First of all, though it isn’t Royals news directly, you’ll by now have heard of the passing of George Steinbrenner. I’m not and never will be a fan of the Yankees, but you can’t tell the story of baseball without including Steinbrenner, love him, hate him or love to hate him.
Also, I’m not sure what I’m going to do once baseball season’s over. Just knowing that there’s no Royals baseball for the next three days yet has me going through a little bit of withdrawal. No, not even that 15-5 drubbing on Sunday can send me running and screaming into the night. I plan on a midseason review and second half preview on Thursday, just in time for the home stretch, and tomorrow we’ll have a minor league run down that you don’t want to miss. It’s gonna be fun. Invite your friends.
In the meantime, here are some of the thoughts floating around the Royals blogosphere:
- Sam Mellinger presents a solid case for Joakim Soria to be the closing pitcher if the opportunity presents itself in tonight’s All-Star Game in Anaheim.
It’s appropriate that other voices are stepping up and calling for Soria to close over Jose Valverde, as Soria’s the soft-spoken bullpen assassin and not the self-aggrandizing type. He’s a perfect example of a Kansas City superstar. Similar to Zack Greinke, he shies away from the attention until the ball is in his hands and the game is on the line. While I think we’d all like their talents to be recognized more often by national media (even Greinke’s stellar 2009 season was marred by the dreaded low win total argument absurdity), if The Process works, we may get to say “I told you so” to ESPN and the like.
- Soria was Dayton Moore’s best acquisition and, even better, he came through the Rule V draft. Royals Review looks at other “free” talent Moore has acquired over the years.
Unless there’s a radical shift in the money structure of baseball, Moore will have to supplement the upcoming prospects with those types of waiver pickups and minor league lottery tickets. Without the ability to go to the mattresses and keep up with the Yankees and Red Sox spending sprees, that’s just how it is. Moore has been mildly successful at that, with some hits and some misses.
- Speaking of prospects, 14 for 77 calls for the Royals to start selling as the trade deadline approaches to give minor league stars an opportunity with the big club.
I totally agree with Colin, as the 10-3 stretch was a mirage and I think any Royals fan thinking playoffs was still hearing that realistic voice in the back of their head. Gil Meche might be toast. Luke Hochevar isn’t much closer to returning, so Zack Greinke (who’s still scheduled to start Friday after being scratch on Sunday) is supported by Bruce Chen, Kyle Davies, Brian Bannister and Anthony Lerew. They’ve all had some good starts, but they’ve also had some stinkbombs and Davies might be the only one who has a legitimate shot to still be in the big leagues in three years.
So with the playoffs out of the question and the immediate outlook fairly bleak, there’s nothing to lose with bringing Kila Ka’aihue up after a Jose Guillen trade. Sure it requires a willing partner, but I think there’s a good list of Royals players who can find a market in the next couple of weeks. Eventually, the training wheels have to come off and you have to see how the younger players will adjust to having the success of the team placed on them.