Monday, March 8, 2010

Royals 2010 Wild Cards- No. 3 Robinson Tejeda

Tejeda has really impressed me in his time with the Royals, whether it be in the bullpen or starting rotation. The reason he is included in the "wild card" discussion is because I'm not sure that the Royals know what they want to do with him. He's been solid out of the 'pen in the past, but he had an amazing September in which he posted a 2.84 ERA as a starter, and averaged 10.6 K/9.

Tejeda isn't a wild card because I am unsure of what he will do, but rather I am unsure about where he is most valuable to this team. If used in the bullpen, he provides a steady and reliable arm in a sea of question marks. Not to mention, it would be nice to have a sturdy bridge to Joakim Soria rather than have to bet on Juan Cruz being healthy and reliable. But his best stuff didn't come from the bullpen last year. It came in the starting rotation.

Once again, a wild card comes down to whether or not Trey Hillman and Dayton Moore make the right decision, which based on past performance, is not likely to happen. Tejeda is a good starter. The only issue with him starting is that he usually is only good for 5-6 innings. With Dayton & Co.'s ridiculous notion that this rotation will pitch 1000 innings, it is unlikely that we will see Tejeda in the rotation on a regular basis. The Royals have also been tinkering with his delivery. Last year, he pitched exclusively out of the stretch. Now, Bob McClure has tried to incorporate a windup into his delivery, and as we have seen in his first two Spring Training starts, Tejeda has struggled. Hopefully the Royals coaching staff can correct this and maybe limit him to only using the stretch, rather than force him to change his mechanics. With Kyle Davies showcasing his inability to conserve his pitches and limit his pitch count, I would like to see he and Robby switch places. Davies is obviously a failed experiment in the rotation. The obvious option is for him to be placed in the bullpen.

I think most Royals fans would prefer 5-6 good innings from Tejeda rather than suffer through more 60 pitch, 6 earned run, 2 inning Kyle Davies performances.