Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie had a miserable start against the Yankees today, allowing 11 runs–all of them earned–while recording just three outs.
He was asked to come out for the second inning after giving up eight runs in the first inning and then gave up three more runs without getting an out.
Guthrie’s overall ERA jumped from 4.75 to 6.70.
Some other tidbits from a day Guthrie would like to forget:
– He’s the first pitcher to allow 11 or more earned runs in one inning or fewer since Jason Jennings of the Astros on July 29, 2007.
– He’s the first pitcher to allow four home runs while recording fewer than four outs since Travis Harper of the Rays on June 21, 2005.
– His teammate, reliever Wade Davis, has allowed a grand total of eight earned runs in 91 innings since the beginning of 2014.
Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.
The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.
Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.
While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.
Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?