Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
2. Joe Blanton
Back in 2013, Joe Blanton was in the midst of a truly horrific season, as he posted a 2-14 record with a 6.04 ERA and a 1.613 WHiP. Somehow, he appeared in 28 games, including twenty starts. Blanton appeared to have nothing left, and after struggling in two minor league starts for the Sacramento River Cats, that suspicion seemed to be confirmed.
However, with the Kansas City Royals, Blanton has been a different pitcher. Originally brought back as a reliever, Blanton was forced back into the starting rotation due to the myriad of injuries that the Royals have suffered. He responded by picking up his first victory since June 29, 2013, allowing one run in five hits over five innings, striking out four.
This continues what has been a stellar return to the majors for Blanton. On the year, he has posted a 1.80 ERA and a 1.100 WHiP, striking out 17 against one walk in twenty innings. If the Royals can get anything close to this production while sorting out the health of the rotation, those injuries will not be nearly as devastating as they were thought to be.
Joe Blanton’s run of success with the Kansas City Royals has been truly remarkable. If this continues, he may be able to take over from Chris Young as the American League Comeback Player of the Year.
Next: An All-Star performance