The first week of the season has come to a close and the Kansas City Royals are 2-4 with a -13 run differential. Chris Getz looks like he is going to be a fun and intelligent player to watch. Rick Ankiel is oozing with talent and serious potential even though he is on the wrong side of 30. The starting rotation, outside of Gil’s start today, looks pretty solid so far.
As Royals fans we’ve seen some bad bullpens in the last 15 seasons but this one just defies explanation. The good news is that they cannot collectively pitch any worse as a unit than they have in the first six games. I don’t believe it is possible, and if I did I would have to check out on this team to maintain my sanity. When it comes to the bullpen, things should and will get better. I have to believe that.
The bad news is that while the bullpen should “improve” the rotation doesn’t figure to maintain their current pace for very long. We also can’t lose sight of the fact that the offense ranks 21st out of 30 in terms of runs scored with 23. The baserunning, thanks to the stylings of 3B coach Dave Owen, continues to be an absolute joke. The defense may be slightly improved, not ready to make an official determination on that, but still has a long way to go.
Before I launch into some links, get back on the bright side of things for just a minute. The Royals 23 runs scored gives them 10 more than the Houston Astros have scored in their first six games. That’s right 6 games, 13 runs for Houston and they also have the 30th ranked farm system so Astros fans can’t even derive much hope for the future from their prospects. In our neck of the woods, Eric Hosmer is putting the Carolina League on notice that his vision has been restored. Put that in your pipe and Smoak it.
Royals Kingdom: We’ve Got 159 More of These to Go … Great.
FanGraphs: Hochevar Throwing Gas
Tangled Up In (Royal) Blue: Did I Hear Someone Tell A Lie?
Kansas City Star: Royals to open 2010 season with $70.1 million payroll, which as Bob Dutton points out in the piece is just about what the team paid out last season.
Royalscentricity: The Royals Hate Mike Aviles and Mitch Maier and yesterday’s instant classic Luis Mendoza – Royal Killer. On the first note, the Royals hate Mike Aviles so much that he was optioned to Triple-A today to make room for Gil Meche. Apparently Luis Mendoza is too valuable* to lose so the team will roll on with a 3 player bench comprised of Maier, Pena, and Bloomquist.
*I just let out a sad chuckle as I wrote that.
I know Wee Willie is a “super utility” player, but he can only be in one place at one time. Speaking of Mendoza, I will echo Josh’s sentiments on Luis’ ability to pitch in the major leagues. I’m not ready to fire everybody, but Trey Hillman and Dave Owen can sure as heck pack their bags. Those moves are both about 9 months overdue. As far as our overly sensitive and embattled GM is concerned, I’ve always believed that any person in that position should be given 5 years to build and develop an organization. Based on Dayton’s performance with the major league roster, I’ve already taken a half a year off that, meaning he should be fired after this season (contract extension be damned). I don’t know what needs to happen for Moore to save his job between then and now, but jettisoning the Trey and Owen show would be an excellent first step.
J.J. Cooper (Baseball America) published a list of the ten youngest players in each full season league of the minors. In the Carolina League, the Wilmington Blue Rocks claim three of the ten spots with Eric Hosmer, Tim Melville, and the youngest of the league, Salvador Perez. Omaha, NW Arkansas, and Burlington didn’t have any players make the list in the Pacific Coast, Texas, and Midwest Leagues respectively.
Dave Cameron (FanGraphs) takes a look at what makes a good organization.
Ben Nicholson-Smith (MLB Trade Rumors) examines the value of super-two status.
Mat Germain (Jays Journal) had some Dana Eveland notes from yesterday. I bring this up here because I profiled Dana Eveland in a Market Fresh post back in early February and came to the conclusion that the Royals should have worked to get their hands on him. Instead he found his way to Toronto when the Jays acquired him from the Athletics for cash or a player to be named later. Right now, outside of Gil Meche’s start today, the Royals rotation is humming along rather well, but you can never have enough pitching.
I hope everyone had a great weekend!