Royals Starting Pitcher Target: Jair Jurrjens

Name: Jair Jurrjens, 25 year RHP with the Braves

Contract:  He will be going into is 2nd year of arbitration. 2 years until a FA (I am horrible with contract information, so let me know if I am wrong). Was paid $3.25M in 2011.

Pitches: He throws several different fastballs (60% of the time). Also he has a curve/slider/cutter (20%) and a change (20%). His fastball averaged 89.1 MPH this last season. It is down almost 3 MPH since he joined the league:

5556_p_fa_20110830_medium

via www.fangraphs.com

 

Results

Here is his stats over the years:

Year Team IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA WAR
2007 Tigers 30.2 3.8 3.2 21.5% 4.70 5.26 5.32 5.60 0.2
2008 Braves 188.1 6.6 3.4 30.1% 3.68 3.59 3.92 4.16 3.7
2009 Braves 215.0 6.4 3.1 26.8% 2.60 3.68 4.28 4.43 3.9
2010 Braves 116.1 6.7 3.3 30.0% 4.64 4.19 4.29 4.36 1.2
2011 Braves 152.0 5.3 2.6 26.9% 2.96 3.99 4.23 4.28 1.5

The drop in velocity can be seen the drop in K/9.  He does have a nice shiny ERA from 2011, his ERA estimators show him as a worse pitcher.  

For comparison, here are the K/9 and BB/9 for a few Royals this last year:

Injury History:

2007: Shoulder (missed 14 games)
2008: Ankle (missed 5 games)
2010: Hamstring (missed 52 games)
2011: Side (missed 11 days)
2011: Knee (missed 34 games total, 2 DL trips)

Conclusions:

A big pass with me unless he come real cheap. He is showing degrading skills (fastball and health) along with a skill set that is comparable to pitchers already on the Royals staff.  If he was an available FA, I would not mind taking a chance with a minor league deal hoping he could improve. He is not an answer for improving the pitching staff.
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