While Yost sited an emotional investment to getting Guthrie the ball later today, such a decision may actually be able to be justified with his performance at Kuaffman Stadium. Throughout Guthrie’s career, he has posted a 15-8 record with a 3.89 ERA over 182.2 innings at Kauffman, with a 1.215 WHiP. Of any ballpark that Guthrie has pitched 40 or more innings in, he has only been more successful at U.S. Cellular, home of the Chicago White Sox, and the Rogers Center, home of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Jeremy Guthrie is certainly well suited to his home ballpark. With the expansive outfield, Guthrie’s extreme fly ball tendencies play much better at Kauffman Stadium than they would at a more neutral ballpark. With the Royals coming off two tough losses to the Detroit Tigers, it is Guthrie that will be tasked to get the Royals first victory of the season against Erik Johnson and the White Sox.
As frustrating as it may be not to see Yordano Ventura starting today, Guthrie’s success in Kansas City could be a main reason why Ventura’s 2014 debut is being delayed. It could be a major reason why Yost is seemingly adamant about Guthrie getting the home opener, since he may feel that Guthrie gives the Royals the best chance to start the series off on the right foot.
For whatever reason, be it statistical or emotional, Ned Yost and the Kansas City Royals believe in Jeremy Guthrie to perform well today. Hopefully, he rewards that trust.