Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Starting Pitcher – Larry Gura
Larry Gura was the type of pitcher that likely would not get much of a chance in the current era of baseball. A fly ball pitcher who used the spacious confines of Kauffman Stadium to his advantage, Gura struck out 3.5 batters per nine innings in his major league career. Despite those limitations, whether he was in the rotation or serving as a long reliever, Gura was truly a valuable asset for the Kansas City Royals.
During his time with the Royals, Gura was able to get enough batters to hit weak fly balls to be one of the top starters in team history. He produced a 111-78 record with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.253 WHiP. Despite his fly ball tendencies, Gura only allowed 166 home runs in his 1701.1 innings of work. His strikeout rate, never a strong suit, was even more pedestrian during his tenure in Kansas City, as he struck out only 633 batters, yet that did not damage his effectiveness.
Using the Royals defense and spacious outfield, Gura managed to put himself into the Royals record books. He is in the top five in wins (111), innings (1701.1), complete games (61) and shutouts (14). For a pitcher who personified the ideal of a crafty lefty, Gura performed far better than one may have expected.
Larry Gura may not have had overwhelming stuff or have been a truly dominant pitcher. He was, however, a key part of the Kansas City Royals, and would fit perfectly at the back of the rotation.
And now, on to the strength of the Royals, the bullpen.
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