Edinson Volquez is off to one of the hotter starts by a Royals starting pitcher in recent memory. The whole rotation is gelling at the moment, but Volquez has turned a rebound 2014 season in Pittsburg, into a skeptic-laden successful first season in Kansas City, into finally, a mesh of stuff and control in the playoffs that lead us to believe his best work may be in front of him.
That is usually an outlandish thing to say about 32, going on 33, year old who had never had a walk rate lower than four going into 2014. However, against all normal logic, Edinson seems to be entering his prime.
His velocity has surprised everybody, by increasing into the 95-97 range in the playoff last October.
That velocity was accompanied by some ridiculous movement, that led Brooks Baseball to classify it as a sinker.
He came into 2016 with some big expectations, accompanied by a corporate memory of what he had done the previous October, and wondering if that would continue.
Thus far, it has.
However, he will be facing a team that knocked in 16 runs in 22 innings last season off of Volquez.
He will be opposed by Mike Pelfrey, who is one of the rare bad pitchers that the Royals have hit.
In six starts against the Royals, Pelfrey has pitched in 28.2 innings and given up 17 runs on a whopping 40 hits.
This is really a series that favors the Royals, with two pretty mediocre pitchers going against the Royals top two guys, while the Zimmermann faces Kennedy, who is as hot as any pitcher in baseball.
Must-See Matchup – Mike Pelfrey v. Omar Infante
Infante has the largest sample size for any Royal against Pelfrey, and it’s not all that close.
In 41 at-bats, Omar has logged 17 hits. However, he has only logged one extra-base hit.
The Royals are really banking on Infante having a resurgence, as they are currently staring into a four-year, $30 million black hole.
He is off to a good start, already being worth a 0.5 fWAR, which is nearly a full win better than his career value in Kansas City (-0.4).