Well then, I bet no one would have imagined in April that this would happen. The Kansas City Royals have designated starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez for assignment. The Royals have also recalled Ryan Verdugo and Vin Mazzaro, and will start Verdugo tonight in Kansas City against the Mariners.
Kansas City traded for Sanchez this offseason, dealing Melky Cabrera to the San Francisco Giants for the control-averse Sanchez. Sure enough, the move to the American League shattered Sanchez, and he struck out a career low 6.08 batters per nine while walking a career high 7.43 per nine…yep, he walked more batters than he struck out. His ERA for the season sat at a ghastly 7.76 mark after he allowed seven runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Mariners last night, and that was apparently enough for the Royals' brass.
Sanchez's season is a direct contrast to that of Cabrera's, who started the All-Star Game (in Kansas City, no less) for the National League and won the MVP award. On the season, Cabrera has a .905 OPS with a .353 batting average, eight homers, and ten stolen bases. While he's not *this good*, the Giants will take the production. To add insult to injury, Royals center fielders (primarily Jarred Dyson, with "help" from Lorenzo Cain, Mitch Maier, and Jason Bourgeois) this year have just a .650 OPS with a .255 average and just two homers.
Sanchez's expected ouster just adds to a disastrous year for Royals pitching. Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino both had Tommy John surgery this summer, while veteran Bruce Chen and former top overall pick Luke Hochevar have struggled immensely. The news that the Royals had inquired on Cubs starter Matt Garza makes a lot of sense, but at the same time, I have to question the logic of this team, with a rotation that is essentially a giant pile of nothing, thinking that the acquisition of one top of the line pitcher is worth dealing prospects that could impact the team in a huge way. I assume Wil Myers would be the guy that the Cubs demand in a trade….and based on his potential, I don't think that would be a wise move at all.
At any rate, this really just hasn't been a great year for the Royals. Many people expected Kansas City to take a giant step forward this year, but instead, they're 12 games under .500 in mid-July.
Photo courtesy of Daylife.com