The big news of the day is that the Royals dumped a pair of their veteran players by trading Jake Diekman and designating Lucas Duda for assignment. That opened the space for two of their younger counterparts in Ryan O’Hearn and Kyle Zimmer. The former of which will be back in tonight’s starting lineup. The only old guy who will take the field when tonight’s game begins is Alex Gordon. Things are finally getting younger around here
Maybe the injection of youth will be enough to get the Royals back to their winning ways after they dropped the first two games in this four-game set to Cleveland. Those were some pretty frustrating games and tonight isn’t looking much brighter for the hometown club.
Glenn Sparkman will take the mound. He has made eleven starts so far this season and only three of them have resulted in quality starts or better. He does have the team’s only complete game shutout but even a fifth starter probably needs a better ratio of mediocre starts. This will also be Sparkman’s third start against Cleveland out of his last six. He has yet to give up fewer than five runs or escape the sixth inning against them.
Cleveland counters with Mike Clevinger. Clevinger has made only eight starts to this point due to injury but four of them were quality starts. That is significantly better than Glenn Sparkman and probably makes him sound worse than he is. Let’s try this stat. For the month of July he has made five starts with a 1.88 ERA and a 12.75 K/9 rate. He has walked only five and given up only five runs. The stretch includes a start against the Royals at the beginning of the month where he struck out nine in six scoreless innings.