Robinson Tejeda and Lenny DiNardo are working to prove just how flawed Dayton Moore’s plan was back in the Spring.
We all saw what was coming when Sidney Ponson was signed on March 17th. We all knew what was going to happen when Horacio Ramirez made his first start of the season despite his best efforts to pitch his way out of the rotation during Spring Training. All the while, Lenny DiNardo and Robinson Tejeda were among the better options the Royals had at their disposal going into the season.
Reality is that DiNardo and Tejeda in the rotation on opening day would not have changed the fortunes of the 2009 season for the Royals. Zack Greinke can attest to that. Still, if they had been inserted into the rotation earlier in the year, the organization could have gotten a longer look at both players for 2010 rotation consideration. How would Robinson have performed if he were pitching in August instead of pitching in September against expanded rosters?
Personally I’m not that optimistic about Tejeda’s future as a starter in the organization. The results have been good, but let’s temper the enthusiasm. He has made 3 starts and racked up only 16.1 innings of work during that time. He’s needed 283 pitches to average just over 5 innings per start. It is hard to ignore that he’s only given up 6 hits in his starts while striking out 19, but I can’t ignore the 8 walks. I also can’t ignore the fact that he had a 2.65 ERA back on May 20th after 12 appearances. Is his recent performance an indicator of future success as a starter or is his recent performance just another hot stretch that has been aided by pitching in September?
Obviously I don’t have the answer, but if I had to pick a side, I’d chalk it up to just another hot stretch. That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve consideration to be a part of the 2010 rotation, but he should be forced to earn the job instead of being given a spot from the beginning. He’s arbitration eligible this offseason and is sure to receive a nice raise from his $437,000 salary in 2009. At worst he has value to the 2010 Royals as a reliever, at best he has value as a 4th or 5th starter. Ideally, Dayton Moore can overhaul the roster to the point that Tejeda can fill the long relief/spot starter role. Then again, I’m probably bitter since I bought into the Davies hype last September and this spring to the point that I was calling him Robin to go with Greinke as Batman.
Still it would be fun to see if Robinson Tejeda could pull off what Bobby Witt did for the Texas Rangers back in 1990. Against the Athletics on September 1st, Witt pitched 7.0 innings, allowed 4 hits, 2 runs, walked 10, and struck out 10.
For more on Robby Tejeda check out:
- Ball Star: Robinson Tejeda, September, and greatness
- Royals Review: First Three Starts as a Royal: Tejeda vs. KC’s All-Time Greats!
- The Royal Tower: Team Review – AZL Royals
- Baseball America: Harper’s the Highlight
- Minor League Ball: Corner Infielders from the 2008 Draft
- Joe Posnanski: Almost Impossible to Believe
- Royals Authority: Instant Analysis of Instant Gratification
- Royally Speaking: More of the Same for Greinke
Have a great night!