Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
3. Joe Blanton
For a pitcher who was thrust into the Kansas City Royals starting rotation as an emergency, Joe Blanton has far exceeded expectations thus far. In fact, with the way he has performed since being recalled, Blanton may well be staking a claim on a spot int he rotation, even when Yordano Ventura and Jason Vargas return.
Last week, Blanton put together a stellar performance against the Mariners, allowing only one run on two hits, striking out seven in his six innings of work. The Royals have, at least thus far, received a much different pitcher than Blanton had been over the past few years.
Is this run of success sustainable? While Blanton is not likely to continue to put together these stellar outings on a continual basis, several tweaks to his repertoire have certainly helped him thus far. It is truly amazing how much of a difference focusing on different pitches can make.
Joe Blanton has been another yet another positive story on the list of reclamation projects that the Kansas City Royals brought in at the start of the year. Should the Royals make the postseason this year, getting these performances from pitchers like Blanton will be a major part of why they are playing in October.
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