Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2014 Michael Wacha

If you missed Saturday's article from Andy McCullough titled "Royals hope Kyle Zimmer will be part of their pitching picture in playoffs", do yourself a favor and read it here. Also, check out this quote from Royals Assistant General Manager J.J. Picollo regarding how Kyle Zimmer figures into the 2014 Royals.
"The goal would be to have him peaking in the minor leagues in late May, June, going into July and then really ramping it up and taking the handcuffs off him, hopefully in a playoff run, and he pitches in September and hopefully October."
 Last season Michael Wacha made waves across Major League Baseball when in 64.2 innings he dominated big league hitters to the tune of a 2.78 ERA. This included a stretch of five starts in September when he limited opposing hitters to a .198/.264/.261 line and posted a 1.72 ERA. Wacha carried this momentum right on into the playoffs and allowed just 1 run in 21 innings.

Obviously, Wacha represents the dream scenario for Kyle Zimmer in 2014. In fact, during the regular season Wacha pitched exactly 150 innings, coincidentally that is the same number that the Royals have thrown out for Zimmer's mark this season. The way in which the Cardinals managed Wacha's count was by moving him to the bullpen throughout August, as well as allowing him just two starts between June 18 and July 24.

It will be interesting to see the Royals approach on this. If they truly believe that Zimmer will play as big of role down the stretch as they indicate, then they will likely start Zimmer slow. I can't see the Royals being able to utilize the bullpen to limit Zimmer's innings like the Cardinals did. Of course, I''m just sitting in my mother's basement eating cheetos, so what do I know?

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