After last night’s impressive shutout from Jeff Francis and company, the Kansas City Royals look to take the I-70 series from the St. Louis Cardinals as an unlikely rookie matches up against a familiar foe. Nathan Adcock, a Rule V selection from the Pittsburgh Pirates makes his first career start this afternoon against Jake Westbrook, once a fixtures in the AL Central for the Cleveland Indians.
Westbrook is coming off his best outing of a young season as he outdueled Cliff Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies for an important win among National League powers. It’s a good sign given the miserable season Westbrook had put together thus far.
Adcock, meanwhile, has decent primary numbers out of the bullpen (2.08 ERA), but the peripherals point to some mediocre numbers. After all, Adcock has allowed 25 baserunners in 16 innings, including 2 home runs. He’s been very hittable so far, so the ERA isn’t a marker of how effective he’s been. Adcock’s minor league numbers look solid as a starter, but again, his highest level is High-A before this season.
Honestly, it’s surprising the Royals are sending out Adcock to the mound against a team with a formidable line-up like the Cardinals. The best guess is that Adcock doesn’t even last through the fourth inning, although that’s certainly not the hope. It’s just the reality of a team that has to keep a player on its major league roster in order not to lose him (Rule V rules), and then choosing to place him on the center stage. Those cues usually don’t work too well.