Did Robinson Tejeda Turn the Corner in 2010?

During the beginning of the dyNEDsty, I did a radio interview. The interview was dominated by basically un-answerable questions about Ned Yost. I had no idea if Yost had truly made the team more confident or focused or relaxed and was also not sure if, in the end, that would really matter. Moreover, was that truly Yost or was it just a rejection of Hillman? Did that distinction matter?

If you recall, the Royals won a bunch of close games and went .500 for about 40 games under Yost. People made an incredibly big deal over this. When I looked at the numbers, it turned out that the offense was actually a little worse, as was the starting pitching. The only real change was that the bullpen was performing better. Was that Yost? Many thought it was.

A big part of that turnaround was simply Robinson Tejeda going from being horrible to being good. Tejeda allowed three runs on his first appearance of 2010, and on April 29 his ERA was still 11.57. The rest of the season, he posted a 2.09 number in 51.2 IP. The manager looks a lot better when the 7th/8th inning guy isn't allowing runs. So did Tejeda turn the proverbial corner in 2010?

 

Year Age Tm ERA G GS IP HR ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2009 27 KCR 3.54 35 6 73.2 4 125 1.262 5.3 0.5 6.1 10.6 1.74
2010 28 KCR 3.54 54 0 61.0 5 119 1.328 8.1 0.7 3.8 8.3 2.15
6 Seasons 4.39 177 53 434.2 45 102 1.445 8.0 0.9 5.0 7.6 1.52
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/18/2010.

 

As you can see from the numbers above, Tejeda posted identical ERAs in 2009/10. Given that he was exclusively a reliever in 2010, that isn't entirely good news. It's almost if someone de-electrified Tejeda's stuff: the strikeouts went down, but then again so did the walks as well.

Tejeda will be 29 next season. He made 950K in 2010, and will see a small raise in 2011. He's certainly, to my mind, worth a roster spot.

It's odd now, to think that at this time a year ago, many of us were excited or at least mildly curious to see what Tejeda could do in the rotation. With that now more or less off the table, Tejeda's definitely lost value. Just look above, he appeared in 19 more games, yet still gave the Royals 12 less innings in 2010.

The question, I suppose, comes down to 2012, when the Royals, as I'm sure you know, will be competing for a division title according to the plan. Can the Royals afford Tejeda as a free agent in 2012? Is there any possibility Tejeda slides back into the rotation? It's not like the Royals won't need arms for 2011. What do you think?

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