What do Kyle Davies, Todd Van Poppel, Kevin Jarvis, and Claude Willoughby have in common?

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Yesterday the Royals released Kyle Davies, whom they acquired from the Braves for Octavio Dotel in July of 2007 and gave 99 starts to despite a 29-44 record and 5.34 ERA.

Toss in Davies’ early work in Atlanta prior to the trade and he’s thrown 768 innings with a 5.59 ERA for his career. Not only is that really, really bad, it’s historic.

Things could change if he makes it back to the majors and lowers his ERA–after all, he’s still only 27 years old–but right now Davies is just the fourth pitcher in the history of baseball to have an ERA of 5.50 or higher in 750 or more innings:

                         YEARS      IP      ERA
Kevin Jarvis         1994-2006     781     6.03
Claude Willoughby    1925-1931     841     5.84
KYLE DAVIES          2005-2011     768     5.59
Todd Van Poppel      1991-2004     907     5.58

After releasing Davies general manager Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that he “has very good pitches” and “has got better days ahead of him.” Perhaps he’s right, since it’d be tough for Davies to be much worse, but then again Moore is the same guy who kept him around for $3.2 million this season.

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.