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Posted on: June 4, 2009 10:11 pm
 

Batters the Royals could have had.

Ok, I haven't been on here too much lately, but don't think for a second that I haven't been keeping tabs on my favorite team.  I check in every once in a while to see what everyone's talking about, just don't have too much time to contribute to the conversations.  Anywho, I wanted to put together a list of hitters the Royals were rumored to have interest in last offseason and see how they're doing so far this year.  Let's get to it.

Orlando Hudson - .329 BA, .410 OBP, 3 HR, 32 RBI, 17 doubles, 4 SB.  Hudson has been lighting it up for the Dodgers.  From what I remember he's been hitting in the three spot and thriving.  Would have been a great signing for the Royals and their desperately needed offense.

Rafael Furcal - .244 BA, .308 OBP, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 8 doubles, 3 SB.  He hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire, but he's definitely been doing better than Mike Aviles has this year.  Also, he hasn't had any severe back problems yet, which was a major concern going into the year.

Raul Ibanez - .337 BA, .395 OBP, 19 HR, 52 RBI, 13 doubles, 4 SB.  Ok, we all know he's been tearing the cover off the ball.  Obviously would have been a great signing.  And with the way Jose Guillen's been looking in the outfield, he'd be an upgrade there too.  Who woulda thought?

Juan Rivera - .301 BA, .341 OBP, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 8 doubles, 0 SB.  This would have been a great signing as far as I'm concerned.  Not too expensive and has plenty of potential.  The Angels have a crowded outfield, so he'd be getting alot more AB's in a Royals uniform.

Orlando Cabrera - .225 BA, .276 OBP, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 7 doubles, 1 SB.  He's obviously having a subpar year, so this one isn't hurting too much, but I'm guessing he's going to turn it around and he's not too expensive.

Milton Bradley - .220 BA, .338 OBP, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 3 doubles, 0 SB.  He's struggling so far and who knows if he's going to get it back.  If he doesn't, then he's just another Jose Guillen that we got lucky by not signing.

Adam Dunn - .263 BA, .392 OBP, 16 HR, 42 RBI, 7 doubles, 0 SB.  Another typical year for Dunn.  He'll have 40+ homeruns and have an OBP around .400 and be a pretty good signing, although it's on a horrible team.

Pat Burrell - .250 BA, .349 OBP, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 4 doubles, 1 SB.  This was a signing that alot of people wanted to see.  Well, so far he hasn't produced, but he's been hurt for part of the season.  Will probably be good in the second half is my guess.


There were obviously some instances where this offense could have had some very good help.  Ibanez, Hudson, Dunn and Rivera have been good to great so far.  I always have to keep in mind that with the season that Dunn's having, the Nationals still can't win a game so how much is one guy going to help this offense really?  Maybe an extra run a week?  Maybe two?  We're going to need more than that to get some W's.

If I'm missing someone, feel free to let me know.  I'm half asleep so the memory is a little foggy.

I'll be back before too long to take a look at the pitchers.
Category: MLB
Posted on: January 12, 2009 2:13 pm
 

Royals '08-'09 Offseason So Far

Since the offseason is winding down and it doesn't look like the Royals have many bullets left in the gun unless they make a trade, I wanted to take a look at the good and bad deals this offseason.

First, the good aquisitions.

  • Traded Ram-Ram for Coco Crisp.  Some people might disagree with me on this, but I think Coco is going to have a pretty good year.  He had a better year last year than he had the year before and now he will not be in a platoon with Ellsbury anymore.  He predicted 40 steals for this year.  If he get's even half of that, he's easily the stolen base leader on the team.  Giving up Ram-Ram for an everyday CF is a no-brainer in my book.  I really don't think Ram-Ram is going to repeat his season from last year anytime soon.  Besides, we picked him up off the scrap heap last year and turned it into Coco.  Not a bad deal at all.
  • Signed Waechter as a middle reliever.  This guy was once a good starting pitcher prospect after being drafted in the 3rd round but was injured and had a tough time rebounding.  He pitched pretty well last year in middle relief for the Marlins with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.3 WHIP.  Could be better, but could be alot worse.

I wish there was more to put in that section, but there just isn't.  Now on to the questionable moves.

  • Signed Farnsworth to a 2 year/$9.25 million dollar deal.  Are you kidding me?  He's had a 4+ ERA the past three seasons, gave up 15 HR in 60 innings last year, a WHIP that has increased each of the last four years, and his strikeouts seem to be falling off a bit.  (75 in '06 in 66IP, 48 in '07 in 60IP, 61 in '08 in 60IP)  Just stupid to pay a guy that much when he's that mediocre.
  • Traded Leo Nunez for Mike Jacobs.  On the surface, it doesn't look that bad.  Trading a middle/late inning reliever for a guy who hit 32 HR last year.  The trade isn't the problem, it's what else was involved in the trade that makes it a bad deal.  I'll get to the details later.
  • Signed Horacio Ramirez for $1.8 million.  I don't mind Horacio.  He pitched pretty decently for us last year in the brief stint he was here, but for $1.8 million?  There's definitely better guys available for $1.8 million.  John Parrish, Chuck James and Mark Mulder come to mind as lefties.  Probably won't make the starting rotation next year so you now have four lefties in the bullpen.  (Mahay, Bale, Gobble, Ramirez)
  • Signed Bloomquist to a 2 year/$3 million deal.  Don't get me wrong, I don't hate this signing that much, but it's not in the good aquisitions category, so here it is.  The thing that gets me is it's a two year deal.  If he can handle second base on a regular basis, it's a good signing, but if he can't then you have another Esteban German on your team and still have to play Callaspo at second base.

Ok, now I'll get back to the Mike Jacobs deal and explain myself.  We traded Nunez for him, and it seemed that Nunez was figuring out how to pitch in the bigs.  He wasn't making much money and now you have Jacobs for at least $3 million.  Not to mention that you had to sign Farnsworth to replace him, which is $4.625 million.  So if you don't trade for Jacobs and don't sign Farnsworth, that leaves you with about $7 million in money to spend.  Also, if you don't sign Horacio Ramirez for that $1.8 million deal you have around $9 million to spend.  $9 MILLION!  There are several scenarios in which this money could have been spent that I can see.

  1. Sign Jason Giambi for $5 million with an option for '10.  He has much better numbers over a longer period of time than Jacobs and plays the same kind of defense, none.  That leaves you with $4 million in which you can take a look at Orlando Hudson at second base if you can get ownership to cough up a few million more or find a decent starting pitcher, possibly in the Brad Penny, Randy Wolf, Daniel Cabrera range.
  2. Sign a starter with all of that $9 million, such as Ben Sheets, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez.
  3. Sign Orlando Hudson with all of that $9 million.
  4. Entertain the idea of an Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell signing.  You'd have to move either David DeJesus or Jose Guillen to make room though.
  5. Make a real run at Furcal before he signed with the Dodgers.

I know signing Hudson or any of the pitchers mentioned above may be a stretch, but if you have $9 million to spend, you can shuffle around and find a few million more, especially Hudson since you wouldn't have had to sign Bloomquist so that's another $1.5 million.  Let's take a look at scenario #1.  Here's what the line-up would have looked like.

  • Crisp - CF
  • Aviles - SS
  • DeJesus - LF
  • Guillen - RF
  • Giambi - DH
  • Butler/Shealy - 1B
  • Gordon - 3B
  • Olivo - C
  • Bloomquist/Callaspo - 2B

Starting Rotation

  • Grienke
  • Meche
  • Penny/Wolf/Cabrera
  • Davies
  • Hochevar

 

  • Soria - Closer
  • Nunez - Set-up
  • Waechter
  • Bale
  • Mahay - Set-up
  • number of other guys

Now mix and match that line-up as you want to with the scenarios provided.  Doesn't look too bad huh?  This offseason could have been so much better if we would have been patient and let the market come to us.  Trading for Jacobs right off the bat put us in a hole that we had to spend money to dig out of, and I'm not sure if we've even done that.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 4, 2008 11:15 am
 

Thank you Mr. Grudzielanek

Mr. Grudzielanek,

As a life long Royals fan, who is only 27 years old so I've seen the bad and not much good that I can remember, I would like to thank you for your service to our hometown team.  You have done everything that is asked of you and we haven't heard more than a whisper out of you for the past three seasons.  I don't mean that as a negative, as many sports stars these days seem to think they have more rights than other human beings.  Growing up playing second base all of my life, I have a soft spot in my heart for people of the same position.  I will tell you that my favorite player of all time is Craig Biggio and you have all of the same qualities that he was famous for.  Your uniform was usually dirty by the end of the game, you routinely stretched singles to doubles and went first to third as often as possible, always thinking "team first" in your approach at the plate, and not getting a big head when things were going well.

In my professional life, not as a baseball player since I wasn't that good, I have seen many instances of unprofessionalism.  I am starting to think that not very many people even know the meaning of the word anymore.  You are the perfect professional on and off the field.  Granted, I do not know you off the field, but not hearing your name in the papers is a good sign.  You are someone that kids playing little league should look up to and use as an example of how to act and how to give your best.

I would also like to thank you for your parting gift of a sandwich pick in next years draft if you do not accept arbitration.  As much as I would love to see you playing for us again next year, I understand that you do not have many chances to win a ring and you should do what you have to do to put yourself in that position.  Since it is not realistic to believe that the Royals have a great shot to win it all next year, you will probably go elsewhere.  I have to think that since the Royals are in a financial crunch, they would not have offered you arbitration, which would net you about $5 million, if they thougth you would accept.  Since this is the case, and this may not be true, I have to think that you and Dayton had some talks before arbitration was offered, and you told him you would decline, thus giving us the pick while not hurting your chances to sign with another team, since it will not cost them a draft pick.

Thank you again for all you have done for this team, for our city and for the game of baseball.  I hope that you will be back to play for us next year, but if that does not happen, I wish you all the success you strive for in the remaining years of your career and in your life afterwards.  Maybe you can work in the Royals front office when you are done, huh?

Category: MLB
Tags: Royals
 
Posted on: September 16, 2008 12:09 pm
 

Reasons to be upbeat about '08 Royals

Gentleman,

This year has been hard on all of us.  Hopes were high going in to Spring Training and then we follow it up with a pretty decent April.  It all went to hell after that, but there have been some glimmers of hope in an otherwise dissappointing year.  Here are some of them, in no particular order.

  1. Joakim Soria is at 38 saves at this moment and should reach 40 by the end of the year, something that has only been done 3 other times in Royals history.  (Quisenberry '83, '84;  Montgomery '93)
  2. Jose Guillen has hit 20 HR this season.  That hasn't happened since 2005 (Mike Sweeney-21).  He also has 93 RBI, so a 100 RBI season isn't out of the question.  That hasn't happend since 2003 (Carlos Beltran-100).  Those aren't great numbers, but when your offense is as bad as ours was this year, it's a decent accomplishment.
  3. We found out that Billy Butler actually does have a glove and he even knows how to use it.  He has played first base this year better than anyone could have expected.  In my opinion, he should have received way more starts at that position than he did.
  4. Kila Ka'aihue might actually be the power corner infielder we have longed for since Sweeney was in his hay-day.  Time will tell, but given a shot he could man first base for years to come.  You can't argue with 37 HR between AA and AAA.
  5. Zach Grienke has made a very good transition back into the rotation.  At the beginning of the season, there were alot of questions about how he would handle only pitching every 5th day.  He's handled it wonderfully and between him and Gil Meche we have a great 1-2 tandem at the front of the rotation.  Both innings eaters with great command, lively fastball and nasty breaking stuff.
  6. Our bullpen has performed well this year after being a big question mark going into the season.  Ron Mahay was one of the best lefty relievers in the game until his injury.  Ramon Ramirez (Ram Ram) has shown that he can pitch in late-inning situations and he wasn't even on our roster until late in Spring Training (aquired from Rockies in trade).  Leo Nunez started off hot until his injury derailed his season.  He should be another good bullpen arm next season.
  7. Mike Aviles tore it up in Spring Training and hasn't stopped yet.  After a few weeks in the minors and a move to shortstop from 2B and 3B, he has performed very well with the bat and has even surprised people with his defensive skills.  Whether he is playing short, second or third, he should be a big part of Royals teams for years to come.
  8. Joey Gathright has finally learned how to steal a base.  Under the guidance of first base coach Rusty Kuntz, he's stolen 21 of 25 attempts this year.  That is way up from his 9 of 17 from last year.  If he can get on base consistently, he is a huge distraction to the opposing pitcher.
  9. The pitching in our farm system is comparible to any other club.  We don't have anyone who can make an impact right away, but several years from now we should start seeing these guys in the bigs.  "Pitching is the currency of baseball" according to Dayton Moore.  If that is the case, we are sitting on a pile of money and it's time to spend some of it to aquire something we fancy.

There have been a number of things to forget this season.  Tony Pena Jr's struggles, Jose Guillen's tantrums, some questionable calls in terms of pitching usage by our manager, taking a walk about as often as Matthew McConaughey is seen with his shirt on.  We all knew that when Dayton Moore got here, it was going to be several years before we started competing.  Well, I don't know about you, but I haven't seen as many butt-whoopings this year as I have in the past few years, have you?

 

Category: MLB
Tags: Royals
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com