Opinion

Here are the five worst rotations in baseball history at allowing home runs

Even photographers are aware of the Royals’ troubles. This was photo was taken after Chris Young allowed a solo homer to Josh Donaldson on Tuesday.
Even photographers are aware of the Royals’ troubles. This was photo was taken after Chris Young allowed a solo homer to Josh Donaldson on Tuesday. The Associated Press

It’s early July, so you’ve probably noticed that Royals starting pitchers have a problem with allowing home runs this season.

They’ve been historically bad. According to Fangraphs, since 1871 no team’s rotation has a worse rate of home runs allowed per nine innings than the Royals this season (1.73). That’s out of 2,835 teams, and includes both the 1875 Red Stockings and 1875 White Stockings, who both didn’t allow a home run.

The good news? This year’s Reds team is nipping at the Royals’ heels (1.70), powered in part by the nine home runs Cincinnati starters allowed in the last three games (13 1/3 innings). In fact, both teams’ starters have allowed 85 homers this season, but the Royals have thrown six fewer innings.

Let’s take a closer look at the top five, er, worst five rotations based on a serving up the gopher ball.

2016 Royals (1.73 HR/9 innings)

43-40 record

Chris Young: 4.2 HR/9 in 13 starts

Read Next

Ian Kennedy: 1.9 HR/9 in 16 starts

Danny Duffy: 1.6 HR/9 in 10 starts

Yordano Ventura: 1.3 HR/9 in 16 starts

Edinson Volquez: 0.9 HR/9 in 18 starts

Kris Medlen: 0.7 HR/9 in 6 starts

7 players have made at least one start

2016 Cincinnati Reds (1.70 HR/9 innings)

31-54 record

Jon Moscot: 4.2 HR/9 in 5 starts

Cody Reed: 3.6 HR/9 in 4 starts

Alfredo Simon: 2.1 HR/9 in 11 starts

John Lamb: 1.7 HR/9 in 12 starts

Brandon Finnegan: 1.6 HR/9 in 18 starts

Dan Straily: 1.1 HR/9 in 15 starts

12 players have made at least one start

1987 California Angels (1.60 HR/9 innings)

75-87 record

Don Sutton: 1.8 HR/9 in 34 starts

Jerry Reuss: 1.8 HR/9 in 16 starts

Kirk McCaskill: 1.8 HR/9 in 13 starts

Willie Fraser: 1.6 HR/9 in 23 starts

John Candelaria: 1.3 HR/9 in 20 starts

Mike Witt: 1.2 HR/9 in 36 starts

10 players made at least one start

1996 Detroit Tigers (1.59 HR/9 innings)

53-109 record

Todd Van Poppel: 2.7 HR/9 in 9 starts

Greg Gohr: 2.2 HR/9 in 16 9 starts

Scott Aldred: 2.0 HR/9 in 8 starts

Brian Williams: 1.5 HR/9 in 17 starts

Felipe Lira: 1.4 HR/9 in 32 starts

Justin Thompson: 1.1 HR/9 in 11 starts

Omar Olivares: 0.9 HR/9 in 25 starts

16 players made at least one start, including Red Sox manager John Farrell and former Royal Jose Lima

2003 Texas Rangers (1.59 HR/9 innings)

71-91 record

Joaquin Benoit: 2.0 HR/9 in 17 starts

Ismael Valdez: 1.8 HR/9 in 22 starts

Colby Lewis: 1.6 HR/9 in 26 starts

Tony Mounce: 1.6 HR/9 in 11 starts

John Thompson: 1.1 HR/9 in 35 starts

R.A. Dickey: 1.1 HR/9 in 11 starts

16 players made at least one start, including Todd Van Poppel

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

Related stories from Kansas City Star

  Comments