The Royals plan to turn unsuccessful-starter-turned-effective-reliever Wade Davis back into a starter has looked a little shaky recently. In his past two starts, Davis has allowed 11 earned runs in 8.1 innings while walking seven batters and yielding 20 hits. Kansas City manager Ned Yost says ole Wade is struggling with his location–him and every other struggling pitcher in the league, Ned!
Davis seems to be in a funk, but I admittedly haven’t seen enough of him to conclude whether it’s the type of funk that makes him vulnerable to a lineup whose 3-4-5 hitters have a combined .290 OBP. We could add in Jeff Keppinger and Alejandro De Aza, but that would only make the figure worse. Paul Konerko–revered, respected and surrounded by hitters far more embarrassing than himself–has been secretly awful to start the season, hitting .238/.295/.406 with substantial declines in his walk, power and contact rates. Without an initial display of post-wrist surgery God-mode, I’m skeptical about the prospects of the 37 year-old getting stronger as the year moves on.
At least Davis is right-handed, which should allow unquestioned team MVP Conor Gillaspie (Ed note: As much as Gillaspie has been good, we here at Southside Showdown do not consider him being the best player to be a good sign) to get off. Tyler Flowers gets a day off after contributing one of the Sox three hits last night and Dewayne Wise still gets to play for whatever reason.
1. Alejandro De Aza – LF
2. Jeff Keppinger – 2B
3. Alex Rios – RF
4. Adam Dunn – 1B
5. Paul Konerko – DH
6. Conor Gillaspie – 3B
7. Alexei Ramirez – SS
8. Hector Giminez – C
9. Dewayne Wise – CF
Kansas City Royals Lineup:
It seems rather improbable that someone is trotting the at least 38 years-old Miguel Tejada into major league lineups these days after he slugged .296 in Triple-A last season, but then the entire Omar Vizquel saga comes rushing back to mind.
Jose Quintana has been looking like a player we can all get used to early on; pushing his strikeout rate closer to league average, increasing the amounts of chases out of the strike zone he induces by flashing some decent curves and sliders at times, all while maintaining his premium control. He’ll need to have a slider today with all the homegrown lefties the Royals trot out. Maybe he can hit Billy Butler in the elbow pad with an 86 mph cutter and watch him freak out again.
Where to Watch: CSN
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan