Royals provide more proof that spring stats mean nothing


If you are looking for evidence that spring stats are pretty much worthless, well it’s really not hard to find.  However this little nugget found in one of Bob Dutton’s posts today on Kansas City.com really drives that point home.

The Royals entered the day leading all 30 teams with a .313 average and all American League teams with 163 runs. That was before generating 10 more runs and 19 more hits.

To make matters worse, several of the guys leading this offensive assault on Cactus league opponents won’t be anywhere near Kansas City when April 5th rolls around.

Mitch Maier:  0.440/.491/.760 in 50 AB

Brian Anderson:  0.350/.395/.575 in 40 AB

At this point I have to believe that Mitch Maier has earned a spot on the 25-man roster but if he does, it will mean that Brian Anderson is Omaha bound.  One way or another one of the two of them won’t be on the ML roster.

Mike Aviles:  0.500/.556/.684

Mike Aviles should be on the opening day roster and starting over Chris Getz at 2B or Yuniesky Betancourt at SS but he seems destined for a DL stint and rehab assignment to continue building up his arm strength. Nevermind that Mike Aviles one hopping throws from short is still a better option at SS than Yunie.  For what it is worth, Betancourt is hitting 0.225/.279/.375 in 40 AB this spring.

Scott Thorman:  0.357/.391/.452 in 42 AB

Wilson Betemit:  0.317/.396/.610 in 41 AB

Both Scott and Wilson had basically no chance to make the team when they signed so their solid spring performances have done very little.  Except of course help the Royals enter the day leading all 30 teams … well you get the point.

Kila Ka’aihue:  0. 386/.481/.750 in 44 AB

Here we come to the great injustice.  We all know Kila Ka’aihue should be on the roster, he deserves a real chance to prove himself at the major league level.  I’d venture to say all 29 of the other MLB teams would have given Kila a reasonable look in the majors by this point in time.  He helps the Royals in two of their biggest areas of need by providing plate discipline and power to a lineup significantly lacking in both.  Who knows, maybe that’s the problem.

I’m already peeved at the organization’s usage of Kila Ka’aihue, but if big Hawaiian is sent back to Omaha so we can be subjected to Josh Fields who is currently hitting 0.157/.204/.294 in 51 spring at bats I might be whipped into an emotional writing frenzy.  I’ve never gone to that place in over a year of writing, despite having ample opportunity last season to do so.  I don’t put profanity in my articles, but I can promise I’ll be dropping a few if Fields makes the team and Kila doesn’t.

Even though they are leading all clubs this spring in average and all AL teams in runs scored, their record stands at 12-10.  With all the offense they are only two games above 0.500 and I didn’t even touch on the fact that Butler, Bloomquist, and Callaspo have hit over 0.400 to get the team to that record.

It’s going to be a long year.

Tags: AL Central Baseball Brian Anderson Kansas City Royals KC Kila Kaaihue Mike Aviles Mitch Maier MLB Royals Scott Thorman Wilson Betemit

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  • Brent

    With regards to Kila:

    He does deserve it, but I think you are wrong to say Fields is in the way. Even with Fields gone, here’s what I see for opening day:

    OF:
    Podsednik
    Ankiel
    DDJ
    Maier

    IF:
    Callaspo
    Yuni
    Getz
    Butler
    Bloomquist

    C:
    Kendall
    Pena (or another if traded)

    DH:
    Guillen

    By my count, that is 12, and they will go 13 max for position players. Might be Fields or Kila, but that only makes it happen for opening day. With the return of Gordon and/or Aviles, who do you send down? Getz? Yuni? Release Bloomquist or Guillen?

    The last one is the obvious answer: There is no room on this roster with our middle IF glut and Guillen basically being a DH full time. He is not going to be released.

    With the option, Kila can start in Royal Blue, but he will go back down in a month at best, unless the brass decides to eat it on a player making more money (Yuni and/or Guillen). And really, it will take both gone to happen (barring more injuries — if Ankiel is still out, then I can see them using Bloomy and Guillen as OF parts and making room for Kila somehow).

    • Mike

      Both Maier and Kila are gone if they are sent to the minors as they can refuse an outright assignment.

      • Wally Fish

        Mike,
        According to Bob Dutton’s options chart, Kila has 2 options remaining. They are also talking about it on 810 WHB this morning and they are also saying that the team can send him to Omaha without having to worry about losing him.

        Maier is out of options so he’s probably gone if he doesn’t make the team.

    • Wally Fish

      Brent,
      Unless Callaspo is hurt more seriously than the team is letting on, I personally don’t think Josh has a snowballs chance to make it and will wind up on waivers. The way he has performed since 2007, I can see him clearing waivers and landing in Omaha, but the Nats claimed Ho-Ram last season so anything can happen. I’m glad to see that you don’t have Fields making the team and anyone who tries to put together a opening day 25-man roster almost has to come to the same conclusion.

      If Fields were to make the team, it would be as a bench bat with HR power who is also capable of playing 1B, 3B, and DH. Outside of playing 3B Kila does everything that Josh does (but better), is actually capable of working a count, and he’s 15 months younger. I’m not saying that Fields is necessarily in the way of Kila, just saying that Ka’aihue deserves to make the roster and I’m going to go nuts if he doesn’t make it and Fields does.

  • H.D.

    Dayton Moore is that worst breed of GM- a guy who not only refuses to admit he made a mistake, but a guy who compiles the mistake with others. I honestly have no idea how he’s kept his job- he’s been an utter failure.

    There are teams Guillen can be given to, who will pay a decent chunk of his salary. The Mets and perhaps Yankees come to mind (Guillen is a much better player than Thames is, for one).

    Josh Fields will never improve. Ever. He has an absurd uppercut to his swing, and smart folks predicted even two years ago he would never improve due to this.

    • Wally Fish

      H.D. I absolutely agree with your assessment 100% on all counts.

      Moore would be a stellar scouting director, but he is WAY over his head as a major league GM.

      You are right that Guillen could be moved. The problem is that I think Dayton/Trey actually want him around. Same goes for Willie Bloomquist who is starting to generate some interest in the world of trade rumors.

      I would have been happier if Teahen had been traded for Getz straight up so I’m on board with your take on Josh Fields as well.

  • Nick

    Once again Im not sure why the Royals continue to block the development of younger players with people like Jose Guillen and Jason Kendall.

    Part of me is hoping that get off to a horrible start this year and the Glass family cleans house.

    Lets be honest, the Royals havent even played a game yet this year and we already know that statistically we are doomed for failure…….regardless of the hundreds of player combinations Trey decides to run out there.