What If the Kansas City Royals Had Not Traded Wade Davis?
Royals Bullpen Struggles
If Davis had remained in Kansas City, he would clearly have been the closer. There is no debating that. Him staying with the Royals, in turn, would have allowed Kelvin Herrera to remain in the eighth inning, a spot—in hindsight—for which he is clearly better suited.
As mentioned before, we are not able to make assumptions about other moves that might have happened if Davis stayed. However, it can reasonably be assumed that Joakim Soria would have been the seventh-inning guy—or maybe not on the team at all—if Davis isn’t traded.
In an effort to create more waterworks, here are the 2017 stats for Herrera and Soria. Herrera, the Kansas City Royals closer for much of the year, is 3-3 with a shocking 4.56 ERA in 58 appearances. Soria, the standard set-up man, has a 4-3 record and a 3.88 ERA in 54 appearances.
Remember when I said Davis had yet to blow a save? Herrera has blown four saves; Soria has blown seven. The Kansas City Royals have 21 blown saves as a team.
Soria’s injury and Herrera’s struggles in recent weeks have thrown the already chaotic backend of the bullpen into further disarray. During that time, Scott Alexander had to pull four saves out his … hat. Brandon Maurer has shown to be almost completely unpredictable—solid at times but awful at others. Mike Minor has even struggled late in a handful of games.
All of this could have been avoided if Davis was still with the Kansas City Royals.