Royals bullpen: Who should pitch the eighth?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It's Wade Davis' gig for now ...

You're Ned Yost.

It's not an insult. It's just a little thought experiment.

You're Ned. You've got a one to three run lead heading into the eighth inning. Your starter has gone seven strong and the offense has done just enough -- but with NO HOMERS.

You can stick to the plan you had coming into the season and go with Wade Davis, or you could use one of your other relievers because you're the boss. Nobody's going to stop you. Hell, you could send Billy up there if you wanted to, but for the time being, let's keep it simple.

Here are your guys:

Wade Davis

12⅓ IP, 2.92 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 16.78 K/9, 6.57 BB/9, 2.06 FIP, 2.90 xFIP, .197 wOBA - RHH, .265 wOBA LHH

Aaron Crow

10 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 6.30 K/9, 2.70 BB/9, 2.62 FIP, 3.52 xFIP, .230 wOBA - RHH, .193 wOBA LHH

Kelvin Herrera

10⅔ IP, 2.53 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 8.44 K/9, 4.22 BB/9, 2.65 FIP, 3.74 xFIP, .307 wOBA - RHH, .283 wOBA LHH

Danny Duffy

8⅓ IP, 2.16 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 11.88 K/9, 3.24 BB/9, 2.06 FIP, 2.90 xFIP, .265 wOBA - RHH, .090 wOBA LHH

These are all small sample sizes of course, but for relievers, 10 innings can represent somewhere between 15 to 25 percent of their workload for the year. If Wade Davis wants his 2015 option picked up, he's probably going to have to stop frightening everyone within an angstrom of madness every time out. Crow could get more expensive over his last two arbitration seasons (2015 and 2016) if he moves into a full-time set-up role, but if he's the best pitcher for the job ... Herrera has been shaky so far this year. Duffy has looked surprising, then superb, then scary.

Davis will probably hang on to his job for the time being, but he hasn't exactly been the picture of consistency so far in Kansas City.

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