Kansas City Royals: Wade Davis Is Back

Jun 29, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis (17) throws against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis (17) throws against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Royals officially re-instated closer Wade Davis from the disabled list. The Royals need him to pitch effectively to get back in the playoff race.

Wade Davis gets the chance to pitch again as soon as tonight. The Kansas City Royals need him in the back-end of the bullpen. The bullpen might be the American League (2.98 team ERA) but it’s been far less dominant than the 2014 and 2015 bullpen.

Davis’ numbers are part of the equation. In 2014, Davis had a 1.00 earned run average (ERA) and a 0.847 walks hits divided by innings pitched (WHIP). His strikeout per nine top out at 13.6 a career best. His strikeout to walk ratio maxed out at 4.74 also a career high. Even more stunning, he allowed 0 home runs in 72 innings pitched.

More from Kansas City Royals

The 2015 season went well for Davis also. He accumulated a 0.94 ERA, 0.787 WHIP and a 3.90 strikeout to walk ratio. One thing that fell off a little was his fielding independent pitching statistic. In 2014, Davis held a 1.19 FIP. The number rose to 2.29 in 2015.

This season his numbers have gone up quite a bit. He’s got a 1.23 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 1.023 WHIP, 8.6 strikeouts per nine and a 2.33 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s allowed 12 walks in 29.1 innings for the Kansas City Royals this year.

It’s a bit concerning when the stats start trending in the wrong direction. Obviously Wade Davis is a human being (though some fans disagree). He cannot dominate each season. Eventually father time will catch up with Davis and all players. Father time is undefeated.

Hopefully his numbers have been on the rise to injuries and not loss of abilities. I do think the forearm strain bugged Davis enough this season that the numbers reflect his injury. The Kansas City Royals need Davis to be dominate once again if the team hopes to make the playoffs this season.

The back-end of the bullpen, other than Kelvin Herrera, has struggled a bit this season. A good example of this is Friday nights loss to the Detroit Tigers. The Royals pulled starter Ian Kennedy after 5.1 innings pitched. They called upon (strandman) Luke Hochevar to leave a man on second and third. Hoch got the job done. The Royals had the lead 2-1 heading into the bottom of the 7th. The pen broke down.

More from KC Kingdom

Hochevar allowed a solo home run to Tyler Collins to tie the game 2-2. The then gave up a hit and a walk causing Ned Yost to pull him in favor of former Tiger, Joakim Soria. Soria walked the first hitter he faced loading the bases with one out. Miguel Cabrera came up next. Soria got down three ball no strikes. By the grace of God, Soria struck out the best hitter in the game. Two outs bases still juice.

Then one of the slowest base runs in the game, Victor Martinez, drove in two runs off an infield single. Soria misplayed a come backer to the mound and the ball deflected off of his glove causing the ball to slow down enough so Martinez could reach base safely.

The Royals were down 4-2 headed to the top of the 8th. The offense of the Kansas City Royals could not come up with the runs needed to keep the game going and the Royals eventually lost by the two run margin.

If Davis was available to play that game the outcome may have been different. The Kansas City Royals might have won the game. Unfortunately the team lost causing the margin between the Indians and the wild card teams to grown further.

Next: Kansas City Royals: Ten Best Closers of All-Time

The Royals are eight games back in the American League Central at 45-44 and 4.5 games back in the Wild Card race. If the players can get healthy and perform the playoff race is still alive. If they cannot stay healthy the season could be over before the playoff begin.