Strong Royals Bullpen is Still Just a Bullpen


Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Wade Davis had a real rough day.  After an excellent performance Friday, he hatched a royal egg Saturday

Wade came into a clean eighth inning with a 3-1 lead.  In one inning, he gave up the lead by surrendering two hits and a walk.  His fastball was 3-5 miles per hour lighter.  It wasn’t his day.  One could argue Ned Yost should have had Kelvin Herrera and Tim Collins throwing earlier, but let’s not do that.

Let’s take a deep breath, and realize that every guy in every bullpen is in that bullpen for a reason.  He is not good enough to start or close games.  Expecting a lights out, automatic set up man and closer is expecting quite a bit.  Managers look smarter than they are, and dimmer than they are, depending on the results coming from the roster’s most questionable collection of cats.

About one year ago, many people were ready to push Greg Holland out of the closer’s role, including the Royals.  Yes, there was a very brief time last season when we had Kelvin as the closer.  Many are wringing their hands because Davis does not look as good as Luke Hochevar did last year.  Hochevar was not even used in high pressure, high leverage situations until the second half of last season.  That “lights out” set up guy we remember?  He did that for about 6 weeks.

Many still have a Davis hang over from his awful performance as a starter last season.  It’s not Wade’s fault the Wil Myers trade happened, nor is it his fault they kept him in the rotation after it was clear he was not suited for that role.

If you are a Royals fan, try to rinse away those old stains and give him a chance.  Davis has great stuff, and performed very well as a reliever for Tampa two seasons ago.  He pitched for a great team, with very high stakes.  That resume is the one that relates to his current role with the team.  Right now, Wade Davis is the smartest and safest bet the team has as their set up man, and don’t be shocked when he’s closing games in 2015.  Holland’s trade value and salary will be huge after this season.

As for 2014, expect him to be a successful, yet terrifying set up guy.  Why?  He’s a set up guy.  A great set up guy is still just a set up guy.  Just like a bullpen is always just a bullpen.