Kansas City Royals Postseason Fourth Starter Candidates

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Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Medlen

The fact that Kris Medlen is even in the conversation for the fourth spot in the Kansas City Royals playoff rotation is somewhat remarkable. After all, exactly one pitcher, Chris Capuano, made ten or more starts after his second Tommy John surgery. The odds seemed stacked against Medlen being more than a bullpen arm going forward.

Instead, Medlen has been much better than the Royals could have realistically imagined. While he had his struggles getting back into a starting role, Medlen’s 4.60 ERA is a bit deceiving. Even with the seven runs on twelve baserunners in 5.2 innings that he allowed on September 4th, Medlen still has a 1.159 WHiP since entering the rotation.

Indeed, the biggest concern with putting Medlen in the rotation may be the wear on his surgically repaired elbow. While the Royals are focused on a playoff run this season, they do have Medlen under control through 2017. Would that concern about his long term health keep the Royals from making him their fourth starter, putting a few extra innings on that elbow?

Kris Medlen may be the best option in terms of results this season, but this is a case where the Kansas City Royals would need to balance the short term against the long term. Which side will win out?

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