These are the 5 best seasons by KC pitchers

December 14th, 2020

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have had some remarkably talented pitchers over the years, some of whom unfortunately finished their careers in other markets. But that doesn’t take away from some amazing seasons they had in Kansas City.

So, let’s take a took at the five best seasons by Royals pitchers over the years.

1. , 2009
Greinke put together the most dominant pitching performance in Kansas City history -- and less than two years later he asked to be traded. The Royals obliged and hauled in Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain from the Brewers in December 2010, a pivotal point in their march toward a World Series championship in '15.

Greinke was at his peak in a Royals uniform in 2009, going 16-8 with an MLB-best 2.16 ERA. He threw a career-high 229 1/3 innings and struck out a career-high 242 hitters. Naturally, he won the American League Cy Young Award that season.

2. , 1989
Saberhagen led MLB in wins (23), ERA (2.16), complete games (12) and WHIP (0.961). He captured his second career AL Cy Young Award and also won an AL Gold Glove Award.

3. Wade Davis, 2015
OK, there may be some recency bias here, but Davis’ seasons out of the bullpen in 2014 and '15 were phenomenal. It’s tough to choose which one was more dominant, but we’ll go with ’15, when he took over for closer Greg Holland (Tommy John surgery) down the stretch. Davis went 8-1 with a 0.94 ERA over 69 games and posted 17 saves, then recorded the final out of the 2015 World Series.

4. , 1983
Quisenberry was the most dominant reliever in baseball during a seven-year stretch in the 1980s, often having to go two or three innings to get a save. His best season was in ’83 when he saved an MLB-best 45 games and had a 1.94 ERA and 0.928 WHIP.

5. , 1994
Cone went 16-5 with a 2.94 ERA and captured the AL Cy Young Award. And remember, this was in a strike-shortened year. Cone was barreling toward a 20-win season and likely would have thrown close to 250 innings (he finished with 171 2/3).


Honorable mentions

Bret Saberhagen, 1985
Saberhagen won his first Cy Young by going 20-6 with a 2.87 ERA.

Greg Holland, 2013
Holland saved 47 games and posted a 1.21 ERA.