KC Royals Must Add Legitimate Starting Pitcher


The KC Royals have had a memorable start to the 2015 season. The only lingering problem for the team is the starting pitching rotation. The original starting five pitchers at the start of the season were Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy, Edinson Volquez, Jason Vargas, and Jeremy Guthrie.

Now, 40+ games into the season, the rotation is a big ol’ question mark.

Ventura has shown flashes of brilliance, but has struggled at times this season. His best start of the season came against the Cincinnati Reds last week, where he pitched for seven innings without giving up a run. Ventura’s latest start against the St. Louis Cardinals wasn’t the greatest after allowing two runs in the first with no outs. He later cooled down, but still gave up four runs on the day.

Duffy has been dreadful. He had one fantastic start against the Detroit Tigers where he went seven innings and only gave up one run. Since then though, Duffy has looked terrible. He’s only gone 9 and 2/3 innings with a 13.03 ERA and posting an 0-3 record. He recently was placed on the disabled list.

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Volquez has been the only reliable starter in the rotation. He has a 4-3 record with a 2.77 ERA. He had his best start last weekend against the New York Yankees, shutting them out. His worst start was against the Texas Rangers a few weeks back, where he had to leave the game early due to a nagging blister on his hand.

Vargas is a mystery. The Kansas City Royals never know what they’re going to get with the former Los Angeles Angel. He has a 5.26 ERA with a 3-1 record, and honestly, I’m always afraid when Vargas is slated to take the mound. He’s had one great start, May 5th against Cleveland, but otherwise, he’s lucked out getting the wins. Vargas will be returning for the first time since that fantastic game when he pitches at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

Guthrie… Oh Guthrie. Just on Monday morning, I would have said Guthrie has looked great as of recently, but then the Memorial Day start at Yankee Stadium happened. Guthrie gave up eight runs in the first inning and three more in the second before getting pulled. He gave up 11 hits and looked horrible. It’s a shame too because Guthrie had three good starts in a row.

Chris Young stepped into the starting rotation after Ventura and Volquez served suspensions, and now has been in due to Vargas’ disabled list trip. With Duffy on the DL now, Young will remain in the rotation for at least a few more weeks hopefully.

The Kansas City Royals have to upgrade the starting pitching if they want to make a postseason run again this year. The original five starters (with the exception of Volquez and sometimes Ventura) are not looking like playoff pitchers, and this team needs to make a push for one of the available starters on the trading block come trade deadline.

Some of these guys would be Johnny Cueto, Scott Kazmir, Mike Leake, and Kyle Lohse. If the KC Royals could get either Cueto and Kazmir to join the rotation, even for just this season, they could be a legitimate force down the stretch.

If the team grabbed Cueto or Kazmir, they’d be the best pitcher on the team, followed by Volquez, then Ventura, Young, and whoever the fifth one left would be. I put Ventura ahead of Young only because Ventura can go deeper into games, and Young has only pitched in four games thus far. I still think he’s fantastic.

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