First Three Starts as a Royal: Tejeda vs. KC's All-Time Greats!

Robinson Tejeda's first three starts as a Royal have been outstanding, so much so that I started wondering: Did any of the Royals' standout pitchers make an even better first impression? After hitting the game logs, I can report: Yes, one. Tejeda leads all candidates in fewest hits/ER allowed, and finishes second in K's. While he can't compete with Tejeda's ERA, the #1 guy gets the nod for turning in two complete games in his first three Royals starts.

First, here's how Robinson Tejeda fared in his first three starts as a Royal:

(2-0, 0.55)

IP        H   ER    BB   K

16.1    6      1      7     16

I compared these results with the 10 best Royals starters I could think of off-hand, plus two future flame-outs who I recalled getting off to promising starts. The standings appear below in reverse order.


12) Dennis Leonard

(0-3, 5.17)

IP       H      ER     BB     K

15.2   20       9      10     8

11) Kevin Appier

(1-2, 4.96)

IP         H      ER     BB    K

16.1   23      9         7      7

10) Bobby Keppel

(0-2, 3.15)

IP       H       ER     BB     K

20     21       7        6       7

Note: OK, so Keppel's start wasn't as "awesome" as I thought at the time. I was desperate for competence in 2006.

9) Jose Rosado

(0-1, 4.19)

IP        H      ER      BB    K

19.1     20     9        9       10

8) Runelvys Hernandez

(1-1, 3.86)

IP        H     ER    BB   K

18.2    22     8      6     15

Note: Hernandez had a 9 K game that turned out to be a huge outlier; he only topped 5 (with 6) once more that year. Hopefully Hochevar's 13K game won't seem equally preposterous to game-log historians seven years from now.

7) Bret Saberhagen

(1-1, 3.86)

IP        H     ER    BB    K

16.1    21    7       3      10

6) Paul Splittorff

(1-1, 3.44)

IP         H      ER    BB     K

18.1     21    7       7        12

5) David Cone

(0-3, 3.48)

IP       H      ER   BB    K

20.2   19     8      7     13

Note: Cone made his big-league debut in 1986 with the Royals, but he made no starts that year. These stats are from 1993, when he was a 30-year-old free-agent signee with an already impressive resume.

4) Zack Greinke

(0-1, 2.37)

IP     H       ER    BB    K

19    18     5        4      7

Note: (0-1, 2.37) in three starts. Sigh. At least he's had several years to grow accustomed to pathetic run support.

3) Mark Gubicza

(0-2, 1.59)

IP      H     ER    BB      K

17     15      3       5      13

2) Larry Gura

(2-0, 1.23)

IP     H      ER      BB     K

22    17     3         3       6

Note: Gura's situation is most analogous to Tejeda's. He was still used largely out of the bullpen, and these numbers come from three spot starts spread over two seasons. In his first full year as a Royals starter, 16-4, 2.72.

1) Steve Busby

(1-0, 1.44)

IP      H     ER   BB    K

25     17    4      7      17

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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