Thursday, April 29, 2004

Nice win last night, but the injuries to the Royals' starting pitchers are becoming a running joke. The number of pitchers that have sustained some type of injury is just astounding, which continues a disturbing trend of recent years. What is the culprit? Are the Royals incapable of signing and/or developing pitchers that are not injury prone, or b) is there something about the way that the Royals handle pitchers that makes them more injury prone than they otherwise would be? I understand that Jimmy Gobble had what he characterized as "cramps", but it would be refreshing to see the Royals go a week without a starting pitcher experience some kind of injury, major or minor. These injuries continue to force the Royals to start less-than-MLB quality players like Dennys Reyes, which has turned an eminently winnable matchup of Darrell May vs. Chan Ho Park (what happened to this guy? Who could have predicted he would become such a marginal major league pitcher after four solid seasons with the Dodgers? He is terrible.) into a likely loss (and the Royals find themselves down as I type), and wearing out a bullpen that has to pitch 4+ innings.

It was nice to Mike Mac back in uniform, and he promptly got his first save of the season. He's probably the second most important "what-if" on the team this year (behind Jeremy Affeldt), so we'll have to keep on eye on his first month. Curt Leskanic is a fine setup pitcher and a good spot closer, but it doesn't look like he's going to be able to consistently deliver strong ninth inning performances to close out games. The Royals are much better with him pitching in the eighth inning instead of the ninth, but that's going to hinge on Mac's nasty stuff and suspect control.

J. Gobble (1-0): 5.1IP, 10H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K.

What are the odds of a pitcher winning a game when they give up 10 hits in 5 innings and only strikeout one batter? JG bucked 'em last night, that's for sure.


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