I hate off days, but if there’s something to be gained by them, it’s the chance to read up on other blogs out there about the Royals.
It’s been a pretty busy week, so the Royals community was on top of things the whole time.
There’s been some concern by fans (myself included) about Melky Cabrera‘s season and if it means he’s sorted things out or if he’s having a sudden and unexplained career year. Jeff Parker at Royally Speaking looked for other players who fit Melky’s profile – 2000+ plate appearances before age 26 and an OPS+ between 80-89 - and the list includes a few notable names. No two players are alike and development is a tricky beast, but perhaps Melky will follow the lead of, say, Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski. Perhaps. Okay maybe not. I think above-average would be a victory for his performance in 2012.
Another question mark is Jeff Francoeur, whose contract extension seems to have a polarizing effect on a large group of fans. Rany Jazyerli doesn’t like it, but not for the same “he’s going to fall apart” reasons, but more because he may not be the best fit. Rany noted that Francoeur’s performance, while better than his norm, is more within his career range of production than Alex Gordon‘s 2011. Maybe we shouldn’t be so skeptical of Francoeur? It’s the usual strong piece fom Rany.
Of course, none of this makes a difference if the Royals don’t get some kind of pitching help. Earlier this month, I looked at some intriguing starting pitchers who will be free agents after this season. Brian McGannon at Royals Kingdom went a step further, looking forward to the 2013 offseason.
Some of the hand-wringing over the starting rotation can be allayed if Mike Montgomery can turn things around. He’s been up and down in Omaha this year, struggling with his command one night and looking like the top five pitching prospect we expect on other nights. John Sickels took in a Storm Chasers game this weekend and provided a brief scouting report on Montgomery, who had a decent line overall but a great line if you eliminate one inning.
Speaking of the Storm Chasers, Minda Haas is back in the midwest after an internship with the Palm Springs Power of the Southern California Collegiate Conference. She saw a Chasers game and took photos. Manuel Pina is heavily featured. (I’d be remiss to mention game photos without sharing our own Gage Matthews’s fine work at a Storm Chasers game against the Nashville Sounds from April.)