Enough is enough. The experiment is over. Or at least it should be.
The Kansas City Royals took another loss at the hands of starting pitcher Kyle Davies, last night bringing a 6-4 defeat to the Detroit Tigers. Now at 1-8 on the season, Davies ERA jumped to 7.74 on the year with a mind-boggling 74 hits and 22 walks in 50 total innings pitched. That's good for a 1.92 WHIP. Better yet, hitters are batting .352 off of Davies -- good enough for second in the AL behind Adrian Gonzalez if they were eligible for the batting title.
Perhaps Davies was a risk worth taking. Dayton Moore was involved with drafting him in the fourth round while he was with the Atlanta Braves back in 2001, and the Braves gave up on Davies when he was only 23. Yet in parts of five major league seasons in Kansas City, Davies has yet to put it all together. He's 29-43 as a Royal in 97 starts with a 5.40 ERA and 1.584 WHIP. Those are miserable numbers at a time when major league hitters are bringing in lower runs than ever. There's simply no room for Davies' consistently average-to-poor performances every five days on the mound.
Yet it's not as if the Royals have a ton of options in the minor leagues. Vin Mazzaro hasn't worked out as well as anyone would have liked so far. Mike Montgomery is struggling at AAA Omaha with a five-plus ERA, as have Jeremy Jeffress and Kevin Pucetas. Double-A options like Chris Dwyer and Edgar Osuna are struggling even more. John Lamb is having a nice year for Northwest Arkansas (AA), but do the Royals really want to rush the 21-year-old to help plug an ailing last-place rotation? Didn't think so.
As good as KC's prospects are and as much offensive hope as there is, the Royals really lack a number of high ceiling starters at the upper levels of their minor leagues. They need Montgomery to turn things around in the second half in a major way and for Lamb to stay consistent at AA. Until then, a nice waiver wire signing could help plug things at the ML level and they'll inevitably bring up journeyman starter Jeff Suppan who is occupying a slot at Omaha for now. If these ideas don't sound that great, that's because the Royals lack any promising help for a while -- making Moore's first priority to find some starting pitching help -- and soon.