Year Six Series: The Rotation


If you are part of the #Royals family on twitter you no doubt tweeted, in a fit of frustration, #YearSix at one time or another this past season. This was the hashtag used to commemorate Dayton Moore’s accomplishments six years into his regime. The tweets were 100% snark and they were glorious.

August 05, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals manager

Ned Yost

(left) with general manager Dayton Moore (right) before a game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Before we get swallowed by #YearSeven I thought I’d start a series comparing player performances under Moore against the thirty-three other six year intervals in team history. Today we’ll start with everybody’s favorite topic, the rotation. I was looking for seasons where a pitcher tossed 162+ innings with an ERA+ of 110 or higher, once a common thing in KC, but now as rare as a Chiefs lead. Since 2007 there have been only four such seasons, and none since Zack Greinke’s Cy Young season in 2009.

Development issues and an improper evaluation of major league talent have left the Royals starved for even league average starting pitching. Place the blame where you like, but facts are facts, Moore’s rotations have been nothing short of disastrous.

Here’s the short rundown of the Moore era:

2009 – Greinke 205 ERA+, 229.1 IP

2008 – Greinke 125 ERA+, 202.1 IP

2007 – Gil Meche 125 ERA+, 216 IP

2007 – Brian Bannister 118 ERA+, 165 IP

The only time period with fewer was 2001-2006 with three. Shocking, I know. The mid to late 1970’s and mid to late 1980’s were the starting pitching golden eras, which I imagine surprises no one. Anyway, I made this nifty little chart which has all the results. Nothing shocking here, if you know your Royals history. The mid 1980’s to the early 1990’s looks to be the golden era while things started turning for the worse in the late 1990’s. The 2000’s have, of course, been a massive disappointment  The only surprise, for me at least, was 1979-1984. Those six years saw two division titles and three second place finishes. I guess you could describe it as a changing of the guard, from one crop of Royals Hall of Famers to another.