Kansas City Royals All Time Starting Rotation

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4. Mark Gubicza (1988)

When he first came to the majors, Mark Gubicza was a talented pitcher with an excellent fastball and slider, but poor control. His first four seasons were quite inconstant, as he produced a 49-48 record with a 3.94 ERA and a 1.362 WHiP, walking over four batters per nine innings. He certainly had the talent, but it did not translate to the expected results.

Everything came together for Gubicza for the 1988 season. Instead of throwing as hard as he did in the past, Gubicza took a bit off his fastball and slider to improve control. Coupled with an improved change, he posted a career best 20-8 record with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.187 WHiP, walking only 83 batters in 269.2 innings. He made his first All-Star game, and finished third in the Cy Young vote that season. At age 25, Gubicza appeared destined to take that leap to stardom.

Unfortunately, that never happened. Gubicza followed up his breakout 1988 campaign with another All-Star season, but shoulder and arm injuries derailed his career after the 1989 season. Gubicza would only have one more season where he pitched over 200 innings, and while he retained his new found control, just was not able to be that same effective pitcher again.

For one amazing season, Mark Gubicza appeared set to be another ace for the Kansas City Royals. As it turned out, that just did not happen to be the case.

Next: He had the best career of any Royals starter