The top of the rotation has been decent. Danny Duffy has emerged as the squad leader with a 3.27 ERA in 88 innings of work. More importantly, at 5-1, Duffy’s winning percentage is easily the best on the staff.
Ian Kennedy has been surprisingly good minus his home run troubles. Young has allowed 26 home runs in just 61.2 innings of work this season, resulting in a 6.86 ERA. With his 24 home runs allowed in 109 innings, Kennedy has managed to keep his ERA under four and still ranks second among his starting teammates. [Note: Kennedy gave up two more home runs in Wednesday’s 11-4 debacle against Cleveland and his ERA is now 4.28 after giving up seven runs in 4.1 innings].
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Edinson Volquez has been respectable since the second-worst outing in MLB history on June 24, in which he allowed 11 earned runs while recording just three outs. Without that start, his season ERA falls to 3.92 on the season. Steady Eddie has allowed nine earned runs in 19 innings this month for a 4.26 ERA.
Yordano Ventura has been, perhaps, the biggest disappointment on this year’s staff. Coming in as one of the aces, he snuck through April with a 3.67 ERA. After a 6.59 ERA in the month of May, he’s slowed back down to a 4.66 in June, and a 4.86 so far in July. It’s still a far cry from what everyone expected.
The problem with Ventura is he’s a headcase. He has the stuff, but not the maturity, to dominate at the major league level. The KC Royals front office keeps hoping he will find himself like reliever turned starter Danny Duffy has in his age 27 season, but fans are losing patience. How long will the front office continue to believe in him?
Young and Chris Medlen have combined for a 3-11 record in 19 starts this season. Despite all of those home runs allowed, Young’s ERA of 6.86 is nearly a full point better than Medlen’s (7.77).
The Kansas City Royals rotation would be in a world of hurt without Danny Duffy. Slated to pitch out of the bullpen before the season began, Duffy joined the rotation in May when Kris Medlen and Chris Young went to the disabled list. Duffy suddenly discovered that he no longer needed to nibble if he ramped up his fastball to 97 mph, and now is attacking hitters. As a result, he’s going deep into games and has emerged as the staff ace.
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