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

1 Comment:

Tim Lacy said...

I'm totally with you on this. And Thompson looked pretty good. If the Royals only had an "average" pitcher in Elarton's spot, they'd be 6 games closer to .500. - TL