It’s safe to sa that I never did get the hang of this blogging thing, but with a little counseling, I’m hoping to get back into the fold here soon. Not that Royals fans have much to be excited about. Sure they didn’t lose a 100, and they might not even finish in last place. Still, there was little meangingful baseball played in the second half of the season.
There are some things to get excited about though. Rookie phenom Alex Gordan put togther a decent second half and while the .797 post All-Star break OPS isn’t anything to get too excited about, it’s way better then the .680 pre All Star break OPS. If the kid can develop some patience at the plate, you’ll see a break through.
Bill Butlet also showed he can rake. Playing in just over half of the Royals games, his .814 OPS is something to get excited about. This is a guy who, if given the full season, probably would have driven in 90 runs on a team that’s current team leader has just 61.
Also, Brian Bannister and Gil Meche provide a nice one-two punch and when combined with Zach Greinke, the Royals have for the first time in a while, the core of what could turn out to be a decent rotation. Meche proved that maybe Dayton Moore wasn’t that foolish to sign him to a big deal but as always, we’ll have to see what happens with the Royals this offseason to see who they add to hopefully take the next step. Unfortunately, the next step is simply .500 but it’s something to shoot for.
There’s still some help on the way too. In a very cool organizational review, Jonathan Mayo breaks down what happened in the Royals farm system this year. Guys like Craig Brazell and Rowdy Hardy on on their way up and showed promise down on the farm and you still have guys like Luke Hochevar and one of my favorites, Justin Huber, waiting in the wings.
So while these last few games will keep me interested, I really want to see what happens in the offseason. The Royals are finally building a core, now it’s time to add to it.
It’s sad when all your team really has to play for is the chance to get out of the cellar. Still, to push a team that’s two years removed from a World Series win into last place at your expense is worth something. Okay, maybe little. Still, sixteen games back, the Royals have pretty much no chance at playoff run.
What makes it even worse is, a lot of other last place teams at least have guys they can shop so the trade deadline can be used to restock a team. The Royals don’t even really have that. Mike Sweeney is probably it, and his stock is pretty low at this point so I don’t expect the Royals to bring in an ace of the future. Dotel may be gone because he’s been sharp but that’s about it.
Still, with guys like Butler, Gordon, Buck, DeJesus and Teahan and then arms like Gil Meche, the Royals at least have some parts to work around. What they need to do is make a splach in the free agent market. Maybe not pick up a big name guy, but even someone like Eric Byrnes would give the rest of this lineup a boost. I’d really like to see them go after Adam Dunn but I don’t see that happening and that’s months away.
The Royals kick off a three game series tomorrow in Detroit against the Tigers. Meche gets the start in the opener and he’ll face Kenny Rogers. Maybe the Royals can play spoiler and take a game or two against the Tigers and cost them a game or two.
Wow, things are definitely interesting at the bottom of the AL Central. With the White Sox looking to unload most of their team, the Royals could actually get out of the cellar here soon if they continue this nice stretch. They have two more wins then the White Sox but they have four more losses so the net effect is a one game deficit.
I know, it means jack squat but for Royals fans, this is the kind of stuff you look for. And it’ll be even more interesting because the White Sox and Royals face off for three games this weekend. I can wait to push those guys, just two seasons away from their World Series win, into the cellar.
Alex Gordon has caught first and while he went 0 for 4 today, it was at the tail end of a seven game hitting streak. I know the .235 batting average isn’t worth much discussion, but the fact that he was hitting .210 less then two weeks ago means something. There hasn’t been a power spike though and Gordon sits with just six homeruns still so his OPS is barely on the north side of .700.
What a start today by Jorge De La Rosa. He gave up ten hits and a walk but nobody crossed the plate in six shutout innings. With the nice start, he also saw his ERA get sliced by about a third of a point. Still this is a guy with just 56 strikeouts and 32 walks so I’m not going to get too excited unless he does it a few more times.
Gil Meche continues to be the workhorse on the staff and you have to be impressed with that strikeout to walk ratio (83/29). Dayton Moore is making a believer out of some people with that signing and while the 5-6 record isn’t all that, Meche has definitely given the Royals some chances to win and that’s more then you can ask from Royals’ teams past.
It’ll be Brian Bannister going up against Jose Contreras on Friday. If the Royals win the opener, they’ll be tied with the White Sox and that’s the hope.
I really tought we’d look back at the 2007 Royals as kind of a turning point in the franchise. Yeah, I figured they’d loss a 100, but I figured they’d finally know what they had and then plan accordingly. But it looks like I was wrong and the Royals have as many questions as they do answers this year.
We can start with Gil Meche, who is actually looking like he was worth the five year, $55 million price tage the Royals paid for him. He has a solid 3.21 ERA and all of the other numbers are there. He might not be a future ace, but he could be a productive pitcher for years to come. Of course he’s only 4-6 but that’s just as much because of the poor hitting. He had lost five starts in a row and in those five, he had given up three or less in three of them.
David DeJesus is another guy who’s hard to figure out. He’s scoring runs this year, but after a red hot start his batting average has been in the .260s for a while. He has stayed relatively healthy, which is more you can say then seasons past but a .744 OPS only gets you so far.
And then there’s Alex Gordon. He has a .365 slugging percentage, which is pretty much enough said. Still one season does not a Hall of Famer make and Gordon could still be the stud everyone thought he was going to be. We’re just probably going to have to wait until next year to find out.
One good thing about the season is, the Royals have as many wins as the White Sox. Yeah, it’s in fewer games but it’s still something to look at as a positive. Maybe the Royals can put together some wins, have a decent second half, and push the White Sox into the cellar.
Odalis Perez and his 6.00+ ERA takes the mound tomorrow and he’ll try to end the Royals skid. Hopefully the Royals will make a better showing then the 7-1 loss tonight.
Baseball Prospectus profiled John Buck today. If you ever wanted to know where the catcher came from, this is a great read.
I know, it’s hard to believe that the Royals are bad at something but according to this story, the Royals have by far the worst bullpen in baseball. The column does mention how Joakim Soria has done a nice job in the closer role but that doesn’t even come close to offsetting the damage that guys like Joel Peralta and Jason Standridge have done.
The good news is, the Royals won another series, this time against the Rockies. We no longer get to play our cross state rival, at least this year, because it looks like the league wanted a rematch of last year’s World Series so the Royals drew the Rockies card. The Royals even put up ten runs in the finale.
The bad news is, the Indians come to town and they’ve been pretty hot. Winning two series in a row (and now six of eight games) is nice, but when you’re a Royals fan, you don’t expect these winning trends to continue for too long. Odalis Perez and his 5.29 ERA gets the start in the opener tomorrow.
It’s been a few weeks and it looks like I didn’t miss too much. The Baseball Historians HQ had some problems that prevented me from posting and it looks like it would have just been more losses. The Royals site at an unspectacular 13-27 and they have the very worst record in baseball.
And it’s not hard to believe when your team RBI leader has just 17. John Buck has been a pleasant surprise though and after forgetting he was once a nice shiny prospect, you now see why he had that tag. Lets just hope he can keep it up.
David DeJesus has really cooled off. On April 17, he was hitting .362 and now a month later, he’s at .280. His 30 runs put him at third in the American League though and that’s something for DeJesus to hold his hat on.
Anyway, the Royals continue their series tonight against the Athletics. And with the net problems fixed, I’ll be here to cover all of the wins (and losses).
For a team that’s supposed to be a favorite in the AL Central, the Twins just can’t seem to get it done against the Royals. I mean the Royals winning three of five against the Twins in a weeklong span isn’t what I’d call awesome, but wins are wins.
Things went well enough last night with the Royals keeping the Twins down 4-3. Odalis Perez threw six solid innings and he picked up win number two but it was the pen that shined. Four relievers combined to throw three innings of one hit ball to hold the lead for the Royals. David DeJesus had another nice game and he hit homerun number four. He went three for four with two RBIs and two runs. Mike Sweeney also got it done with his second homerun and two RBIs.
Today’s game was an eleven inning pitcher’s duel that the Royals lost 1-0. Zach Greinke had a great started wasted and he threw seven shutout innings. Todd Wellemeyer took the loss when he gave up three hits and the game winning run in the eleventh. Alex Gordan had a nice game at the plate and he went two for two with three walks.
Now the Royals head west to play the Mariners. The schedule gets more and more bizarre because instead of playing the Angels in Anaheim after that series, they come to host the Angels. Weird stuff.
Royals pitching gave up sixteen runs in their two game series with the White Sox and as you’ve probably guessed, the end result was two losses. Neither of these games were pretty, although the ugliness took different forms in both.
On Monday, Gil Meche had a good enough start but the pen game up four runs in the final two frames to lose it. Jimmy Gobble took the loss but there was plenty of blame to go around in this one. Meche gave up three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts in seven solid innings. David DeJesus walked twice and scored two runs in the 7-4 loss and John Buck homered and drove in two runs.
Last night, the Royals jumped all over Javier Vazquez early with four runs in the first but it went downhill from there. The Royals actually had the lead as late as the seventh but three runs in the final two innings once again cost them. Brian Bannister was roughed up for four runs in 4 1/3 innings and Joakim Soria took the loss when he gave up two runs in the ninth. Mark Teahen was the hitting star in the 9-7 loss. He went two for five with two runs and two RBIs.
There’s no rest though as the Royals head to Minnesota for two against the Twins. Odalis Perez will throw tonight.
Huh, this one definitely took me by surprise. The Royals hosted the first place Twins and took two of three in a pretty solid series. And there was a little bit of everything from a high scoring game to a pitcher’s duel. I’m not sure it means too much but it’s encouraging that the Royals put this together.
On Friday, the Royals got a ton of offense. Mike Sweeney, Reggie Sanders and Mark Grudzielanek all homered and David DeJesus had three more hits with two runs in the 11-7 win. The pitching wasn’t all that great but a win is a win. Odalis Perez gave up four runs in five innings and he picked up his first win of the season.
Saturday was the loss as Zach Greinke and the pen was hit hard. Greinke gave up four runs on nine hits and a walk with two strikeouts in five innings. Joel Peralta took the loss and he gave up two runs in 2/3 of an inning. Alex Gordon and Mark Teahan both hit their second homerun and Grudzielanek picked up two hits and two runs in the 7-5 loss.
Jorge de la Rossa got it done yesterday. He gave up just one unearned run on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts in eight innings and the win improves his record to 2-1. Ross Gload had the big hit with a two run homer and Mike Sweeney went three for four with an RBI in the 3-1 win.
Next up is a two game set against the White Sox beginning tonight. Gil Meche gets the start and he’ll face Mark Buehrle. I like our chances in this one even though Buehrle is coming off of the no hitter.
The Royals finally ended their six game winning streak in the series finale with the Tigers and they needed extra frames to do it. Gil Meche gave up three six inning runs and Mike Sweeney shaved that lead to two with an RBI single in the seventh. Then in the ninth, Mark Teehen doubled home David DeJesus and then Teahen scored on Ross Gload’s ground out. In the tenth, John Buck came up huge with a solo homerun to win the game. Meche was solid in the start and an error by Alex Gordan cost him in the three run sixth. He gave up three unearned runs on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts in eight innings. Joakim Soria struck out four in two shutout frames and he picked up the win.
The rest of the series didn’t go as well. Zach Greinke gave up a grand slam in the first inning of Monday’s opener and that started a 12-5 blowout. The pen didn’t fare very well and Ryan Shealy hit a two run homerun. Emil Brown had two hits, two runs and an RBI in the loss.
Yesterday’s game was pretty crazy. The Tigers had leads of 4-1 and 5-2 but a four run sixth inning gave the Royals a 6-5 lead. Unfortunately, they couldn’t hold it though as the pen gave up single runs in the seventh and the eighth and the final turned out to be 7-6 Tigers. David DeJesus had a huge game and he went four for five with a homerun, two RBIs and three runs.
It’s a travel day tomorrow and then the Royals host the Twins. Odalis Perez gets the start in the opener on Friday. Maybe the Royals can make it two in a row.
The bad weather came and put an early end to what turned out to be a three game series between the Royals and the Orioles. It’s just as well because the Royals didn’t do all that well in the first three games.
On Thursday, the Royals got six shutout innings from Gil Meche but they didn’t get any run support to go with it. The lone run came on an RBI single by Mark Grudzielanek and as soon as Meche came out of the game, Jimmy Gobble gave up a run to tie the game. Then Jason Stanridge gave up a run in the ninth to lose it 2-1.
After that, it got ugly. Erik Bedard shut down the Royals on Friday and Brandon Duckworth was knocked around in an 8-1 loss. The Royals struck out ten times and the lone run came on a sac. fly by Emil Brown. Then on Saturday, the Royals got a few runs but Odalis Perez and the pen gave up more. Grudzielanek had two hits and two runs while Ross Gload went two for three with an RBI. Joel Peralta took the loss and he gave up two runs and he retired only one hitter.
Next up are the Tigers as the Royals head to Detroit for a three game series. It’ll be a good matchup tonight as Zach Greinke takes on last year’s ROY, Justin Verlander. Both have had really good starts so this should be a good one.
The pitching staff, outside of Zach Greinke, took it on the chin in the Royals three game series against the Jays. If your pitching gives up 19 runs in the three games, you’re not going to do very well.
Monday’s loss was the worst in a 9-1 pounding. Odalis Perez didn’t even finish up the second inning and he gave up four runs while Jason Stanridge was also hit hard in his relief appearance. The lone Royals run came on a solo homerun by John Buck in the seventh inning.
Tuesday’s game went a bit better as Zach Greinke threw a very good game. He gave up just a single run on six hits with five strikeouts in six innings of work and he evened his record up at 1-1. Joakim Soria threw two perfect innings to close out the game and he picked up his first career save. Alex Gordan hit his first career homerun and David DeJesus and Mark Grudzielanek each had three hits in the 6-3 win.
Then yesterday, Jorge de la Rossa was hit hard in the rubber game. He gave up five runs (four earned) on nine hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in the loss. David DeJesus homered and he’s off to a fine start while Esteban German had two hits and an RBI in the 7-4 loss.
Without a day off, the Royals travel to Baltimore for a four game series with the Orioles. Gil Meche will try to bounce back from his last start in the series opener tonight.
I’m not sure what it is about the series opener, but the Royals have won both of them so far. It’s the other four games they’ve had a hard time with. With the AL champ Tigers in town, the Royals put together some nice pitching and some timely hitting to walk away with Friday’s game. Jorge de la Rosa gave up just a single run on four hits in seven innings of work and the Royals scored two in the seventh to walk away with a 3-1 win. David DeJesus went two for four with a run and an RBI while Tony Pena, Jr. continued his hot hitting with another triple in a game he went two for three in.
Then the Royals hit a wall. On Saturday, Gil Meche was rocked for six runs in seven innings in a 6-5 loss. Reggie Sanders had a nice game in which he went three for four with a homerun, two RBIs and three runs but it wasn’t enough. Then on Sunday, the Royals had the lead for most of the game before David Riske gave up a three run, ninth inning homerun as the Tigers edged the Royals 3-2.
I guess there’s some consolation that the Royals are staying in a lot of these games. They just need to win a few more. Now the Royals hit the road for a three game set against the Blue Jays in their home opener. Odalis Perez will get the start and if the trend continues, the Royals will win this one tonight.
Well, the Royals know Daisuke Matsuzaka is for real. He held the Royals to a single run on just six hits. It’s kind of a bummer because Zach Greinke had a nice start. He gave up just two runs (one earned) on eight hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in seven innings of work. Joel Peralta was tagged for two runs in the eighth but that didn’t matter since the Royals scored just the one run.
And that one run was a solo shot by David DeJesus. He finished with two hits as did Esteban German in the 4-1 loss.
The AL Champ Detroit Tigers roll into town tomorrow. Jorge De La Rosa gets the start and he’ll face ROY Justin Verlander.
The Red Sox returned the favor last night in a blow out win over the Royals. The only run for the Royals came on a Jason LaRue sac. fly. Ross Gload had two of the three hits in the 7-1 loss.
Odalis Perez was knocked around for four runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Todd Wellemeyer gave up two runs in relief.
The rubber game is this afternoon and there’s some hype behind the game with Dice-K making his major league debut. Zach Greinke will take the first step in his comeback as he pitches for the Royals.
I’ve been a big fan of David DeJesus since he came up through the minors and I always thought he had a batting title in him at some point. He’s a great patient hitter and while he hasn’t shown a lot of pop, he makes a solid top of the lineup tablesetter. At least that’s how it was supposed to work. Instead, DeJesus has been injured most seasons and he’s never quite put together the great season yet.
John Sickels recently posted what he thinks could be DeJesus’ career line in a crystal ball column. It’s probably pretty realistic although I hope it’s kind of a low end projection because I think the centerfielder still has some upside. They also have him bailing once he gets his six years in, which is entirely possible the way this team works. Interesting take though.
Maybe Gil Meche isn’t as bad as people think. He made a tough Red Sox lineup look pretty foolish as he gave up just a single run on six hits and just one walk with six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings of work. Then Joel Peralta struck out four of the five outs he made as he threw 1 2/3 shutout frames.
At the plate, John Buck homered and Mark Grudzielanek had a big game at the plate. He went three for five with three RBIs and two runs in the 7-1 win. Buck and Tony Pena, Jr. each scored twice.
Odalis Perez takes the mound for the Royals on Wednesday. They’ll be facing Josh Beckett and man would it be nice to get another early win under our belt.
It looks like Octavio Dotel’s debut as the Royals closer might be delayed for a couple of weeks because he’s injured his left oblique. It looks like according to this Rotoworld report that they’ll make a decision on Wednesday and that in the meantime, David Riske is probably the next best option. It wouldn’t surprise me if he tests a couple of guys just to see if one backup rises to the occassion.
Baseball America took one last look at the Royals spring camp from a minor league perspective on the prospect blog. There’s a focus on Alex Gordon but Billy Butler and Joakim Soria also gets some love. They close with some bad news on Justin Huber (no where for him to go) and also talk about the Brian Bannister trade.
For Royals fans, there hasn’t been a lot of faith and there’s been even less hope for the team. Now Rany Jazayerli tries to paint as rosy of a picture as he can about the Royals upcoming season. At the very least, I think this will be one of the more fun seasons the Royals have had in a while. There’s some young talent and this will be a solid season to see what the team (which isn’t much) and what they have to (which is a lot).
He talks about everything from Gil Meche to Zach Greinke and then he kind of closes things up with the position players. Good stuff.
We’re still not 100% sure what happened to Zach Greinke last year, but it sure is nice to have him back. The right hander won a spot in the rotation after he spent most of 2006 in the minors. At one point, he almost retired but it looks like the Royals worked with him and now the phenom is back. It sure would be nice to see him put together a season close to what he did in 2004 when he finished with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Anyway, congrats to Greinke.
MiLB.com previewed the Royals minor league system yesterday. In the preview, there’s profiles for players at each stop in the Royals minor league system including the high end guys like Billy Butler and Luke Hochevar. There’s also a recap of the 2006 draft as well as a few players who are under the radar. It wraps up with who they think the cream of the crop will be (Chris Lubanski and Blade Wood).
Prospect guru John Sickels recently showed us what he thinks Royals fans have in store for us with Alex Gordan becoming the Royals starting thirdbaseman in a crystal ball column. If he does what’s projected, you’re talking about a Hall of Fame career which would put him into the top five (if not number one) third baseman of all time. I could live with that 2007 stat line for sure.
This shouldn’t be a huge surprise but it was finally made official yesterday. Everyone’s favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year, Alex Gordon, will get the starting third base job without playing a single major league game. There’s no doubt that the kid is talented and just having him in there makes the team a little more likely to be noticed. In a lot of ways though, this is a no brainer and I just hope if he has a tough time out of the gate, Buddy Bell doesn’t ruin him like he did Justin Huber.
There’s no doubt that Zack Greinke has had a bizarre career. He broke out at the age of 20 back in 2004 but he was in the minors in 2006 as he dealt with some personal issues. Regardless, if the Royals are ever going to turn a corner, one of the guys who could help out immensely is Greinke. He was recently the spotlight of this MLB.com column, which is a solid read.
Bradford Doolittle recently answered the five key questions the Royals have going into the 2007 over at the Hardball Times. He touches on everything from the Gil Meche signing to the emergence of Alex Gordon to Buddy Bell’s managerial style. He closes with some choice comments on Angel Berroa. Good stuff.
With all of the eyes on Alex Gordan, it’s Billy Butler who’s turning some heads this spring for the Royals. Butler was recently highlighted in a recent Kevin Goldstein column regarding his red hot spring and while there’s no doubt Butler could probably hit at the big league level, he has no spot on the team with the DH spot being held by Mike Sweeney. It’ll be fun watching this guy at Triple A though as he should be able to rake those pitchers without much problem.
In one of the best summaries on option years I’ve read in a while, this KC Star column talks about how the players who end up on the Royals team may be the best, but may be the ones who are the best and no longer have options. Jorge de la Rosa is out of options so it probably means that Brian Bannister and Zach Greinke, both of whom have options remaining, are probably fighting for the fifth spot in the rotation. And Bannister has three option years remaining so that could play into things as well. You have a similar situation in the pen where you’ll probably have more decisions made not on how the player does this spring, but again, whether they’re out of options or not.
The spring season is in full swing and so far, the Royals are 3-3. Brian Bannister has looked solid in two starts and while Alex Gordon hasn’t done all that much, he hasn’t done poorly either. Probably the one guy to keep an eye on is David DeJesus, one of my favorite players on the team. I keep waiting for that batting title that I know is in him but he’s a paltry 0 for 12 with one walk in four spring games.
There is some good news if you’re a half glass full kind of a guy. The Royals have a good bench, at least according to Jeff Sackman at the Hardball Times. With a good pair of catchers and a pretty deep outfield, the Royals sport the third best bench according to the column. Although the fact that there’s not a huge difference between the team’s reserves and its starters is a little disconcerting.
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