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

Aug 11, 2011, 3:29 PM EDT

Kyle Davies Getty Images

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.

  1. elmaquino - Aug 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    They all suck at pitching!

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 11, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    I can understand Davies as he was a 4th round pick. Same thing with Van Poppel being a first round pick. Obviously, those guys must have shown some skills to be drafted into the league that high and teams didn’t want to give up on the guy.

    I don’t get Kevin Jarvis though. 21st round pick so he really didn’t have a pedigree to speak of. Then his first 6 seasons, he goes 12-19 with a 6.62 ERA in 299 innings. So what happens next? In 2000 for Colorado, he goes 3-4 with a 5.95 ERA and this is impressive enough for the Padres to give him a 3 year deal? Amazing. He actually was only below average in 2001…12-11 with a 4.79 ERA. Then his last 5 years, he goes 7-15 with a 6.44 ERA in another 174 innings.

    So a 21st round draft pick NEVER has an average year, yet gets 12 seasons in the majors? Weird.

    • adenzeno - Aug 11, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      He must have been gritty, competitive, and always took the ball and had veteran presence.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 11, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        I’m not the biggest fan of WAR, but his is -5.6 for his career and he earned almost $10 million in his career. LOL.

  3. b7p19 - Aug 11, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    They were all traded for Octavio Dotel?

  4. rje49 - Aug 11, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Todd Van Poppel is one of the main reasons I stopped collecting baseball cards after 1993. You were expected to pay a premium for his card, even if you were convinced the guy was nothing special.

    • FC - Aug 11, 2011 at 5:47 PM

      And to think… the Braves almost drafted this guy instead of Chipper Jones… (They only didn’t because Poppel said he would not sign with the Braves). Major bullet dodged Matrix-style right there. I wonder how the 90’s Braves would have been different without Chipper.

  5. sportsdrenched - Aug 11, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Someone ask Dayton which of the other 29 teams were first in line to sign Davies after he was cut loose.

  6. dreamkafka - Aug 11, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Now, who would be the worst by era+, all good hitting eras here…

  7. humanexcrement - Aug 11, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    So you’re telling me the 1925 Claude Willoughby rookie card I keep in my firebox is just taking up space?

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