The Kansas City Royals have already made their intramural basketball league more interesting. And they traded for a former All-Star.

Chris Volstad is six feet eight inches tall! He was selected off waivers on October 26 from the Chicago Cubs. Volstad is currently the tallest player on the Royals and adds some nice front court depth for the pitchers when they have pick-up basketball games against the hitters in Spring Training. Other guys battling for inside position will be Luke Hochevar, Will Smith, and Blake Wood – all listed at 6’5″. Always looking for height, Dayton Moore could pull off another deal for a tall hitter. However, that is not anticipated and the pitchers will have a decided advantage under the basket.

I am kidding, of course. Chris Volstad may not be good at basketball.

Meanwhile, the Royals and Angels swapped a couple of 6’2″ pitchers. The Angels sent $1,000,000 plus former All-Star Ervin Santana to the Royals for Brandon Sisk. Apparently, the Royals preferred Santana’s Body Mass Index to Sisk’s. Either that, or they hope that Santana gives them an even shot at winning when he takes the mound. Like Jonathan Sanchez a year ago, Santana enters the season with a career ERA+ of 97. Additionally, the Royals could not have found a pitcher whose 2012 season mirrored their own more closely.

Team Santana
Gm Opp Rslt RS RA IP R ER
3 KCR L 3 7 5.2 6 5
7 @NYY L 0 5 6 5 5
12 OAK L 0 6 7 4 4
17 @TBR L 0 5 5 5 5
22 @CLE L 0 4 7 2 2
27 TOR L 0 4 8 3 3
32 @MIN W 6 2 7.1 2 2
37 OAK W 4 0 7.2 0 0
42 @SDP L 2 3 6 2 2
47 @SEA W 6 4 5 4 4
52 NYY L 5 6 5 5 5
56 SEA L 6 8 4.2 7 7
61 @COL W 10 8 5.2 7 7
66 ARI W 2 0 9 0 0
72 LAD L 1 3 8 3 2
77 @TOR L 5 7 5 5 5
82 @CLE L 3 12 1.1 8 8
90 @DET L 6 8 6 4 2
95 TEX L 2 9 1.2 6 6
103 @TEX W 15 8 5 3 3
108 @CHW W 6 5 6 3 2
113 SEA W 6 5 6.1 5 4
118 CLE W 8 4 7 1 1
123 @BOS W 5 3 6.1 2 2
128 @DET L 2 5 7 4 4
133 @SEA W 5 2 7 2 2
138 DET W 3 2 6.2 2 2
143 OAK L 1 4 6 2 1
151 CHW W 6 2 7 1 1
159 @TEX L 7 8 2.2 6 6
Quality Start | Win

Remember April 8, 2012 when the Royals beat Ervin Santana and looked like world beaters? Good times.

Anyway, that began a string of six staight starts by Santana where the Angels lost. But that was not entirely Ervin Santana’s fault. After scoring 3 against the Royals, the Angels were shut out in each of Santana’s next five starts. Then the team won five of Santana’s eight starts. Then the wheels fell off and the Angels lost Santana’s next five starts. Then the ship righted, metaphors were mixed, and the Angels won Santana’s next five starts and eight of ten. They lost his last start when he went two and two thirds, allowing six runs.

So we have a bad start, followed by a solid stretch, followed by another dip, followed by another strong stretch, ending on a sour note. Ervin Santana experienced the Royals season in microcosm.

In my mind, Ervin Santana gives the Royals an even shot at winning as long as he stays healthy. He currently leads active Royals pitchers in career wins with 96. Bruce Chen has 71. Luke Hochevar has 38. Chris Volstad has 35. Next on the list is Vin Mazzaro with 15. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the starting lineup when the pitchers tip off the first game of intramural basketball.

I am kidding, of course. As stated, it is unclear if Chris Volstad is any good.

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