With the CY Young Awards set to be given out tonight, I figured it was a perfect time to hand out my awards pertaining to the KC Royals. In conjunction with the CY Young, today I will be naming the Royals best starting pitcher of the 2012 season.
Starting pitching was not a strong point for the Royals in 2012, but they did turn it around during the late summer months. This was still a tough decision.
Veteran Jeremy Guthrie gets this honor, as he became the “ace” after joining the Royals in July. He helped push the Chicago White Sox into second place in the American League Central. Guthrie made four starts against the White Sox and pitched two 8 inning shutouts. In 29.2 innings, he allowed five runs (one earned) on 21 hits.
He had one poor start over his final 12 starts. That was a 2.2 inning start at Boston in which he gave up two homeruns and seven total runs. In those other 11 starts, he carried a 1.92 ERA (15 runs in 78.1 innings). All 11 solid starts were against playoff contending teams (Chicago, Detroit, Texas, Oakland, and LAA).
I would love to see if Guthrie could pitch that well for an entire season with Kansas City. He is a great clubhouse guy, despite all the years playing for bad teams (he spent five years with Baltimore).
I’m not sure the Royals want to give him a multi-year contract when they need a legit ace. With the Orioles, he was forced to be the team’s ace year-after-year, so he is used to facing every team’s best pitcher.
Even if Guthrie signs elsewhere, it was nice to see what he is capable of. For half of a season, he was the Royals best starting pitcher. The rest of the staff fed off him.