Utility infielder Yuniesky Betancourt was signed to a one year, $2 million deal by the Royals. The former Royal spent 2011 in Milwaukee where he was the regular shortstop. At least they’re calling him a utility guy because Betancourt has primarily played shortstop through his career. The Royals already had a shortstop though so Betancourt looks like he’ll either be the fill in guy or he could start at second base.
He does have some incentives where if he’s in a full time role, he’ll pick up an extra $500,000. Still, hitting isn’t Betancourt’s strong point. The best season of his career was 2007 and that year he had an OPS+ of 93. His career mark is 82. He doesn’t draw a lot of walks and he has a pretty hollow batting average although the last couple of years he’s been in double digits in home runs.
The Royals offense was in the top half of the American League last year and while that by itself isn’t going to put them in contention, the fact that they have some building blocks isn’t definitely a good thing. They had a few holes but with Alex Gordon and Billy Butler, they have a solid one-two punch for at least the next couple of years. Melky Cabrera had a nice season and Eric Hosmer showed the league why he was a blue chip prospect.
Second base is a hole and Chris Getz had just an OPS+ of 68. Alcides Escobar also had a tough year the plate. Mike Moustakis also struggled but he’s only 22 so he gets a free pass. If Moustakis is the man and can pull it together, that may be the lynch pin the Royals need.
The strikeout to walk ratio is a problem and you hope some of these kids can get some plate discipline. They also didn’t show much pop with just 129 home runs but they were second in doubles and first in triples.
The Royals aren’t playing for much these days but they got it done today with a 4-0 win over the hapless (more hapless) Twins. Bruce Chen improved to 11-7 and he gave up just two hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in eight shutout innings. It was one of his better wins of the season in a good but not great season for Chen. Louis Coleman pitched a shutout ninth to close the game out.
Alex Gordon went three for five with his 22nd home run. Johnny Giovotella went two for three in the win.
There’s just a couple of more weeks in the season. This is another snooezer for Royals fans but baseball will be gone soon. Let’s hope things pick up next year now that some of these kids have a year under their belt.
Bruce Chen got it done for the Royals tonight with another solid start and he improved to 7-5 on the season. He gave up one hit and three walks with four strikeouts in six shutout innings. Greg Holland pitched the final two frames and while he gave up the lone run, he still picked up his second save of the season.
Melky Cabrera and Brett Butler went yard in the win. Cabrera drove in three runs and Butler drove in one. Alex Gordon also had a nice game and he went two for two with two walks, a stolen base and two runs.
The Royals are getting some company down at the bottom because the Twins are sinking fast. While I thought the Royals would be a little better this year, I also didn’t expect them to be at the bottom with the Twins. Maybe a fouth place finish is in the cards this time around.
Bruce Chen had a nice start on the mound and the Royals got it done against the White Sox in their rubber game. Chen improved to 5-2 and he gave up just a run on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts in six innings. Joakim Soria pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his 15th save of the season.
Eric Hosmer went two for four with his eighth home run in the win. Alex Gordon continued his successful season with a pair of hits and two runs.
Next up for the Royals is a four game set against the Tigers heading into the All Star Break. As we get closer to the end of the month, it’ll also be interesting to see what the Royals do as we get closer to the trade deadline.
The Royals are falling fast. After a solid April they now find themselves in dead last. Not only that, they have the worst record in the American League. On April 19, they were 11-6. Since then they’ve gone 22-42. That’s not good.
Yesterday’s game was another road loss. The Padres aren’t a good team but they handed the Royals a sweep. Bruce Chen gave up four runs in six innings but all four runs were unearned. Louis Coleman pitched two shutout innings of relief to close out the game.
Alex Gordon went two for four. Mike Moustakis went one for three with a walk.
Next up are the Rockies. It’ll be Danny Duffy on the mound for the Royals in the opener.
After a solid April, the Royals hit the skids in May and they’re now six games under .500 after a 10-17 May. They’re nine games back, which isn’t insurmountable, but the team has plenty of problems. One of their biggest trading chips, Joakim Soria, has been awful and he’s no longer the closer.
One of the bright spots has still be Alex Gordon. He’s hitting .288 although now that he’s an outfielder, he’s not nearly as valuable. He went three for four with two runs in the Royals win yesterday.
Jeff Francis improved to 2-5 yesterday and while his record is pretty bad, his numbers aren’t horrible and they might be able to get something for the left hander at the deadline if the Royals are sellers. Blake Wood threw two shutout frames to close out the game.
The Royals and Angels have their rubber game this afternoon. Felipe Paulino is trying to pick up his first win and the Angels have Tyler Chatwood on the mound.
Beginning in 2009 the Royals were Bruce Chen’s tenth major league team during his career. Now the Royals signed him to a one year, $2 million deal and he’ll join Jeff Francis in the Royals rotation in 2011. This is only the second time Chen has played for the same team three years in a row since his career began in 1998.
Chen had a good but not great season for the Royals. He won a team high 12 games but his 4.17 ERA and 1.375 WHIP were decent enough. Chen would probably be a back of the rotation guy for most teams but until some of the Royals younger talent steps up, Chen will most likely be a front of the rotation guy for the Royals.
The Royals are close to filling the void after the Zach Greinke trade as they look to be closer to a one year deal with Jeff Francis. Money wasn’t released but Francis is a quality left hander who’s number may be a little overblown after he’s pitched in the more hitter friendly Coors Field. Francis missed all of 2009 and came back in 2010 to a mediocre season. His last good year was back in 2007 when he won 17 games.
Francis isn’t a front of the rotation starter anymore like Zach Greinke was but it provides us with a reliable stop gap until some of these prospects we traded for move up the ladder. On top of that, it’s low risk because it’s only a one year deal so it’ll be interesting to see how Francis pitches in the more pitching neutral Kauffman Stadium.
You knew this was happening, but the Royals dealt their ace, Zach Greinke, for an impressive list of prospects. While short term, you’d think this hurts the team, long term it’s another matter entirely. In return for Greinke (and Betancourt), the Royals are getting Alcides Escobar (your new starting shortstop), Lorenzo Cain (who could make the big league club in the outfield), Jeremy Jeffries (a pitcher and the Brewers first round pick this year) and the Brewers’ top pitching prospect in Jake Odorizzi.
We wish Zach Greinke the best of luck, but now it’s time to move on. We have a nice crop of talent waiting in the wings and the AL Central is still one of the weaker divisions so I like the Royals chances beginning in say, 2013, of finally competing with the likes of the Tigers, Twins and White Sox.
[powered by WordPress.]
28 queries. 1.547 seconds