A Guthrie Examination


Baseball is just one of the many sports where people overreact at the drop of the hat. Today was going to result in overreactions. One way or the other.

If Guthrie came out and threw a no-no, or more realistically, if Guthrie came in and only gave up maybe 3 runs in around 6 innings, there was going to be an inevitable consensus that he was our new ace and Dayton Moore would’ve received kudos for trading in a junker for a prize.

On the other hand, If Guthrie came in and got shelled, Royals fans were going to cast him off as “Sanchez II” after one game. That’s why I honestly wasn’t sure what I wanted out of Guthrie today. Okay, I was. I wanted him to pitch well. I just knew the expectations would skyrocket or plummet based on one start and I’d have to listen to more quick-draw analyses of the Royals’ ability to evaluate value in players.

You guys know what happened. Guthrie gave up a run in the second and then got blown up for 4 runs in the third. All in all, he gave up 5 earned runs in five innings with 4 strikeouts and 3 walks. Not exactly a huge trade-up from Sanchez, especially when Guthrie has a reputation as an innings-eater. Three innings into the game and the general theme I was getting on Twitter and Facebook was that Jeremy Guthrie was “Sanchezing” us.

Look, in my mind, the fact that we were able to get SOMETHING for Jonathan Sanchez is astouding. When we designated him for assignment, I thought there was no way someone would be willing to take him and his hefty E.R.A. off of our hands. Somehow, The Rockies were willing to give us a guy that I’m halfway intrigued with. You’ve already heard these arguments at this point but I’m throwing them out there anyways, because they seemed interesting to me. Guthrie had an E.R.A. over 9 at Coors Field this season and an E.R.A. under 4 everywhere else.

There’s also the fact that Kauffman Stadium isn’t known as a hitter’s park.* There’s the fact that Guthrie isn’t tied to us for the long term. All of these factors to me say that we have nothing to lose with Guthrie. Don’t throw him under the bus for a rough first start, but even if the thin air in Colorado wasn’t his issue and if he’s not that good, I don’t think it’ll take much to be better than Sanchez and I think Guthrie will eat up more innings.

*Though Guthrie didn’t exactly enforce this point today.

So I guess this is a “bold” prediction that you shouldn’t be complaining about Guthrie this soon. He’s a freebie and I honestly think he’ll be better than Sanchez. Of course, now that I’ve said this, he’ll probably get destroyed for the rest of the year.

Social media and small sample sizes make for interesting things to talk about.