A complete game shut out from this Kansas City Royals pitcher might not be enough to justify a starting position for 2020.
Glenn Sparkman is a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals who has great moments and at times seems like he is becoming an important member of the pitching staff. Unfortunately for Sparkman, the moments never seem to last long.
Take for example Sparkman’s start on July 16, 2019. Sparkman pitched a complete game shutout against the Chicago White Sox. In the two games before, Sparkman gave up 8 earned runs and 4 earned runs, respectively. In the two games that followed the shut out, Sparkman gave up 4 earned runs, followed by another 8 earned run game.
Sparkman is no model for consistency. He did, though, start 2019 relatively well. His ERA for May was 2.84 and for June when he saw some more starts the number jumped to 3.94, both decent numbers for a pitcher like Sparkman. He fell off after June, though, finishing the year with Monthly ERAs of 7.53, 7.58, and 6.85.
Sparkman ended 2019 with an ERA of 6.02 and an FIP of 5.93 over 136 innings pitched, giving up 96 runs and 41 walks. Most of Sparkman’s numbers got worse in 2019, and if they didn’t, they still didn’t look great.
The case with Sparkman may be that he needs to return to a full-time bullpen role. His workload greatly increased in 2019, starting 23 games as opposed to 3 in the previous year, and pitching 136 innings as opposed to 38.1.
Sparkman obviously has the pitches at times, but he has to be able to prove that he can bring that to the mound every night, not just once every few games. Sparkman will likely be among the Royals pitching staff in 2020, but as he saw some stock fall in 2019, he will have to fight to keep his place on the mound.