KANSAS CITY, MO: Starting pitcher Kyle Davies #34 of the Kansas City Royals prays just prior to the start of the game against the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Davies left the game due to injury after pitching 1/3 inning. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Hey, did anyone see this coming?
I didn't see it coming, because a) Davies ranks among the Royals' higher-paid players, and b) Royals general manager Dayton Moore has, until now anyway, seemed to suffer from an unhealthy infatuation with Mr. Davies.
What's even odder is that Davies -- his 1-9 record and 6.75 ERA notwithstanding -- has actually pitched better this season than he has in a long time. Davies has been exceptionally lucky to pitch in the majors for as long as he has ... but this season, he's been exceptionally unlucky, as his underlying performance suggests an ERA south of 5, rather than well north of 6.
Let's not feel too sorry for Davies, though. Since the beginning of 2006, 71 pitchers have started at least 120 games in the major leagues. Davies' 5.68 ERA in his 130 starts is the worst among the 71 pitchers. The next worst is Scott Olsen's 4.88. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is a little better: 68th out of 71.
Some weeks ago, the Royals shifted a six-man rotation with (apparently) the sole aim of making room for Kyle Davies.
Davies might somehow find another job in the major leagues. Six years ago, he was among the better pitching prospects in the game, and baseball men have long memories. My guess, though, is that Dayton Moore's Kansas City Royals are the last team that will rejigger its pitching rotation to make room for Kyle Davies.