Kansas City Royals Options to Fix the Rotation

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Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

One of the hallmarks for the Kansas City Royals over the past few seasons has been the strength of their pitching staff. When James Shields came aboard prior to the 2013 season, the starting rotation was finally in a position to match the excellent bullpen that Dayton Moore had put together. When Shields departed as a free agent, and Edinson Volquez was signed as a replacement, most pundits wondered if that would be enough.

While Volquez has been solid this season, the Royals rotation has struggled. After Duffy, the second lowest ERA of any of the Royals starters belongs to Danny Duffy, who has a 4.55 ERA in his six starts. The Royals rotation, as a whole, has posted a 4.41 ERA, which is 21st in baseball. That is certainly a long way from what we have all come to expect from this team.

Likewise, the Kansas City Royals had been a solid collection of pitchers that could amass innings. Shields, Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie were all capable of pitching 200 or more innings per season, helping to limit the usage of the Royals excellent bullpen. This season, the Royals are only 25th in innings pitched by their rotation. This was certainly not the plan.

With that being the case, there is talk about the Royals already being a team that could look to land a starting pitcher prior to the trade deadline. If the Royals were to dabble in such a market, they certainly have the prospects to land one of the bigger names available. In fact, Buster Olney has even speculated that the Royals could target Scott Kazmir or Mike Leake.

So, what can the Kansas City Royals do about their rotation? Let us look at a couple of players that could be available for trade, and some other options that the Royals may look to pursue.

*stats as of 5-7*

Next: The patient approach