What do you call quick hitting bits of information and links? If you cover the Marlins on Marlin Maniac and your name is Michael Jong, you call them Fish Bites. While I have the last name to follow suit, this is a Royals site so we’re going to roll with Sluggerrr Snacks* instead of the usual tag of Crown Gems.
*I apologize, I am in a weird mood today.
Seriously though, stepping back and looking at what I’ve published on this site since day one, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have been missing something central to the Kansas City Royals. No, it’s not more cowbell. What I’ve been missing here is the presence of our favorite mascot Sluggerrr!
Let’s get into some tasty snackin’ goodness.
Baseball Musings takes a shot at Willie Bloomquist and there really is no arguing the point. Signing Willie before the 2009 season was a mistake. Signing him to a 2 year contract compounded the mistake. Having so little replacement level talent in the organization that Bloomquist has to play regularly when injuries mount is the primary problem hiding behind these mistakes.
Royals Review just posted an excellent piece on what Dayton Moore needs to do to turn things around. He needs to make changes to more than just the on-field product. He also has to change the perception of him as a major league GM. The below quote from the piece is far and away the best thing I have read all day.
Let’s work on restoring normal relations with the local media. Stop lecturing everyone. Stop saying dumb things. Basically, disappear for months at a time, and when you emerge, be engaging and humble rather than holier than thou.
With respect to the on-field product, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick throws out the Mariners, Tigers, and yes, the Royals as possible fits for non-tendered slugger Jack Cust. Some team is going to get a very valuable season out of Cust in 2010, and I am a fan. However I don’t see how he fits into the 2010 plan for the Royals. Cust is strictly a DH, and the Royals already have Callaspo, Guillen, Ka’aihue (hopefully), and Fields to battle for the team’s DH at bats. Are the Royals considering running Guillen, and his 2009 -43.5 UZR/150, out to RF on a regular basis? If so then Cust would be a better defensive option in the field. You can’t say Jack is a better fielder than many players in MLB, but his -22.5 UZR/150 in RF last season really would be an upgrade. I know using a single year of UZR/150 is very misleading, but the reason I bring up these number is to reinforce that neither player belongs in the field. Even at DH, Cust would add needed OBP and SLG to the 2010 lineup, so if his addition somehow resulted in the subtraction of Jose Guillen, I’d be all for it. Outside of a Guillen release or trade, Cust to the Royals just doesn’t make sense. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but it really wouldn’t make much sense without another move occurring. A Sluggerrr shake to MLB Trade Rumors for bringing this to my attention.
Also spurring some interest is the fact that the Royals were one of fourteen teams to have a representative watch Tuesday’s workout of LHP-Aroldis Chapman. Recent history would suggest that Kansas City is not a realistic destination for Chapman. Then again recent history would have also suggested that the Royals wouldn’t have landed Cheslor Cuthbert, Noel Arguelles, or Jin-Ho Shin. Granted, those three players signed with KC for around $9 million collectively. By contrast, Chapman’s price tag has been rumored to be between $15 million and $50 million. Current speculation estimates a deal of around $30 million which we have to assume is way out of the team’s price range. A part of me is just happy knowing that the team actually had someone present at his workout.
Switching to something that didn’t generate much interest, the Royals resigned OF-Shane Costa to a minor league contract yesterday. It is a contract that does NOT include an invitation to spring training. Costa missed the 2009 season, outside of 2 at bats, due to a leg injury. The injury itself, was an absolute shame since the opportunity was there for someone to get an extended look in the OF at the major league level. Of course that opportunity didn’t help Cory Aldridge or Scott Thorman get a look in 2009. Costa probably would have been in the same boat as those two while watching Ryan Freel, Josh Anderson, and Willie Bloomquist attempt, and fail, to resemble something close to a major league outfielder. Shane Costa last played in the majors back in 2007, has a career slash line of 0.254/.289/.366 in 421 at bats, and can play average to above average defense. In Triple-A, he hit 0.326/.402/.502 in 2007 and followed that up with a 0.295/.354/.469 season in 2008. After parts of 4 seasons in Omaha, he has the look of a 4A player, but as such he can contribute significantly to the fortunes of the O-Royals.
I’ll close with some links to the latest from Baseball Beginnings:
- Report: LHP-Kevin Ziomek, Amherst Regional (MA) HS
- Video: SS-Matt Lipka, McKinney (TX) HS
- Video: 1B-Christian Yelich, Westlake (CA) HS
- Video: RHP-Jesus Valdez, Hueneme (CA) HS