KC Royals: Predicting All-Star Selections — Pitchers

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Oct 5, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of a flyover before the Kansas City Royals take on the Los Angeles Angels in game three of the 2014 ALDS baseball playoff game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

If you are a KC Royals fan and don’t realize the bullpen is the best in baseball, well then, you’re about to find out.

The ERA of Kansas City relief pitchers is a baseball-best 1.58. Second place St. Louis is all the way back at 2.19.

They only have one, ninth-inning blown save as a team, no team has yielded a better batting average against (1.84), and only the Houston Astros have walked less batters than the 34 free passes issued by KC.

The picture has to be pretty clear now if it wasn’t before.

Let’s take a look at the KC bullpen pitchers who have a shot at the all-star game:

Wade Davis: 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 19 Ks, 4 BB, 19 IP, 7 saves

Kelvin Hererra: 0-1, 1.80 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 16 Ks, 8 BB, 15 IP, 6 holds

Greg Holland: 1-0, 0.90 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 6 Ks, 6 BB, 10 IP, 7 saves

Ryan Madson: 0-0, 1.74 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 21 Ks, 5 BB, 20.2 IP, 4 holds

Jason Frasor: 1-0, 0.68 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 10 Ks, 8 BB, 13.1, 2 holds

You know a team has a good bullpen when 1.80 is a gaudy ERA. All five of these guys are deserving of a mention, but let’s get one thing out of the way now: Wade Davis will be an all-star this season.

If he’s not voted in by players or added by Yost, the KC manager may not make it back home in one piece after the game.

This is a guy who hasn’t given up a run (of any kind) this season, has a 4.75 K/BB ratio and notched seven saves as a fill-in closer for the injured Holland. And even tough this year’s all-star game only includes stats from this season, take a look at this gem found on Twitter.

Last year he failed to make the all-star squad, and then finished eighth in Cy Young voting — as a middle reliever.

He’s on the team, book it.

May 5, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Greg Holland (56) runs in from the outfield prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

All four other guys have maybe one or two (albeit small) knocks against them that might keep them off the team. Not to mention, the Royals should have multiple offensive players selected, and not everyone can make it.

Holland has been Holland this year, allowing just one run in 10 appearances. However, his one downfall could be the fact he spent two weeks on the disabled list. His seven saves are tied for 12th in the AL with Davis, but if not injured he most likely would be tied for second with 14.

Herrera had one rocky outing April 26 (0.2 IP, 2 BB, 1 ER, L ), but has been lights out since. He throws in the triple-digits, has six holds and has built the reputation as one of the best 7th innings guys in the game. He also has been suspended twice for throwing at batters, and that could be his one downfall. It might take a nod from Yost to earn a spot.

Madson is everyone’s favorite sleeper to make the team, and his numbers have been stellar. While an ERA under two is great, his 1.04 K/9 and 4.2 K/BB ratio are more impressive. He has a great shot at making it, but don’t be surprised if he’s left off because great relievers are every year.

Frasor though may be the most intriguing. No one is talking much about him. His numbers though, have taken care of that.

Although he is not pitching in as many pressure spots as HDH, it’s hard to find anyone (maybe only Davis and New York Yankee Dellin Betances) who has been more effective out of the pen in terms of keeping runners away from home plate.

He has made 16 appearances and given up just two runs, with only one being earned. His inherited runners scored (12) is a little high, but he hasn’t allowed one since April 30. He still seems to be a long shot, simply because there are so many good relievers not only in the AL, but just on his team.


Lock — Davis

Has a good shot: Madson; Herrera

Outside looking in: Holland; Frasor

*All stats provided by ESPN.com, baseball-reference.com and sportincharts.com.

Next: KC Royals: Predicting All-Star Selections -- Infielders

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