That headline is just absolutely unfair, because there are good reasons to think the Royals sent Sean O'Sullivan to the Disabled List because he's hurt, and not simply because his 6.92 ERA is the highest (i.e. worst) in the majors among pitchers with at least 50 innings this season.
No, he's really hurt. Says so right here:
Royals put RHP Sean O'Sullivan on 15-day disabled list because of right biceps tendinitis. Recalling RHP Jesse Chavez from Class AAA Omaha.
Which totally makes sense. I mean, it's not like O'Sullivan really earned his rotation slot with the Royals this season -- he entered 2011 with a 5.65 ERA in 153 major-league innings -- but what he's done this season is sort of beyond the pale. In addition to that 6.92 earned-run average, he's struck out only 18 hitters while walking 26. Which is, even by O'Sullivan's standards, putrid.
Of course, a reasonable person might ask, "Well if he's been pitching poorly because he's been hurt, why was he allowed to pitch?"
When you figure out the answer, please tell the Royals. And the Red Sox. And every other fershlugginer team that continues to run starting pitchers out there, every fifth day, despite all statistical evidence suggesting the guy just isn't right, physically. How many games, I wonder, have been lost because of fealty to the false idol, machismo.
Anyway, the obvious message here is that Sean O'Sullivan's not a good pitcher -- terrible, even -- but is beyond any safe-for-a-family-newspaper adjective when his biceps is barking hard.
In O'Sullivan's absence, Nate Adcock is expected to fill that rotation slot.
Adcock, a Rule 5 Draft pick last winter, has neither the track record nor the strikeout rate to fare well against world-class hitters. But somebody has to start the games. Otherwise you're looking at a bunch of forfeits.