Kansas City Royals Top Ten Pitchers in Franchise History

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Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

3. Dennis Leonard

If the story of Mark Gubicza seemed familiar to Kansas City Royals fans, that would be due to a similar situation a decade prior. Before Gubicza lost his effectiveness due to injury, the same problems happened with workhorse Dennis Leonard.

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That sudden ineffectiveness was likely a result of being overworked. In the four year span from 1978 through 1981, Leonard led the American League in games started three times. From 1977 through 1980, Leonard averaged an amazing 276 innings per season, not including the postseason. All of those innings caught up to Leonard in 1982, as he was never the same after the strike and due to injury woes.

Overall, Leonard had a solid career with the Royals, posting a 144-106 record with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.262 WHiP. He struck out 1323 batters while walking only 622 in his 2187 innings of work. Leonard was also masterful at keeping the ball in the yard, allowing fewer than one home run per nine innings.

Much like Gubicza, one has to wonder what would have been if Leonard had stayed healthy. A true workhorse and a dominant starter for the Royals, Leonard could have truly been one of the best of his time.

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