Obligatory disclaimer: These 11.76 reasons are not the ONLY reasons why Blaine Boyer is awful. They are only 11.76 of the reasons why Blaine Boyer is awful.
For those of you who were on business in a remote area and are only now realizing Blaine Boyer is on the Royals, here is some biographical information about Blaine Boyer. Blaine Boyer was born in July 1981 in Atlanta during the first prolonged MLB Strike. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2000 draft by the Atlanta Braves. The same round that the Expos selected Grady Sizemore, The White Sox drafted Michael Morse, The Pirates picked Pitcher Chris Young, and the Royals picked Scott Walter. Boyer was selected several picks before David DeJesus, Cliff Lee, and Yadier Molina. Boyer made his MLB debut on June 12th, 2005. He pitched to Nick Swisher, Marco Scutaro, Matt Watson, future Royals manager Jason Kendall, Mark Kotsay, and Bobby Kielty. Boyer gave up the go-ahead run and took the loss.
Anyways, Boyer was traded to the Cardinals for Brian Barton in 2009. He was lost on waivers to the Arizona Diamondbacks a few weeks later. Boyer's Diamondbacks stint represented the last time he had the same employer for consecutive seasons. Since the end of 2010, Boyer has been employed by the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals for a second time, he wasn't in any organization in 2012, he spent a few months on the Omaha Storm Chasers in 2013, he pitched for the Hanshin Tigers later in 2013. Then he pitched for the Padres, Twins, Brewers, and Red Sox from 2014 to 2017. He also had a 2017 Spring Training stint with the Braves before being released. Essentially Blaine Boyer has metaphorically lived out of an RV for the last 7 years.
So, why is Blaine Boyer bad?
Reason 1: Blaine Boyer has an ERA over 11 after pitching 20 times
If Blaine Boyer gets DFAed on Tuesday Afternoon and doesn't pitch again in the majors. His 11.76 ERA in 20 games would be the 3rd highest ERA of any pitcher to pitch 20 times in a season. The two pitchers who've done worse are Ramon Tatis (1998 Devil Rays), whose name seems like a Witness Relocation Program name for a bad relief pitcher, and Joe Jimenez of the 2017 Tigers. Both Tatis and Jimenez were at least 10 years younger than Boyer, who has achieved a 11.76 ERA through 20 games at the age of 36.
Reason 2: Blaine Boyer has entered 15 competitive games in his first 20 appearances
Only 5 Boyer appearances involved him entering up or down by 4 or more runs. So, the other 15 involved Boyer entering potentially competitive games. In those 15 appearances, Boyer gave up 26 runs. 8 of Boyer's 20 appearances have involved Boyer coming into a game with the Royals down 1/2/3, and falling farther behind the opposition as a result of Boyer's pitching. Boyer also entered a tie game against the Tigers where he gave up 2 runs in an inning but received a Win as a result of the Royals making the comeback before Boyer was relieved.
Reason 3: Blaine Boyer has given up more runs than every member of the Houston Astros rotation
I know the Astros rotation is pretty good, but Blaine Boyer has given up more runs than guys who have pitched 74 innings already. Even McCullers, who is the 5th best Astros reliever and somehow has an ERA+ of just 98 has still given up fewer runs than Blaine Boyer. Good lord, Boyer is so amazingly bad and there's an entire staff of starting pitchers who have given up fewer runs than Blaine Boyer.
Reason 4: Blaine Boyer doesn't strike out anybody and has more strikeouts than walks
Jason Hammel struck out 10 Rangers on Sunday, Blaine Boyer has 9 strikeouts all year. Boyer's K/9 rate is now 3.92 Ks per 9. Jimmy Gobble managed to get 10 strikeouts in the 12 largely bad innings he pitched in the majors after leaving the Royals. On the upside for Boyer, his strikeout rate is still higher than the K/9 rate of position players pitching random innings for their teams. Boyer has also walked 12 batters in 20 2/3 innings, so he's bad at striking people out and he is bad at not walking them.
I know some people lionize "pitching to contact".. but when you're Blaine Boyer, you're not exactly getting much weak contact anyways. Boyer's old man slider has been getting hit around the ballpark this season. The scary thing is that Boyer is somehow getting some borderline strike calls (maybe out of sympathy) while still walking more than he has struck out.
Reason 5: Blaine Boyer gets destroyed in clutch situations
As you can tell from the fact that he has given up 31 runs in 20 appearances, Blaine Boyer gets completely wrecked in RISP situations. Opposing hitters are hitting .500 vs Boyer with runners in scoring position, including 2 hits on Monday night. Those hitters are also slugging over .900 vs Boyer in RISP spots. Going into Monday's game, Boyer had the lowest LOB% percentage of any pitcher with 19 innings according to Fangraphs (in other words, he strands 9% fewer people on base than the second worst relief pitcher in that stat. A difference of 34.8% to 43.5%. That percentage went down slightly on Monday night as he only stranded 1 of 3 Twins)
Reason 6: Blaine Boyer drags down the Royals bullpen's overall stats
The Royals bullpen with Blaine Boyer: 5.36 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 6.8 Ks per 9, 1.94 Ks per 9
All the Royals relievers who aren't Blaine Boyer: 4.63 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 7.3 Ks per 9, 2.21 Ks per 9
Removing one man from a bullpen who had amassed 176 innings through 54 games should not move the numbers this much. Boyer is the worst reliever in the current bullpen and it's not even close. Boyer is the worst reliever to appear on this team in 2018, even worse than Justin Grimm (who may have the excuse of being hurt). The Royals bullpen has all the potential to be an acceptably mediocre bullpen if not for having the worst reliever in baseball appearing in 37% of the teams games and regularly appearing in situations where the game isn't totally out of hand.
Most of the current bullpen has stabilized, to an extent. Boyer is as bad on opening day as he was in game 54.
Reason 7: Blaine Boyer has performance bonuses
Cot's Baseball doesn't specify how Blaine Boyer could make $250K in performance bonuses this year. But Blaine Boyer could make $250K in performance bonuses. The only other relief pitcher with performance bonuses on this team is Justin Grimm, who could make $300K in an unspecified fashion. One common performance bonus for relief pitchers is "appearances". But on the upside for the Royals, they likely have not started paying bonuses to Boyer this season. But they have already paid Alcides Escobar $300K in bonuses for making 125, 150, 175, and 200 plate appearances this season.
Reason 8: They could send down a younger reliever whose ERA isn't in double digits to keep Blaine Boyer around for longer
As some of you may have heard, Justin Grimm has rehabbed a little bit in Omaha recently. (The rehab is unofficially paused at the moment as a result of Grimm's wife going to labor a month early). But whenever Justin Grimm is healthy and ready to return to the major leagues, it's possible that he could get a 25 man roster spot at the expense of somebody who isn't Blaine Boyer. The Royals have a bullpen roster spot for Scott Barlow, whose main role involves pitching once Brad Keller isn't pitching. If they feel comfortable with having Keller in the rotation and not needing a long man purely to help Keller's starts, then Grimm could appear and create a Middle Relief corps of Hill, McCarthy, Flynn, Adam, Smith, Grimm, and Boyer.
But perhaps bringing Grimm back will get Boyer DFAed and create a slightly better middle relief corps of Hill, McCarthy, Flynn, Adam, Grimm, and long relief Scott Barlow (or Trevor Oaks). But then again, it's been 2 months of Blaine Boyer and he still hasn't been DFAed.
Reason 9: Blaine Boyer is worse than Albie Lopez
Boyer has already made 5 more appearances than Lopez made in 2003. Lopez made 13 appearances before taking a DL stint in mid-May. He had an ERA of 9.90 when he went on the Disabled List and was pitching in blowouts by the time he went on the disabled list. The 2003 Royals were so magical that they got Albie Lopez 3 Ws in games where Lopez gave up runs. Lopez also pitched 7 scoreless innings in 2 appearances against the 2003 Detroit Tigers. Once the Royals brought Lopez back, they DFAed him before the end of a mid-June game where he had given up 7 runs in under an inning.
Lopez's badness may have more leverage since he was on a team that ended up becoming good. But Boyer is worse overall. Pena banished Lopez from the circle of trust after a stretch where Lopez gave up 15 runs in 5 games. Ned has yet to show that sort of distrust in Blaine Boyer.
Reason 10: Ned Yost has way too much trust in Blaine Boyer when you consider how freaking bad Blaine Boyer is
Possibly a reprise of Reason 3. But on Monday, the Royals pretzeled themselves into a situation where they only had 3 relief pitchers who hadn't pitched on Saturday or Sunday. They pitched Burch Smith, who had gone a week between outings, and then pitched Blaine Boyer in the 9th inning. The other reliever who hadn't pitched Saturday/Sunday is Brian Flynn. Flynn threw 44 pitches on Friday. He has thrown 40 pitches and pitched within the next 3 days twice this season. In theory, Brian Flynn, who isn't great, but doesn't have an ERA of 11, could pitch the 9th in a 6-4 game. But Ned has seemingly pegged Flynn as a multi-inning guy (or a guy who throws 2 innings and averages 20 pitches an inning).
Also it's worth noting that they brought up Barlow on Monday, with no intent of using him until Wednesday (and no likely opening of using him until Tuesday, if things go bad in Duffy's start). So, roster management-wise, they could have probably gutted out another day of Eric Stout on the roster for the sake of having 3 middle relief pitchers who were available in this game (if Flynn was still unavailable).
But Boyer doesn't just pitch in leverage spots because of an assortment of events made every other reliever unavailable. He pitched in a tie game in St. Louis last Wednesday, despite not being the most rested arm in the bullpen (he had pitched in the Cardinals series on Monday). For all the badness of Blaine Boyer, his only upside this year is that the Royals didn't lose either tie game he entered (thanks to random outbursts of hitting) and he didn't lose the game where he entered to close a game in the 9th inning against the Chicago White Sox.
Reason 11: Blaine Boyer has served his purpose of answering the question of "what would happen if 2018 Blaine Boyer faced 2018 Judge/Stanton/Sanchez?"
On May 19th in Kansas City, Blaine Boyer faced Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez in a bold test of "how far can these batters hit baseballs". Judge grounded out. Stanton homered. Sanchez homered. All three of them hit the ball with exit velocities of over 110mph. This answered the question of "what would happen of 3 of the best hitters in baseball faced the worst reliever in baseball?". Also, the Stanton home run got somebody arrested, so Blaine Boyer is indirectly causing people to resort to a life of crime as a result of how bad he is at pitching.
Reason 11.76: Blaine Boyer isn't going to be in baseball when the Royals are good again. There's no shortage of younger relievers who can post an ERA under 12
The concept that the Royals bullpen needs adult supervision to keep things afloat is kinda silly. Especially when you consider the current bullpen really isn't young. The 2011 bullpen didn't have a single relief appearance by a pitcher who was 30 years old or older. That 2011 bullpen only had 10 appearances by a pitcher older than 27 years old (9 by Robinson Tejada and 1 Mitch Maier appearance). This bullpen has multiple people who were born in 1990. It's far from the 2011 bullpen of 21 year old Tim Collins, 23yo Jeremy Jeffress, 24yo Aaron Crow, 25yo Greg Holland, and so on. Having a craptacular 36yo Blaine Boyer has not made the rest of the relievers better. They're good enough on their own to make it on their own merits, and if Blaine Boyer is teaching them anything, it probably involves the Rolling Stones lesson of "What a drag it is getting old".
How somebody who has played for 5 teams in 5 years gets to be pegged as a veteran leader is beyond me. You'd think some team would want that sort of leader to be around for consecutive years if he was so valuable in that position. The only thing Boyer is really leading the team in right now is ERA. I'm not asking people who are paid to be positive about a .333 WP% team to not be positive. But let's be a bit less ridiculous here?
This bullpen really doesn't need Blaine Boyer showing up to bury the Royals chances in any marginally competitive game. They can lose enough games just fine without having to hear about veteran leadership.
I'm not saying "use Logan's Run as a guide for building the team"... but guys like Boyer just don't have any place on this Royals team. Guys like Boyer who have ERAs over 11, WHIPs over 2, more walks than strikeouts, and have a single digit strikeout total through 20 appearances, are just not worth keeping around here.
If the young guys suck, at least they're still young. Blaine Boyer isn't gonna turn into Wade Davis after Monday's appearance. He's old and bad, and he's not gonna become young and good if given more time.
It's time for the Royals to give us random young guys that are far less ripe for criticism when they fail.