Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
4. Mark Gubicza
Mark Gubicza was expected to be a part of the next run of dominance for the Kansas City Royals. Paired with Bret Saberhagen, he was expected to give Kansas City a duo atop the rotation that would lead them back to the postseason. While that return to the playoffs did not happen, for a time, Gubicza was exactly the pitcher that the Royals hoped for.
Unfortunately, after his 1989 season that saw Gubicza make his second All-Star Game, injuries took their toll. Shoulder and arm injuries robbed him of his fastball, and he was unable to stay healthy afterwards. In fact, Gubicza only had two seasons after 1989 where he was able to make at least 25 starts.
Overall during his time in Kansas City, Gubicza produced a 132-135 record with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.356 WHiP, striking out 1366 batters in 2218.2 innings of work. Prior to those injuries that sapped his arm strength, Gubicza appeared to be an emerging star, posting a 84-67 record with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.306 WHiP, striking out 850 batters in 1313.1 innings.
One has to wonder what would have been if Mark Gubicza had remained healthy. With Ewing Kauffman chasing one last title before his passing, a healthy Gubicza could have been the difference.
Next: Another tale of two careers