The Kansas City Royals came up just short in the series finale against the Athletics. Glenn Sparkman has really struggled all year long.
Glenn Sparkman has generally not been good for the Kansas City Royals this season and that trend continued in the series finale loss against the Oakland Athletics. The former reliever has seen more starts this season and it might be time for him to go back to the bullpen (or non-tendered in the offseason).
With the bases loaded in the top half of the first inning, Sparkman hit Jurickson Profar to walk in the game’s first run. Luckily, Jorge Soler has been really good for the Royals this season and launched a two-run shot in the bottom half of the inning. The homer was Soler’s 37th on the season and he’s now just one shy of tying Mike Moustakas‘ single-season record.
In the top half of the 4th inning, Jurickson Profar smacked his 17th home run this season. If you recall, Profar came up through the Rangers farm system as one of the most highly regarded prospects but really floundered once he reached the big leagues. However, he’s been productive in his first year in Oakland.
Marcus Semien knocked in an RBI single to left field to give the Athletics a 4-2 lead and had what felt like 100 RBI’s in this series alone. Moving to the top of the 5th inning, Sparkman gave up an RBI single to newly called up Seth Brown and that was it for the big righty. Jacob Barnes walked in a batter and allowed a sacrifice fly and the Athletics found themselves up 7-2 in a hurry.
All seven runs were charged to Sparkman, who finished the day with just 4.1 innings, 9 hits, 1 strikeout, and 1 walk. The Royals did a nice job of rallying back to make it an 8-7 game when Nicky Lopez kept his 12-game hitting streak alive in the bottom of the 8th inning with an RBI single. However, the Royals would go onto lose 9-8.
I am pleased with how the offense responded but I think the Royals have to be done with Glenn Sparkman at this point. In 45.0 innings of work, Sparkman has a 6.00 ERA since the All-Star break. I understand this entire rotation is a mess, but you have to at least give your team a chance.
Brad Keller only lasted 1.1 innings on Monday night after we found out that he would be limited to 180 innings on the season. However, he was evaluated after the game and was ultimately shut down for the season due to arm fatigue. It’s the right thing to do. This team is not playing October baseball, so there’s no risk in pushing his innings in his first full season as a starter.
The Royals well welcome in the Baltimore Orioles for a three-game series starting tomorrow night. The good news is that they will get Danny Duffy back and Adalberto Mondesi back on Sunday as well as several other September 1 callups.