KC Royals: 3 big midseason underperformers revisited

(Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals, Carlos Hernandez
(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

KC Royals pitchers made big improvements in the second half of the season.

The entire KC Royals pitching staff made our midseason underperformers list. It was understandable considering the staff’s 5.15 collective ERA, which was third to last in the majors at the time, and the rotation’s unpredictable composition.

What a difference a couple of months make—the staff lowered its ERA to 4.65, its WHIP decreased from 1.48 to 1.39, and the staff .269 OBA dropped to .254.

What helped most was the emergence of Carlos Hernandez, who now looks like a permanent fixture in the rotation.

Hernandez began the season in the bullpen. Once Danny Duffy was dealt to the Dodgers, Hernandez took his place in the starting rotation and pitched magnificently. He finished the season 6-2 with a 3.68 ERA, 74 strikeouts, a 1.28 WHIP, and a .223 OBA. His best month was August, when he notched an outstanding 2.08 ERA, 0.857 WHIP, and .192 OBA.

A couple of other young starters showed promise.

Daniel Lynch, who the KC Royals returned to Triple-A after he debuted with a 15.75 ERA in eight May innings, buckled down when the club recalled him in July, lowering his ERA to 5.69 and posting all four of his wins.

And Kris Bubic, who may become another Jason Vargas, had an excellent September with a 2.08 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and .170 OBA.

Wade Davis lowered his first half ERA to a second half 4.76, and Brad Keller improved from 5.97 in the first to 3.96 in the second. But that’s not to say every pitcher settled down after the All-Star Break—Brady Singer’s ERA rose from 4.52 to 5.70.