Thursday, August 23, 2007

Channel 9 Hits the Road

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Greinke Delima...

What Should the Royals do with Zack Greinke

There are several schools of though about what to do with Zack Greinke.

Let him continue to flourish in middle relief
- Greinke is really doing well in the bullpen. The resurgence of the bullpen coincides with the movement of Greinke into the pen. For now it seems as though Buddy Bell and the Royals enjoy having a reliever that is a true power arm. When Greinke was in the starting rotation his fastball was sitting somewhere between 89-91mph, but since he moved to the pen, his fastball speed has really jumped regularly hitting between 94-96mph. He comes into games throws strikes and gives the Royals a chance to win on a regular basis. helping the Royals get to their closer with the lead. Another positive is instead of effecting one or two games a week, Greinke has a chance to impact 3-4 games a week.

Move him back to the starting rotation
- Greinke's stuff is too good to only be used in the bullpen. Nothing is as important to a baseball team then starting pitching. If you don't have starting pitching, the game won't matter in the 7th inning. The Royals used a first round draft choice on Greinke to be a starting pitcher and they only gave him 64 starts before they decided that he wasn't good enough to be a starter. Look a Jeremy Bonderman's numbers. It took him almost 100 starts before he became the stud he is today(2003: 6-19, 2004: 11-13, 2005: 14-13, 2006: 14-8.)

Move Greinke to the closer
- Zack Greinke has lights out stuff. He hits his spots with all of his pitches...power fastball, sweeping curve, diving changeup... He is too good be be left in middle relief and with his stuff he could just blow people away in the 9th inning a la Jonathon Papelbon. Octavio Dotel is not doing so hot this season and will hopefully be dealt by the trading deadline leaving the closer's job in the air. Joakim Soria, would be the obvious choice because of his experience earlier this season, but why not give Greinke a chance. If the Royals have given up on Greinke as a starter the next most valuable position as a pitcher is the closers job. Let's see what he can do...

As for me...
I would like to see Grienke back in the starting rotation. That being said I don't think he'll crack the starting rotation again this year, so yes, I'd like to see what he'd do as the closer. Dotel makes me nervous each time he enters the game and I just don't feel comfortable with him in the game. I'd like to see Dotel dealt for anything except an outfielder. Greinke is too good to be in middle relief and his talents need to be utilized as something in a role that has more of an impact on the game. Sure middle relief is important, but you can find it: David Riske. IF the Royals are entertaining the notion of moving Grienke to closer they need to do it sooner then later and definitely not in November. To tell the truth I'm not sure how Greinke would react to the stresses of the closers job, but I think he would relish the opportunity that he might pitch everyday and could have a large impact on the game.
I guess I change my answer...let me see what Greinke does as the closer and then let me make up my mind. Also as a sidebar: I'd like to see Soria switched to a starter after this Rule V season.


Royals 2007 Record: 36-48


Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Lost Art of Retaliation

Hit Someone...Please!

Sweeping the Angels is a great way to end a road trip, whether a winning or a losing road trip, it's just solid to come home aftersweeping the best team in baseball.

The Royals played solid baseball, winning in every way possible...a normal win, a blowout and a 1-run pitching duel. Good solid baseball and a good solid sweep.

I saw 3 different things that really stood out in my mind after this series:

1. The bullpen deserves an atta'boy! 8 IP 1.12ERA 1ER 7K 1BB

2. The homerun hitting duo of Gordon and Butler going deep in the same game is awesome. First time ever on 6/26/07

3. Royals pitchers need to freaking bean some people!

Lets elaborate on the last topic:

Over the 3 game series in Anaheim Royals batters got beaned 5 times...2 times in the Monday game and 3 times in the blowout on Tuesday. Take a guess at how many times an Angel got beaned? If you guessed none, you would be right. After 5 Royals players took pitches on the chin, Royals pitchers felt no need to protect their hitters or even things up a bit.

To tell the truth it kinda pisses me off. Stand up for your batters. It's not a difficult theory, just send a message to the other team and let them know, if you plunk a Royal, expect to get plunked.

I looked up the numbers for this season...So far Royals batters have been plunked 49 times this season, which incidentally leads the majors. Royals pitchers have hit opposing batters only 21 times, which is good for 26th in the majors.

I'm not sure if it is a coaching philosophy or what, but someone needs to step up and protect our batters. I'm not advocating for retaliation in a 1-0 game, but during Tuesdays blowout after 3 Royals players have already been hit, why not just give an Angel a shot to the ribs as a bit of payback.

Bruise for a bruise.


Royals 2007 Record: 33-46


Monday, June 25, 2007

Indictment of the System or the Braves Way?

Last Thursday the Royals placed Scott Elarton on the DL, whether he is actually hurt or just terrible is an argument all in itself, regardless Royals fans no longer have to deal with him and his 9.17ERA.

Let me just say first of all I'm ecstatic that Elarton is no longer in the starting rotation. It at least takes an almost surefire loss out of the balance and maybe even gives the Royals a chance to win.

With Elarton on the DL, it opened up a spot in the starting rotation and GM Dayton Moore was left with a decision. There are several ways that Dayton could have dealt with this situation.

He could have...
1. Moved Zack Grienke back to the starting rotation from the bullpen.
2. Called up one of the many(smell the sarcasm?) Royals pitching prospects.
3. Signed a veteran to just fill a spot.

As most of us know by now, Dayton selected option #3 and signed veteran John Thompson.

John Thompson's Career Numbers:
62-84 4.69ERA 796K 366BB
-not bad, just about major league average. Earlier this year Thompson was released by the Toronto Bluejays. The Jays decided they didn't have room on the roster for Thompson, because of his roster bonus. Toronto's starting rotation was already full of young up-and-comers and they didn't want to pay his bonus for him to sit in the bullpen, so they released him.

Now the question remains of the other 2 options:
-As for Grienke...he's doing quite well in the bullpen, flourishing in his new role and with his mental history the Royals feel safer to let him stay where he is.
-What about bringing up one of our youngsters? Let's take a look at the Royals top 3 pitching prospects.

Billy Buckner's 2007 numbers(AAA):
6-2 4.15ERA 43K 13BB
Tyler Lumsden's 2007 numbers(AAA):
5-5 5.57ERA 50K 30BB
Luke Hochevar's 2007 numbers(AA):
3-6 4.63ERA 83K 19BB

Just looking at the numbers, Billy Buckner is the obvious choice, but remember this is his first year in AAA. His numbers show that he has been good, but not dominating AAA, so what would that conversion be in the majors? Probably not to good. The other two, Lumsden and Hochevar, obviously need more seasoning.

So what led Dayton Moore to his decision to sign Thompson? Was is an indictment of the system or the Braves way or doing things?

I believe it was the latter. The Braves Way. No need to rush a prospect when a decent, average veteran waiting in the wings that can be signed for little money. Let the prospects continue their development and don't rush them. We as Royals fans have seen to many prospects come up to fill a void and just get hammered.

I believe Dayton made a good decision signing Thompson so lets see what he does tonight...


Royals 2007 Record: 30-46


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Sweet Smell of Mediocrity

Who are these Guys?

All season long everyone has been saying these Royals are better then last years Royals, but the record never showed. They were still dropping games and losing series, but no longer. The Royals of the last 5 weeks have showed that they are better and have played better baseball. In the Royals last 33 games they are 17-16 and that includes a 7 game losing streak.

During this stretch of good, solid baseball the Royals have removed themselves from the worst team in baseball and are now sitting as the third worst team in baseball, 1 game in front of Texas( 26-43) and 2 games up on Cincinati( 27-44). The Royals are also working their way out of the cellar in the AL Central. As of today, 6/19/07, the Royals are 2 1/2 games behind the Chicago White Sox for 4th in the AL Central. Baby steps.

Everything seems to be coming together at the right time. The starting pitching has been good, not great, but good enough. One starter has been outstanding in the month of June...Brian Bannister.

Brian Bannister's June Numbers; 4-0 1.60ERA 28IP 5ER 15K 3BB

And when the starting pitching isn't good *cough. cough- Scott Elarton* the offense has provided enough run support to help the Royals win, averaging 4.3 runs a game over the last month. John Buck and Alex Gordon have really started hitting the ball well.

John Buck's June Numbers: 10/37 .270BA 4HR 1 Double 7RBI
Alex Gordon's June Numbers: 17/55 .309BA 2HR 3 Doubles 1 Triple 9 RBI
Editor's Note: John Buck is only catching 3 of 5 starts so the question is should he be getting more starts? Or are his power numbers the result of getting more rest? Talk amongst yourselves.

The final piece of the puzzle is the bullpen. Wow...the bullpen. The most frustrating piece of the puzzle for Royals fans over the past 3 years has finally come together and slam the door for the Royals win. The combination of Grienke, Gobble, Soria, Riske and Dotel have been outstanding.

Bullpen Numbers for the Month of June:
2-0 2.34ERA 53 1/3 IP 14ER 48K 18BB 6SV and no! blown saves...

I couldn't believe those numbers when I saw them. A 2.34ERA, a k/bb ratio of 3.5/1. Those numbers are Anaheim Angel numbers not Royals numbers.

Lets hope the Royals keep up the good work and catch the White Sox and get out of the Central cellar.


Royals 2007 Record: 29-42


Friday, June 15, 2007

Cardinal Stew

Series Analysis
St. Louis @ Kansas City

Tuesday June 12 KC 8-1 STL
Wednesday June 13 KC 0-7 STL
Thursday June 14 KC 17-8 STL

There are very few things in my book that are better then beating the Cardinals. Most of my fraternity brothers in college were from St. Louis so naturally, they were pompous Cardinal fans and usually lambasted me for being a Royals fan. So to see the boys in blue take a series from the Cardinals for me, is just bittersweet vindication.
After watching the series there are a few things that have really come to life:
-One- Scott Rolen is obviously washed up, he has become a shell of his former self both with the bat and in the field.

-Two- The Royals are frustrating. Its nice to see them play well, but to score 8, 0 and then a 17 is a bit odd. Hopefully they just ran into good pitching, and they did, but the inconsistency is a bit troubling...but that is just a minor complaint. I'll take 2 out of 3 every series like that all year.

-Three- Alex Gordon is starting to come around- 6/13 .461 2HR 6RBI 2K for the series and is batting .204 for the season. His first homerun of the series on Saturday was a thing of beauty, a 439 ft shot to right-center that landed in the second tier of the water spectacular.

-Four- Scott Elarton is not very good- 2IP 6ER 0K 3BB- I think the Royals may end up putting Grienke back in the starting rotation...

-Five- Grienke is very good in the bullpen- W 4IP 1ER 3K- but to keep him in the bullpen is a waste. I think this stint in the pen has been great for his confidence, but I'd like to see what happens if they put him back in the starting rotation.

-Six- Odalis Perez has regressed mightily- L 3IP 6ER oK 2BB 1oH!- he had pitched very well earlier this year, but before that he pitched like this crap. I'm not sure what to do...the Royals need a warm body for the rotation and with nobody ready in the minors, I guess the fans will just have to cross their fingers and hopefully Dayton can flip him for something useful at the trade deadline, but with starts like that...

-Seven- Mark Teahen's bat is also starting to come alive- 6/13 .461BA 7RBI 3 Triples

-Eight- The Royals have played very well against the National League. So far this season they're 6-3 against the NL and with 3 series left against NL teams the Royals have a good shot at a winning record for interleague play.

I guess that's more then a few things, but hey I've been gone a while. Hopefully they keep the momentum going against the NL and then carry it back to the AL.


Royals 2007 Record: 26-41