Bullpen Questions, Royals Homestand Starting

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina – USA TODAY Sports

The Royals first road trip of the season ended up as a classic case of: Would, Coulda, Shoulda! This team is all about defense and a bullet proof bullpen. It cost them in Oakland.

Salvy Perez, the 3 time Gold Glove Winner, was guilty of a passed ball on a swing- and-miss strike three. It started the A’s rally. The Royals could have easily gone 6-1 on the road swing but had to settle on a 4-3 record.

I’m really impressed with Kris Medlen. He went 15 days before getting his first start and now has turned in strong back-to-back appearances. He reminds me so much of Marty Pattin who pitched for the Royals back in the early glory days in the 1970’s. Medlen has that “bulldog” mentality that made Pattin such a fierce competitor.

My biggest problem with the Royals right now is Joakim Soria and Chris Young. There is no question that Soria is a descending pitcher. I was shocked when the Royals gave him that 3 year $25 million dollar contract. The guy scares me every time he gets the ball on the hill. Ned Yost continues to run him out there as the 8th inning set-up man for Wade Davis.

Luke Hochevar has been spectacular in the first two weeks of the season. Look at these numbers compared with Soria.

Innings

Hits

Earned Runs

ERA

Soria

6

8

5

6.75

Hochevar

5

4

2

3.06

 

Is there any reason Hochevar couldn’t pitch a couple of innings on occasion. After all, he is a former starting pitcher.

The Royals rotation is the 4th best in baseball after two weeks of the season but something has to be done with Chris Young. As the No. 4 starter, he has been totally ineffective. His ERA is flirting with double digits. It’s right around 8. The 36 year old right-hander has given up 20 hits in his three starts which each lasted an average of less than 5 innings. Young has given up 12 earned runs in 13 innings of work. (YIKES!) It might be a good time to take a closer look at Danny Duffy and see what he can do in that No. 4 spot of the rotation. It certainly can’t hurt.

On another note, the Royals are striking out at a higher rate than a year ago. Alex Gordon has 19 of the teams 94 strike-outs. The Royals have scored only 43 runs in their first dozen games. By comparison, the STL Cardinals lead the league with 85. The Royals scoring is down partly because they’re in the lower third with runners left on base.

The good news – the Royals are still tied for first place. We have a big home stand this week with Detroit and Baltimore coming to town.

About This Author

<p>Covered Kansas City sports for 45 years. Served as Sports Director at WDAF-TV, KCTV & KSHB-TV. Inducted into National Academy Television Arts and Science – Mid America Chapter, Silver Circle -2011</p>

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  • escobar is playing like roger dorn, and so is lorenzo cain, moustakas, hosmer, perez, and of course alex gordon “iron man” are still playing the same, but i see some roger dorns on our team now, and horrible decisions, Kennedy can’t pitch and neither can Soria, are the old royals coming back Jack? I loved watching you for over 30 years on TV, I wish could hear what you think of this team on TV, im worrying, this is not the same team that won the world series and almost won 2 in a row, soria needs to go to the minor leagues, as well as kennedy, and fix some things, put in some other relievers, change the rotation, bring someone up like kyle synder or this team is headed below 500 and the fans, they won’t stick with a loser, the old days will be back if they dont’ do something fast

    marcus halberstram 2 years ago


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