Kyle Davies and Brian Bannister had to adjust quickly in their National League East debuts. Both pitchers started their rookie seasons.
Davies made 14 starts for his hometown Braves in 2004, his rookie season. Bannister was thrown in when Pedro Martinez was hurt during the 2006 season.
Now, both pitchers are in Kansas City—acquired in trades. Bannister became a Royal in 2006, and Davies in 2007.
Both Davies and Bannister are being counted on to be building blocks for the Royals. The spotlight may not be as bright in Kansas City, but the expectations are still there.
Bannister and Davies were both parts of the Royals' strong finish last season. Davies was 4-1 in September, while Bannister won two of his last three starts. For Bannister, it was a good end to the season, after 13 starts without a win.
The Royals and Cleveland Indians were the only AL Central teams to make significant moves over the winter. Kansas City added Coco Crisp and Mike Jacobs. In addition, they acquired Kyle Farnsworth for the bullpen.
If the pitching—lead by Gil Meche and Zack Greinke—can perform, Kansas City could be the sleeper team in the AL Central for 2009.