In this edition of Crown Gems: more on Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, the void in CF, Luis Hernandez, and some other noteworth links from the last several days.
For me the plot continues to thicken with regard to the Scott Podsednik signing. A few days ago the Royals were rumored to have three players on their radar to fill their CF void. Those players were Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, and Randy Winn. I’m not a fan of any of the three, but Ankiel would have been a better choice than Scotty Po. Now it seems that there is one less team pursuing the former pitching phenom.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported yesterday, that:
Ankiel had been the Pirates’ top target among position players, but that no longer seems to be the case even though they remain open to having him.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a market for Ankiel’s services so Dayton may have missed the mark by a wider margin that we all thought. It bears repeating that while I don’t think signing any of the three players would have been a wise move by the team, I would have embraced the signing of Ankiel far more readily than Podsednik.
An even better move would have been to bring back a former Royals player who legitimately plays plus defense* at all three OF positions.
*Chavez has a career 24.8 UZR/150 in LF, 10.7 UZR/150 in CF, and 19.8 UZR/150 in RF.
I’m referring to, soon to be, 32-year old Endy Chavez, who is reportedly willing to sign a minor league deal for a chance to play. Between Brian Anderson and Podsednik, Dayton has taken up two spots on the 40-man roster and committed $2.45 million to them in the process. All of that could have been saved by simply giving Endy a chance to play CF every day. Offensively he’s a career 0.270/.312/.367 hitter with good speed who would have been a perfect complement to Mitch Maier for some spring training CF competition. Whoever didn’t win the starting job could slide into the 4th OF spot on the roster. Chavez isn’t going to tear the cover off the ball and he’s not going to provide any power, but neither are Podsednik or Anderson. What Endy can do is play defense at a much higher level than anyone else on the roster, and that includes DeJesus.
With a chance at significant playing time, Chavez would certainly have considered Kansas City. In return, I’m sure the team could convince Yunie to keep his distance.
Want more thoughts on the Scott Podsednik signing? If so, a few more blogs have weighed in.
Dayton Moore has J.J. Picollo on staff. He’s supposed to be another great scouting mind. Dayton Moore has Mike Arbuckle on staff, he’s also supposedly a great scout. Supposedly, we’ve got everything in place to build the kind of low-cost roster that can win here. Supposedly, nobody knows more about 15-19 year old baseball players than these guys. Supposedly, they can spot tools from space. Supposedly, they were all great great hires.
And we’re left holding the Podsednik.
It’s understandable why Moore wanted to dismantle the 2009 roster – it was abysmal. But I’m not convinced that the moves he has made to acquire Jason Kendall, Chris Getz, Josh Fields, Anderson and Podsednik is better, offensively speaking, than Miguel Olivo, Mark Teahen, Alex Gordon, Alberto Callaspo and Coco Crisp/Mitch Maier – especially since Getz and Fields may not even be everyday players (assuming Alex Gordon and Callaspo hold on to their positions this spring).
Scott Podsednik is a decent player and has had a solid career. But he’ll turn 34 during spring training. He’s not going to be here when the Royals’ long-term plan reaches fruition (assuming, of course, it does reach some sort of fruition). Why not give someone who might be here when that happens a chance to play?
To make room for Podsednik, SS-Luis Hernandez was designated for assignment today. In 221 major league at bats, he has an OPS+ of 49 to go with a career UZR/150 of 7.0 at SS. There is a good chance he’ll make it through waivers again and remain in the organization, and that would be a good thing. He may never be more than a stopgap player or an injury replacement, but he is only 25-years old and still has potential. In Omaha last season he hit 0.303/.356/.369 in 198 at bats which was a significant improvement on his career line of 0.249/.297/.320 in the minors.
Other links worth passing along:
- David Pinto covered Ramon Colon in his Players A to Z series.
- Lee Warren recently recapped start #3 of Zack’s 2009 season.
- The weather at Target Field, might not be as frightful as people are making it out to be. Having grown up in Minnesota, I completely agree. Even if it is cold, say 35 degrees at first pitch, the stands will still be packed. No one should underestimate how many Twins fans have longed for an outdoor ballpark while tolerating the misery of the Metrodome. Screw the retractable roof nonsense and bring on April and October baseball at Target Field!
- Speaking of the Twins, they recently signed RHP-Clay Condrey and released RHP-Bobby Keppel. The already strong Minnesota bullpen just got a little better and who can forget Bobby Keppel? You may recall that he made his major league debut with the Royals in 2006. The Missouri native threw 34.1 innings for Kansas City that season, including 6 starts. He finished the year with a 5.50 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, and 85 ERA+. Keppel’s shining moment came on June 7th, against the Rangers, when he threw 8.0 innings while giving up 7 hits and only 1 earned run. In true Royals fashion the team lost that game 2-4.
- Speaking of former Royals, LHP-Lenny DiNardo signed a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics on Friday.
- Want to know more about Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR)? Alex Remington has you covered with this article.
- Jim Callis put up the organizational draft grades for the 2005-2008 drafts over on Baseball America.
The latest from Baseball Beginnings:
- Report: Ty Linton, OF, Charlotte Christian (NC) HS
- Report: Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grandview (CO) HS
- Report: Jedd Gyorko, INF, West Virginia
- Video: Leon Landry, OF, LSU
- Video: Scott Frazier, RHP, Upland (CA) HS