Saturday: RHP Kris Medlen (1-0, 2.38 ERA) v. TBD
Kris Medlen thus far has been everything the Royals expected him to be when Dayton Moore signed him last year.
The hope was that, after he recovered from his injury, that he would become a similar starting pitcher to the guy he was in 2013. So far, Medlen has been better, giving up just three earned runs over his 11.1 innings and, even more encouragingly, striking out 11 batters during that span.
The eight walks aren’t encouraging, but given his sporadic work schedule so far this season, inconsistent command is understandable. Since giving up two runs in the first inning of his first start on April 12, Medlen has given up just one earned run over 10.1 innings.
With Chris Young’s struggles and some very iffy rotational depth (albeit a lot of rotational depth), Medlen’s success will be absolutely huge. Specifically, in the innings column.
Kansas City will remember Jeremy Guthrie fondly, not just for his lovable antics and productive first two seasons in Kansas City, but also for his notorious inning eating abilities.
The Royals rotation has dominated so far, but are in the bottom half of the league in innings. Medlen’s production is fantastic, but it is just icing on the cake, as long as Medlen is eating innings and protecting a bullpen that will surely be used liberally as games get more and more high leverage.
The Orioles enter the series well rested, with a postponement on Sunday and an off day on Monday. However, the rotation was also mixed up, so there is no set starter for Saturday. The Royals will likely see either Vance Worley or Chris Tilllman.
Worley could be the likely culprit, with him never facing the Royals and Tillman giving up eight runs in 11.1 innings of work against the Royals last year in his two starts against Kansas City.
Can anybody guess why? Yes, you are correct, Kings of Kauffman reader:
Vance Worley throws a sinker!
In fact, he’s thrown it about 35% of the time this season and threw it a whopping 51% of the time last September.
I’m kind of stretching here because we don’t have a definite starter for Baltimore and hardly any Oriole hitters have experience against Medlen.
But, it is another possible right-handed starter with a sinker against Moustakas, who is smashing everything right now.
If it is Tillman, the whole lineup will smash.
Next: Game Three - Yordano Ventura seeks rhythm