I’ve been listening to podcasts at work recently. It’s a nice way for me to keep up with Royals news on different radio shows like “The Program” and “The Border Patrol.”
The guys on “The Border Patrol” had Dayton Moore on their show a few weeks ago and naturally they asked him the question that currently plagues the minds of most Kansas City Royals fans:
What does Dayton Moore see in Kyle Davies that convinces him to keep sending him to the mound as a starter?
Here are some direct quotes from our GM himself. Let me know if you can decipher what he’s really thinking.
"“…and at 27 years old, you stay with him as long as you can. And there’s a good chance that Kyle Davies is gonna still be pitching in the major leagues …5..6 years from now. Is it frustrating? Absolutely. It’s frustrating for Kyle Davies. Why has he not been able to put it together on a consistent basis? And you know, we’ve seen over the last few years where Kyle will have, you know, 5 or 6 pretty good starts in a row and you think he’s ready to turn, you know, turn the corner. And in this day and age…starting pitching…you go with it as long as you can until you have an absolutely clear alternative going forward.”"
“Consistency” is certainly not a word that has been synonymous with Davies over the past three seasons. Of course, neither is “good,” or really even “decent.”
He went on to capitulate one of my more favorite quotes I’ve heard regarding Kyle:
"“…just talking to Jim Leyland over the weekend, and, uh, talking about Kyle Davies and, you know, his comments to me where there’s no way this guy shouldn’t win, you know, 15 games every year in the major leagues. So, it’s uh, as you know, it’s commonplace to speak with other evaluators in the industry, it’s a very close-knit fraternity and everybody recognizes, uh, you know, the stuff that comes out of Kyle Davies’ arm and, uh, like i said, you stay with it as long as you can.”"
I laughed out loud when I heard this. When I mentioned it to my brother he returned fire with a sage observation that I’ll paraphrase here.
“Of coure Jim Leyland’s going to say that. He’ll say whatever he can to have us keep throwing Kyle out there against the Tigers.”
He’s probably right.
Now, I have nothing against Kyle Davies personally, but when I occasionally get to watch a game and I see that he’s slated to take the mound, I can’t help the queasy feeling of distaste that starts to build in my stomach.
Look, I understand why they’ve kept him out there (sort of). The six man rotation is supposed to keep down Duffy’s workload so that he doesn’t get loaded up with innings. I don’t want Duffy to be taxed…but I also don’t think that there’s a future for Kyle Davies as a starter for the Royals. He definitely hasn’t shown me any visible sign that he will be a 15 game winner in the years to come.
Dayton Moore speaks about “staying as long as you can” before moving on with starting pitching, but it seems to me that it’s more about being unwilling to give up on “your guy” that you plucked off of your former team. It may be harder to give up on guys that you think you pillaged from earlier employers. You want to create that success story and you may be more willing to let something go on longer than it should.
I don’t know. I’m not an MLB general manager and I’m certainly not part of the close-knit fraternity that consists of the evaluators in Moore’s industry. What I do know is that Kyle Davies has struggled and something needs to be changed. Maybe give him a different look and throw him in the bullpen. Give him a chance to do something positive for the team. In the long run though, I just don’t think that Davies will become a solid starter.
Hopefully I’ll be wrong a la “The 2011 Alex Gordon.” This situation seems a little different though.
You never want to be the last one to realize that you made a mistake and held on to a guy for so long that you ended up hurting your team. Unfortunately, that may be the case for Dayton Moore in regards to Kyle Davies.