24-year old right-hander Kyle Davies is in his fifth season in the majors. Currently in his second season with the Royals, Davies had been a highly-touted pitching prospect out of Atlanta. In '04 he was their highest rated pitching prospect by Baseball America, and as recently as January of '07 was projected to be the Braves #2 starter behind Tim Hudson. But at the trade deadline last season, on July 31st, the Braves shipped Davies to Kansas City for Octavio Dotel. Throughout his career in the minors he performed well, posting a cumulative 8.49 K/9, 1.22 WHIP, 0.42 HR/9 and a 2.93 ERA in 532.2 innings. So far in the majors, however, things haven't quite come together yet. In just over 350 major league innings the strikeouts are down, the walks and home runs are up, and those lofty expectations haven't been met. He's just 25 next month however, and he started this season well as after his debut on May 31st by allowing just 12 runs in his first six outings. But since the end of June he's had issues being efficient with his pitches, completeing six innings just once in his last six appearances.
For the Twins tonight it's Kevin Slowey getting the nod, who's hit a bit of a skid in spite of his complete game shutout on July 28th. Once again his nemesis has been the longball. He usually allows a hit per inning or less, he doesn't issue a lot of walks and on occasion he can ring up a few strikeouts, but that blasted home run ball has been Slowey's achilles heel in the past. Extrapolating his longball rate over his last five starts, he'd give up more than 33 jacks in a 200-inning season. To get back on track, the KC offense might just be the cure he needs. Establishing the inner half of the plate again, and having confidence in his breaking balls in any count, are two of those cliche'd keys that would seriously help Slowey tonight.
For the Twins versus a right-handed pitcher, I'll predict: Span (RF), Punto (2B), Mauer (C), Morneau (1B), Kubel (DH), Young (LF), Buscher (3B), Everett (SS), Gomez (CF)
For the Royals I'm going with: Aviles (SS), German (2B), Teahen (RF), Guillen (DH), Butler (1B), Gordon (3B), Buck (C), Gload (LF), Maier (CF)
|2008 - Kyle Davies||5-2||12||12||0||0||0||0||63.1||75||33||31||8||24||32||4.41||1.56|
|2008 - Kevin Slowey||7-8||17||17||3||2||0||0||102.2||97||48||48||15||16||76||4.21||1.10|