their careers. Running Hochevar out there as a starter for all those years, along with Kyle Davies, ranks up there with the most aggravating Royals decisions of all time.