June 23, 2024

The Royals have released veteran right-hander Zach Davies from his minor league contract, according to MiLB.com’s transaction log. Despite pitching decently with Triple-A Omaha, the major league rotation in Kansas City has been strong, suggesting Davies may have had a mid-May opt-out clause in his minor league deal.

Davies, 31, signed with Kansas City on April 8 after spending spring training with the Nationals, where he struggled, allowing 14 earned runs in 14 innings over four starts. However, he somewhat improved in Omaha, posting a 4.29 ERA over 21 innings in five starts. Despite this, his 12.9 percent strikeout rate and 9.7 percent walk rate raise doubts about his performance even at the minor league level.

Royals release veteran starting pitcher

In his major league career, spanning 1,048 1/3 innings, Davies has a 4.36 ERA (4.48 FIP, 4.80 SIERA). He had a successful stint with the Brewers and Padres from 2015-20, with a 3.79 ERA and 4.18 FIP over 683 2/3 innings, but has struggled since. His recent seasons include a 5.78 ERA with the Cubs in 2021 and a 7.00 ERA with the Diamondbacks in 2023, leading to a combined 5.43 ERA over the last three years. This decline is attributed to a drop in command, with his walk rate increasing from 6.9 percent (2015-2020) to 10.3 percent, and an increase in home runs allowed.

Currently, the Royals’ starting rotation ranks fourth in the majors with a 3.09 ERA, led by Cole Ragans, Brady Singer, Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha, and Alec Marsh. This group has provided much-needed stability, limiting opportunities for Davies to join the major league team. However, given the frequent pitching injuries across the league, Davies is likely to attract interest from other clubs looking to bolster their rotation depth. Teams like the Red Sox, Rays, Rockies, Marlins, and Davies’ former team, the Brewers, all have multiple starters on the injured list.


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