By now you may have noticed that the Kansas City Royals haven’t exactly gotten stellar starting pitching during spring training. Say what you want about spring training statistics not mattering (and they don’t), but there’s something comforting in seeing your team perform well in the spring. Yes, the Royals record is still 0-0 and their pitching staff currently has a 0.00 ERA, but sure, it’d be nice to have seen them do well. Unfortunately, for the most part, they didn’t.
Here’s a look at their Cactus League numbers:
I’ll spare you the long article about why spring training stats don’t matter, but I will mention that you might notice the inning totals are nearly as small of a sample as you can find. And hey, look at the strikeout to walk ratios, especially Ventura’s. Those would certainly play in the regular season. So take comfort in the fact that these numbers really don’t mean much and that Kansas City is a much better place to pitch than Arizona.
Anyway, my point here was to take a look at some somewhat extreme spring training numbers and then how they matched up with their regular season numbers. And yes, this is not to say that pitchers can’t springboard a great spring to a great season or a terrible spring to a terrible season, but it is to say that one doesn’t necessarily continue.
2006 Mike Wood
2007 Brian Bannister
2009 Zack Greinke
2009 Kyle Davies
2010 Luke Hochevar
2010 Joakim Soria
2012 Luis Mendoza
2012 Luke Hochevar
2013 Donnie Joseph
|Regular Season (AAA)||54.2||39||40||84||3.95||5|
2013 James Shields
2014 Danny Duffy
2015 Jeremy Guthrie
2015 Edinson Volquez
So what’s in a number? We don’t really have the answer to that question because spring training stats just don’t have a ton of meaning. There might be a little correlation in there with the strikeout to walk ratio numbers, but then you look an see Hochevar’s 21:2 ratio in 2012 and it makes you question absolutely everything.
I think the Royals rotation has a chance to be a problem for this team just like the 2015 Royals had issues with their rotation. I also think that the organization is prepared to deal with those issues if and when they come up, so I’m not as worried as I might be if they hadn’t won the World Series last year with a bottom five in the AL rotation. Personally, I still think this unit is better than last year’s, but they definitely didn’t show it in spring training.
I guess we’ll find out soon enough if the members of the rotation are more like the guys listed above or if they’re more like Bruce Chen in 2012. I’ll hope for the former and be mentally prepared for the latter, but, hey, there’s certainly hope.