Top 10 starting pitchers in KC Royals history

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals,
KC Royals, /

Traded to the KC Royals mid-1983 and miring in the minors, the tough-luck lefty would put together six solid campaigns for the team.

After a few decent but unremarkable years with the Cincinnati Reds, Charlie Leibrandt was traded to the Royals and immediately was sent to Omaha.  However, nine starts with the big league club turned heads as he went 7-1 with a 1.24 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.  That would begin a string of consecutive winning records.

Leibrandt would end up starting 187 games for the Royals producing 76 wins, 34 complete games, and 10 shutouts.  Three times he would produce a WAR of 5.0 or more and finished fifth in Cy Young Award voting in 1985.  That accomplishment gets lost since Bret Saberhagen took much of the spotlight with his performance that year.

The ’85 season saw his ERA at 2.69 in 33 starts with three shutouts and a WHIP of 1.22.  Leibrandt was fantastic in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals even though officially he was 0-1.  His two starts combined for over eight innings per game, ten strikeouts and a minuscule WHIP of 0.857.

He did have a unique windup with you can see a snapshot of in the photo above.  He was not a strikeout pitcher or a typical shutdown pitcher.  He frequently minimized the damage of runners on base.  My childhood memory may be failing me but I recall seeing him in person and after three frames the opposition had no runs despite eight hits.  I was pulling for a 24-hit shutout.

Related Story. Opening day starters 1985 Royals. light

Overall, Leibrandt places in Kansas City’s top ten in WAR, ERA, wins, win-loss %, innings, games started, complete games and shutouts.  He finished his career with the Atlanta Braves including pitching for them in two more World Series’.