KC Royals closer Wade Davis could be pitching while injured, according to CBSSports.com writer Mike Axsia. Such rumors could harm Davis’ trade value at the deadline.
Axsia’s argument consists of four main points:
- Davis’ strikeout rate has dropped from 31.1% in 2015 to 23.7% in 2016 and his walk rate has jumped from 8.0% in 2015 to 11.1% in 2016.
- Wade Davis has junked his cutter in July
- Davis’ command is down according to data from Baseball Info Solutions
- Davis missed time with a forearm strain the first two weeks of July
Axsia points out that a forearm strain is often a precursor to a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Often, players can pitch with an “elbow sprain” or “forearm strain” that really is a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament.
Eventually, that ligament will give and the player will require Tommy John surgery. The above is a pretty good description of Greg Holland‘s season in 2015 for the Kansas City Royals, when he pitched most of the year with an elbow injury that he refused to have diagnosed until mid-September.
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To be honest, it could certainly be possible. And, if true, could kill the idea of dealing Wade Davis at the trade deadline. The thing is that Davis would not be able to stave off an treatment if dealt, because trades are routinely made conditional about passing a medical exam.
Whatever the truth might be, teams interested in Wade Davis are going to use Axsia’s reasoning to try to knock down his value when negotiating with the KC Royals. Davis is not the only elite reliever available on the market. Teams could turn to New York Yankees reliever Andrew Miller, Milwaukee Brewers closer Will Smith, Pittsburgh Pirates closer Mark Melancon,or Tampa Bay’s Alex Colome,
The end result could be that KC Royals general manager Dayton Moore simply refuses to deal Wade Davis, and keeps him for a 2017 run. At this point, I’m not so sure that’s a good result.
With the Kansas City Royals dropping yet another game on Friday losing 8-3 to the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Kansas City is now 7-17 in the month of July and trail the Cleveland Indians by 10 games in the AL Central.
At this point, the KC Royals front office looks like it’s waiting for a miracle run that is never going to come.