KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 16: Jonathan Sanchez #57 starting pitcher of the Kansas City Royals walks to the dugout after pitching against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium on July 16, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Jonathan Sanchez continues pitching poorly enough that many Kansas City Royals fans wonder when the time will come that he is released.
With Monday's inning and a third performance (or lack thereof), Jonathan Sanchez has seen his record fall to 1-6. Even worse he now sports a 7.76 ERA and a 2.05 WHIP. You don't have to know much about sabermetrics or even baseball in general to see that Sanchez is beyond struggling in Kansas City.
In 11 starts he has averaged just 4 and 2/3 on average. In nearly a third of his outings, he doesn't last past three innings pitched. It's not a slump anymore, it's an epidemic. The fans are usually quick to jump all over someone when they are doing bad, but we are beyond that point. It really makes no sense to continue running him out there every fifth day anymore.
We are to the point of no return. Keep in mind, four of those starts (or 36%) have come against teams with losing records. It's not as if this is just bad luck.
Last season, the Royals gave Kyle Davies 13 starts, in which he had a 6.75 ERA and 1.79 WHIP. For as much grief as the fans gave Davies, this is even beyond that. Thus far, this has turned out worse than the Brett Tomko experience of 2008.
The last starting pitcher in Kansas City to start at least 11 games and finish the season with an ERA over 7 was Chris George in 2003 who somehow went 9-6 with a 7.11 ERA in 18 starts.
Now Sanchez isn't on the same page with George for career ineptness. Sanchez has a track record, and that is why Kansas City is trying to hold on with him so long (that and the pitching staff isn't deep to begin with).
However, Will Smith, whom the Royals tossed to the wolves at Yankee Stadium earlier this years has a friendly 2.73 ERA over his last 8 minor league starts while also allowing only 10 walks against 44 strikeouts.
Sanchez in his last eight starts (including Monday evening)? 30 walks and just 27 strikeouts.
In 15 starts at Omaha, Ryan Verdugo has been equally as impressive as Smith. The lefty has a 6-2 record with a 3.39 ERA. Opponents are batting just .211 against him and he has struck out 68 and walked 43 in 85 innings pitched.
For the Royals to move forward, they must forget the past. Instead of trying to hold onto Sanchez for what he did in San Francisco, the organization must also forget about having to hold onto him simply because he was acquired for Melky Cabrera. To truly make the team better today and each day moving forward, they can't continue to run Sanchez out there like nothing is wrong.
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