It has been five long days since Twins' righty Cy Gibson last dispatched of the Royals with irritating efficiency. The Mizzou alum brings his 0.60 K/BB, 5.41 FIP, and 2.61 K/9 back to The Show Me State. Of course, how Gibson has fared against other teams has yet to mean anything when it comes to facing the Royals. Of teams who have faced Gibson at least twice, only the Rangers have struggled to put runs on the board more than the Royals. In four games, the Royals have managed a punchless .247/.305/.278 triple-slash against the ground-baller. His 1.38 ERA against Kansas City would lead a person who only watched Royals games to think that Gibson is actually a formidable pitcher. His career 4.16 FIP, 4.22 xFIP, 4.38 SIERA and 4.97 ERA over 240.2 career innings contradicts such thinking.
With Royals' kryptonite* (a pedestrian Twins pitcher) on the mound, Ned Yost will send Edinson Volquez to the mound. In the extremely small sample of two starts in a Royals uniform, the big offseason signing--well, "big" by Kansas City standards at least--wasted little time in getting after opposing hitters, striking out 12 while walking just two and hitting one batter in his 15.2 innings of work. Unfortunately for the Royals, three of the four earned runs Volquez gave up thus far came on Wednesday at Target Field against these very Twins and with Kyle Gibson as the opposing pitcher. Whether it is his intent, Volquez spent his first two starts relying more on fly balls and the rangy Royals outfield than on ground balls, reversing course on how he pitched for the first ten seasons of his career. If this is a conscious decision, Volquez could see his increased reliance upon his change-up and emphasis to pitching to the strength of the outfield defense behind him lead to a fruitful stint with the club.
Of course, that could all be statistical noise, but it does warrant continued monitoring to see if the trend holds.
The visiting Twins will be:
The #MNTwins hand the ball to @kgib44 as they begin a three-game set with the Royals. http://t.co/VO3sO44vWt pic.twitter.com/C4sd8ZFZfb— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) April 20, 2015
The hometown Royals:
All Structures Are Unstable Lineup: Escobar 6, Moustakas 5, Hosmer 3, Morales DH, Perez 2, Gordon 7, Orlando 9, Colon 4, Dyson 8, Volquez 1.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) April 20, 2015