Thursday, July 13, 2006

Midterm Report Card: Part II

The Royals' pitching has been awful this year, which is nothing out of the ordinary. Here's how the Royals rank as a pitching staff:

ERA 5.79 (30th)
BBs 347 (28th)
SOs 436 (30th)

ERA 6.25 (30th)
BBs 201 (24th)
SOs 206 (30th, by almost 90 Ks)
IP 437 (30th)
which is approximately 5 IP/start

ERA 5.16 (29th)
BBs 146 (28th)
SOs 230 (11th)

These numbers won't really surprise anyone. The starting rotation's K/BB ratio of nearly 1 is atrocious. Combined with their hittable stuff and you get a very bad rotation. The starters' combined ERA is actually worse than last year's 6.00 ERA, which I thought was as bad as it gets. At least we don't have to watch Jose Lima this season.

Onto the grades...

Again, the grades are based on how well the player met preseason expectations.

Starting Rotation:

Scott Elarton: Elarton has kept the Royals in most of his starts and has also pitched relatively deep into games (5.75 IP/start). He hasn't been very good overall and his numbers are getting worse with ERAs of 4.28, 5.54, 5.60, 7.84 in April, May, June, and July. His peripheral stats suggest he's been lucky to do as well as he has. His BB/9IP has doubled from last season and he's allowing 2 HRs/9 IP. If there's anyway to trade Elarton, now would be the time to do it.

Grade: D+, drops a letter grade for having a K/BB of less than 1

Mark Redman: Redman was selected to be the Royals' All-Star representative. Redman has been a slightly better pitcher than Elarton and much better after his injury problems disappared. Redman has posted a 4.05 ERA after June 1st and has gone 7 innings or more in 4 of his last 7 starts. Redman is a league-average pitcher aside from his injury problems, so he's performing at the level he was expected.

Grade: B-, getting better and he's our All-Star!

Runelvys Hernandez: Hernandez put together a decent season coming back from Tommy John Surgery last season. He reported to training camp out of shape and was sent to AAA at the start of the season. After being recalled from AAA, Hernandez was terrible and was sent back down. He's pitched better at AAA (4.76 ERA and better K/BB ratio), but he's still had a horrible year altogether. The Royals were depending on him for a league-average season as a mid-rotation guy and he failed miserably.

Grade: F, get used to Rosenblatt

Denny Bautista: Bautista's promising start in Anaheim last season got everyone excited about his potential. Injuries set him back last year and he hasn't been the same since then. His command is still awful and everyone has hit him well this season. I don't have any confidence that he'll amount to anything, maybe a middle reliever.

Grade: F

Bobby Keppel: Thank you Bobby for the 4 good starts you gave us. Once the league adjusted to Keppel, he quickly faded.

Grade: D

Joe Mays: Mays was worse than Jose Lima and thankfully the Royals released him very quickly.

Grade: F

Brandon Duckworth: Duckworth has been alright as a starter thus far. He certainly hasn't been efficient though, throwing 94-103 pitches in each start and lasting until just the 5th or 6th inning. Duckworth isn't a long-term solution, just a placeholder until Greinke gets ready and keeping Buckner at AA where he belongs.

Grade: D

Seth Etherton: He's been awful throughout his career, so his 9.39 ERA was what I expected.

Grade: C


Elmer Dessens: Dessens has had a good year for the Royals. I thought Dessens was a pretty good pickup, as he's been a pretty consistent pitcher throughout his career. Dessens has been the Royals' most consistent reliever and has survived Buddy's abuse of him. He was originally intended to be a middle reliever and a spot starter, so he's performed above expectations by doing a good job as a setup man.

Grade: B

Jimmy Gobble: Gobble is the only Royals pitcher who got better. Gobble's command is much better, with a solid 2.3 K/BB ratio. He's striking out almost a batter an inning as well. The Royals' converted Gobble into a starter again. It's too early to draw any conclusions about his starting ability, but he's made 3 starts, 2 good and 1 bad. The Royals should give him at least 7-10 more starts to see if he can be a good starter.

Grade: A, for being the only pitcher to improve

Andrew Sisco: Sisco leads the team in appearances even though he's the most ineffective pitcher on the staff. Sisco only uses one pitch, his fastball. His fastball that sits in the low 90s, down about 4-5 mph from last season. The Royals must send Sisco to the minors. He needs to learn another pitch and fix any mechanical problems he has. He's still very young and can be a dominating setup man or closer with some good coaching. Of course, that won't happen in Kansas City until Moore makes some major changes.

Grade: F

Jeremy Affeldt: Affeldt's career with the Royals is basically over. He's been awful ever since the Royals didn't trade him at the trade deadline last year. He's failed as a starter and a reliever. I wonder if he can hit?

Grade: F, likely offseason trade or non-tender candidate

Mike Wood: Wood hasn't pitched very well this year. His peripheral stats are about the same as last year, so perhaps he's been a bit unlucky. But, he's a middle reliever good for a 4.50-5.50 ERA and that's where he should remain.

Grade: D

Joel Peralta: Peralta has been a decent middle reliever/setup man for the Royals. He pitched well for the Angels last season and has decent stuff, so he was a good waiver pickup by Baird.

Grade: C+, nothing impressive or disappointing

Ambiorix Burgos: Even though he has a 5.98 ERA, Burgos has pitched reasonably well for the Royals. He's pretty much done what you'd expect from a 22-year-old in the closer's role. About 2/3 of the time he's been on and got the job done, and 1/3 of the time he's fought his command. Moving him back to the setup role should help him a lot and he'll be ready to become the closer again in a year or two.

Grade: C

Chris Booker: Booker was awful for the Royals, can't say I was surprised

Grade: C, Booker was horrible, but at least he got out of here quickly and didn't linger around

Todd Wellemeyer and Luke Hudson: Both have pitched well recently for the Royals and have good stuff. They are still pretty young and might be able to turn things around, especially with a team that has infinite patience for anyone who throws hard.

Grade: Incomplete


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