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.

Yusmeiro Petit pitched shortly after his mother passed away on Monday

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Athletics reliever Yusmeiro Petit found out his mother passed away on Monday prior to his team’s game against the Rangers, Martin Gallegos of The Mercury News reports. Petit decided to pitch anyway, turning 1 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, limiting the Rangers to just one hit.

Manager Bob Melvin said, “I was amazed. Didn’t expect it.”

It’s admirable — though certainly not expected — when a player pitches shortly after suffering a personal loss. Some people like adhering to their routine while grieving.

Petit was added to the bereavement list on Tuesday. He will spend some time away from the team for the funeral. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Petit family.