ROYALS HAVE FOUR DECENT STARTING PITCHERS
Ian Kennedy and Yourdano Ventura flesh out as solid #3 starters on a decent rotation. Kennedy has the ability to go deep into games at times and when he is on he can keep opponents off the board. However, Kennedy is prone to giving up the long ball a bit and so teams will generally need to score 3-4 runs per game during a Kennedy start if they expect to win.
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Ventura being younger than Kenndey means there is still some potential for improvement out of Ventura, and when Yourdano is on, he can miss a lot of bats. But he does sometimes have the bad inning, usually early in the game, where he gets touched up for several runs so like Kennedy, Ventura needs some run support. For those reasons, I would call Kennedy and Ventura solid #3’s.
Volquez falls into the same class as Kennedy and Ventura being a solid #3. Volquez’s start on Friday ballooned his ERA to over 5, but we all know that Volquez is capable of brilliance at times, and as long as he isn’t asked to throw more than 6 innings, he is more than competent.
Right now, the best starter on the staff is Danny Duffy with a solid 3.54 ERA and a new approach where he has limited the walks and started going after hitters. Duffy has the lowest BB/9 on the team at 2.43 and since being stretched out into the starting role, he has been the staff ace. I believe Duffy would be a solid #2 on a good staff. Duffy is stepping up when the Royals needed it the most.
That leaves the 5th rotation spot being filled by an awful Chris Young right now. Young has a 7.07 ERA, a HR/9 of 3.81 and a HR/FB rate of 25%. That means 1/4 of balls hit in the air off Young leave the ball park. That is as bad as it gets folks. Plus, since the Royals starting staff isn’t stacked with stars, the Royals cannot afford a guaranteed loss every 5th game.
Kris Medlen and Minor may be returning soon for some help, but I’m just not sure that the Royals are in a good enough place with respect to the rotation to “hope” for either of them to pan out. The Royals just can’t gamble right now on starting pitching.
It may cost a lot, but if the KC Royals want another shot at a championship, starting pitching is a necessity at the trade deadline.
Next: The Lineup