SEATTLE, WA - JULY 29: Starting pitcher Will Smith #53 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 29, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Since 1980, a number of left-handed pitchers were rookies at the age of 24 or less, made six or more starts in that rookie season and posted an earned run average above five. A cherry picked portion of that list includes the likes of Eric Milton, Mark Mulder, John Danks, Frank Viola, Randy Wolf, Steve Avery, Matt Harrison and Tom Glavine. A less than 'cherry' list from the same criteria will reveal names like Glendon Rusch, Chris George and, so far, Will Smith.
In his three starts since being called up for the second time, Smith has gone six plus, seven and six innings. Along the way, Will has allowed 17 hits, 8 runs, walked six and struck out 13. Over those three starts, he's been better than, well, Smith's been better than a lot of guys the Royals sent out to start games this year. Basically, just good enough to be intriguing.
The intrigue continues late this afternoon as Smith and the Royals take on that man: FELDMAN!
Scott Feldman, a right hander, owns a 5-6 record with a 4.76 ERA. He's struck out 49 in 70 innings, walked only 16, but has allowed 78 hits. Feldman shut out the White Sox over eight innings his last time out and allowed just one run over seven innings to the Red Sox in the start before that.
Perhaps with the spirit of goodwill that will certainly be permeating Kaufmann Stadium during Faith and Family night, Feldman will be inclined to allow some Royals a turn on the basepaths.