In the past few years, the Kansas City Royals have been well known for their terrible pitching. As for this year, things might not be so bad with Gil Meche and Zack Greinke leading the way for the Royals, but who comes after that?
This is something we Royals fans have been asking for a long time now. The Choices are: Brian Bannister, Luke Hochevar, Kyle Davies, Horacio Ramirez (lefty), John Bale (lefty), Robinson Tejada, and Doug Waechter.
Bannister struggled the better part of the year having no consistency at all finishing with a 9-16 record.
Hochevar was battling his rookie season with some injuries and a 6-12 record, but I still think he has great stuff and will make a great starter.
Kyle Davies has his moments where he can be a solid starter in the majors, however he needs to keep the ball down out of the zone. He finished the season strong going 9-7.
Horacio Ramirez may be the best candidate for a lefty starter the Royals have, but that's not saying much right now.
If John Bale can show he can stay healthy, he could possibly be in the rotation; however, that has yet to be accomplished.
Robinson Tejada is a hard thrower and seems to stay consistent, but he will likely end up in the pen.
Doug Waechter will likely be in the pen as well, but is a good candidate to be a starter.
These pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.53 which is not terribly bad but not very good.
If I had to pick the rotation and bullpen today it would be 1.Gil Meche 2.Zack Greinke 3.Luke Hochevar 4.Horacio Ramirez 5. Kyle Davies.
Bannister moves to the pen for long relief maybe a spot start, but I don't see him making it to the starting five. Tejada, Bale, and Waechter are good middle relief pitchers.
Late relievers will be Jimmy Gobble, Joel Peralta, Carlos Rosa, Neal Musser, and Henry Barrera. Set up men will include Ron Mahay and Kyle Farnsworth. The closer is a given with Joakim Soria.
The merry go round must stop this year. This group will be a solid, more consistent core than the past years we have seen.
Despite the acquisitions we have made this year on the offensive side, expect to see this group being the strength of the Royals in 2009