If for no other reason than a ragged beard and moppy heard of hair, we should all be thankful that the Mariners chose Kanekoa Texeira in the past Rule 5 draft. Texeira was a part of the Yankees’ organization, which has a draconian policy towards facial hair and style alike. They are essentially baseball’s version of the Illuminati with constricting policies in exchange for success. Oh sure, you’ll win games, but no handlebar mustaches for you, my friend. And really, is winning without a mustache winning at all?
Texeira remained a Mariner through the spring and into the summer before the team placed him on waivers. The question of choice at the time was something like, “Which sabermetric organization will be the next to give this guy a shot?” That was a question because through 18 innings with the Mariners, Texeira had decent peripherals and a stinky ERA.
The team of intellectual sunshine to claim Texeira was – of course – the Kansas City Royals. He’s since pitched in 15 games for them and has looked nothing like his Mariner incarnation. Instead of being a reliever with modest strikeout and walk rates who gets a fair amount of grounders, he’s morphed into a reliever almost completely void of strikeouts and walks who gets an extreme amount of grounders. It’s a good look for him, too, as his FIP and xFIP have remained about steady while his ERA has deflated by more than two runs.
In such small sample sizes, it is possible that one or the other could be Texiera’s real ability. It’s also possible that neither are truly representative since it is just 43 innings and true talent doesn’t know of our arbitrary boundaries – like seasons – so it doesn’t have to show itself through every sample just because Texeira is now in the majors or just because the season just began or anything like that. He looks like a useful reliever to have in a bullpen and kudos to the Royals for grabbing him, but right now, it’s hard to peg just which skin is his own.
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