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Are we done with Jeremy Guthrie yet?

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He seems like a great guy, but he's pitched his way out of the rotation.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Death can be a slow crawl, whittling away at your body and soul over decades, but sometimes it comes quicker. Jeremy Guthrie hasn't shuffled off this mortal coil physically, but most likely his spot in the Royals rotation is now deciding between going with a coffin or ashes. On Wednesday afternoon in Cleveland, Jeremy Guthrie allowed 7 earned runs on 11 hits over 5.1 innings. In other words he was bad, but in other other words he was 2015 Jeremy Guthrie. The game was almost a metaphor for his whole Royals tenure. It started out fine in the sense that the game started at 0-0 (per MLB rules), then slowly started getting away from him, before re-enacting the last few hours of the Titanic's maiden voyage.

The Linguist Society estimates that there are over 6900 different languages spoken on Earth today, and no matter in which language you read about Guthrie he was very bad this season.

Stat Guthrie Lg Rank
K/9 4.70 92/94
ERA 5.65 92/94
FIP 5.05 92/94
xFIP 5.01 93/94

Just across the board Guthrie was neck and neck with the worst performing pitchers this year. Something we are all well aware of. Back in May I suggested that it was time to drop Guthrie already. That was on May 4th. How has Guthrie performed since?

Dates ERA FIP xFIP
4/11-5/3 6.52 5.69 4.95
5/9-7/24 5.36 4.82 5.04

Hey! Guthrie has actually been a bit better, but he went from first degree murder to maybe voluntary manslaughter with Wednesday's outing as the electric chair.

Visually we can understand Guthrie as well.

There was a time that Guthrie was an okay or so pitcher, but those days have faded into the setting sun of Guthrie's career. Since basically 2011 Guthrie has slowly gotten worse and this year he's drifting into poor.

As the league FIP has gone down almost annually, Guthrie has been more inconsistent and never really near league average. His FIP rebound last year was in line with a league FIP drop.

In the winter of 2013 the Royals signed Guthrie to a 3-year deal worth $25.2M and a 2016 option with a $3.2M buyout. Many were surprised at such an agreement despite not a lot of action on Guthrie that winter. The results?

Year fWAR Salary $/WAR Value Surplus
2013 0.5 $           5,000,000.00 $       7,620,000.00 $   3,810,000.00 $   (1,190,000.00)
2014 1.1 $         11,000,000.00 $       8,000,000.00 $   8,800,000.00 $   (2,200,000.00)
2015 0.2 $           9,000,000.00 $       8,400,000.00 $   1,680,000.00 $   (7,320,000.00)
2016 0 $           3,200,000.00 $                       - $  (3,200,000.00) $   (3,200,000.00)
$         28,200,000.00 $     24,020,000.00 $  11,090,000.00 $ (13,910,000.00)

Yeeeesh. The Royals got less than half the value on the contract and the 2016 option buyout is basically a parting gift for Guthrie and a poison pill for the Royals.

I've always been tired of and hated the argument that Guthrie eats innings. Sure, 200 innings is nice, but when he has a 5+ FIP and is giving up 4+ runs over those innings every start he's someone you want to allocate less innings to.

Another recited argument is that Guthrie keeps the Royals in the game, and that they are W-L whenever Guthrie pitches, but why we are measuring a pitchers talent by what every one else on the team does doesn't really make sense. The 2008 Royals were 11-10 when Kyle Davies started.

This deal was universally hated by everybody at Royals Review as well when we covered it back in 2012

Three years later as predicted we are all wishing Guthrie was gone much sooner, yet he continued to pitch into July (and maybe even further) of the final year of his guaranteed year. He even started some playoff games for the Royals last season. Mercifully he won't be doing the same this year (we hope) if the Royals make the playoffs.