Crown Gems: Greinke, Crow, Scheppers, Saves, Hamfighters

Good morning to all!  This version of Crown Gems is just a collection of random thoughts and links to get you started.  It covers Zack Greinke, Aaron Crow, Tanner Scheppers, Saves, and the co-ed Hamfighters.  Tonight I will be posting another edition of Central Processing which, time permitting, may cover all of MLB instead of just the AL Central.

Thanks to my softball game and a complete lack of motivation when I got home, I didn’t get a post up.  If it is any consolation to you, I felt rather guilty for not writing and probably would have slept better if I had stayed up and had taken the time to write.  I am surprised how quickly writing for the FanSided.com Sports Network has ingrained itself into my daily routine and my life as a whole.  Anyway, today will be a double post day to make up for yesterday and to calm my conscience.  Now on to the baseball stuff!

After yesterday’s outing, Zack Greinke bumped his ERA+ up to 204 which solidifies his footing in the elite company I wrote about earlier this week.

Craig Calcaterra had this to say about Greinke via his daily game recaps on The Hardball Times, And That Happened:

Royals 9, Tigers 2: Five shutout innings by Greinke lowers his ERA to 2.14. No starter has been that low to finish the season since Clemens in 2005. No non-jackass starter has had one that low since Pedro in 2000. Someone please explain to me again the basis for not giving this man the Cy Young award.

Well stated Craig!  It is getting to the point that the voters will have a LOT of explaining to do if Greinke doesn’t win the AL CYA.  If the voters blow off Greinke and Joe Mauer receive the AL MVP we could have a perfect storm of criticism on the voting process.  Hopefully both Greinke and Mauer keep up their legendary seasons and the voters will do the right thing.

Twins Blogger, Steve Fetch, is clearly a fan of Greinke and the T-shirt.

The Royals signed 1st round pick RHP-Aaron Crow.  He received a $1.5 million signing bonus and the contract guarantees $3 million to be paid to him.  Lee Warren had this to say about the contract:

Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but a contract that is guaranteed sounds a lot like the Royals signed him to a Major League contract. In fact, that’s what the Star is calling it—a Major League contract. I know it’s only $3 million and the Royals have given twice that away to Yasuhiko Yabuta over the past couple of seasons, but I deplore the notion of giving a player a guaranteed spot on the roster who has never played an inning at the Major League level.

To read Lee’s entire post over on Royals Reflections, click here.  His take on giving ML contracts to draft picks is discussion worthy to say the least.  I for one am on the fence about handing out this type of contract.  On the one side, I completely agree with Lee’s take on the matter.  On the other side, there are a few positives to this practice as long as it doesn’t become routine.  First, this type of contract can be worthwhile if it drops the amount of money the team has to commit to a player up front.  Second, giving this type of deal to 1st round picks isn’t all that detrimental because you expect them to reach the major leauges, especially when they are viewed as “advanced” college players.  In the case of Crow, and Hochevar, the Royals handing out ML deals seems reasonable because they fit that criteria, but in both cases you have to be concerned about the impact of their time off from pitching.  It’s held true for Hoch, and while the results have certainly been mixed and thus far disappointing, his ML contract has not been detrimental to the team.  Besides, it’s not like the Royals 40 man roster is packed with extremely valuable pieces.  They can make room for Crow and many other players without sacrificing a whole lot.  In principle I’m with Lee that ML contracts should not be granted to draft picks who have yet to play in the big leagues, but in practice it makes sense for teams to do from time to time.  Anyway that’s just my off the top of the head take.

They are destined to be linked together so it comes as no surprise that on the same day the Royals signed Aaron Crow, the Texas Rangers signed Tanner Scheppers.  Click here to check out the quick hit MLB Trade Rumors post.

Was glad to see Fuentes Debunking Saves Singlehandedly by Dave Cameron up on FanGraphs yesterday.  Brad Lidge is doing his part over in the NL as well.  We all know that saves are overblown, but I always enjoy when someone points it out.

Oh and for those of you who are wondering, the co-ed KC Hamfighters won last night’s game in convincing fashion and improved to 3-4 on the year.  I believe the final score was 12-5, but I was so caught up in the euphoria of victory that I’m not 100% sure.

Topics: Aaron Crow, AL Central, Baseball, Joe Mauer, Kansas City Royals, KC, MLB, Royals, Tanner Scheppers, Zack Greinke

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