What If the Kansas City Royals Had Not Traded Wade Davis?

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 16: Wade Davis /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Closer Greg Holland
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Closer Greg Holland /

A Strength Turned Weakness

The Kansas City Royals have had their fair share of issues this season.

The offense struggled mightily through long stretches, and even challenged the record for longest scoreless run in MLB history. The starting rotation also suffered extreme lapses with Ian Kennedy out of sorts much of the season, Jason Vargas falling off a cliff after the All-Star Game and several pitchers sustaining injuries.

Even still, the bullpen proved just as inconsistent. What was once the strength of the team—particularly during the 2014-15 run—had suddenly become arguably its weakest spot. It didn’t help the perception as two-thirds of the vaunted 2014 backend of the bullpen put up save after save for a pair of the National League’s best teams.

While Greg Holland leads the NL in saves with 40 for Colorado, Davis has been even more consistent. Holland has been stellar much of the year, but he faltered in August, including allowing a walk-off homer to his old teammate Eric Hosmer.

Davis, meanwhile, has zero blown saves. None.

When he closed out the Cardinals on Sunday, Davis secured his 31st save of the season. He has a 2.05 ERA in 54 appearances spanning 52 2/3 innings. Those numbers could bring tears to the eyes of even the most stoic Kansas City Royals fan.