Thursday, May 17, 2012

Three Times Through: April 29—May 15

I may have lost my enthusiasm for keeping up with a starting pitching review after every five Royals games, but I've dumped numbers from the fifth, sixth and seventh trips through the rotation at the end of this post, and maybe I'll stick to checking in every 15 games or so.

It was a frenetic period for the staff. Felipe Paulino mercifully came back, and has been splendid so far. So nice to have a true strikeout pitcher on the staff. Can you believe the Rockies waived this guy? Unfortunately that good news was more than offset with the terrible diagnosis of a torn ligament in Duffy's elbow. Duffy was the most crucial and exciting pitcher in KC, so facing a year-long wait after the probable Tommy John surgery to come is a bit of a gut punch. Jonathan Sanchez also went down with a less serious ailment.

Hochevar popped off the best game score of the year (75) with a seven shutout inning performance. Unfortunately I think most Royals observers, myself included, are past the point of getting our hopes up about Hochevar finding acceptable consistency. Vin Mazzaro became the eighth human being to start a game for the 2012 Royals and did a decent enough job.

Here is how the AL Central staffs are comparing:

The Tigers have joined the White Sox as the class of the division. The Royals are suffering mightily when it comes to walks, and in related news, not getting enough innings out of their starters. I was about to write "thank goodness for the Twins making them look respectable," but the KC and MN xFIPs are pretty much the same, and KC is throwing slightly fewer innings per start, so perhaps I'll bite my tongue for now.

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