Mar 4, 2012; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Luis Mendoza (39) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Baseball, Baby

In case you haven’t noticed, baseball’s started.

Mar 4, 2012; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Luis Mendoza (39) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

You’d know that if you’d been in any of the classes I’ve been teaching the past several weeks. I’ve been sure to count the days down for my students. They hate it, mostly because they’re all Cardinals fans. It creates some pretty great banter. The only thing that could make this day better would be if the Royals game was actually on MLB network. It’s not, so the gamecast will have to be enough.

Roy Halladay started for the Phils today. That’s a pretty far cry from the expected mound schedule that the Royals had.

  1. Luis Mendoza
  2. Vin Mazzaro
  3. Sean O’Sullivan
  4. Nathan Adcock

None of these gentlemen are of the caliber of Doc Halladay, but the schedule got me to wondering. What should we expect out of each of these guys?

Luis Mendoza - Not really sure what kind of effect he’ll have on the rotation. He’s not a big strikeout guy and had an unnaturally good year in the minors last year. The keyword there is “unnatural.” It seems unlikely to me that he’ll be able to replicate his .268 BABIP.

Vin Mazzaro - The problem with Vinnie is that the mere mention of his name instantly brings to mind that game last year where he gave up a bajillion runs* against the Indians and got sent back to the minors. It’s hard to get past that. I don’t really see him forcing Yost to make a decision to insert him in the rotation. If that happens things are probably spiraling.

Sean O’Sullivan - Now, I went to a game last April where O’Sullivan actually looked pretty good against the Mariners. On perusing last year’s stats however, It would seem that I was merely in attendance for one of the VERY few bright spots in Sean’s season last year. He posted an abysmal 2.93 K/9 during his time spent with the big-league ball club. That’s just not going to cut it. When you’re walking (4.01 K/9) more guys than you’re striking out, you’re going struggle. Obviously. He’s another one of those guys who Royals fans should probably hope not to see that much. If he’s getting significant time, things are bad.

Nathan Adcock - I kinda like Nate. He had a some rough outings coupled with a few where he actually looked pretty good. He actually didn’t get a lot of chances to pitch based on his youth and the fact that he had to stay on the MLB roster all season. I’d like to see them find a spot for him. The only problem is that I don’t know that he can break into the rotation and we’ve got a ton of bullpen arms. I hope he finds a niche.

Granted, one or more of these guys could have a ridiculous spring and find themselves in a position that I never could have foreseen. In reality, I just don’t think these are players who will have a huge impact on the fate of the Royals this year.

But that’s kind of the thing about spring training. Some guys come out of nowhere and surprise you. I’m never upset about being wrong about something like this.

Spring training baseball. It’s time.

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  • jim fetterolf

    Been discussing Luis Mendoza with Mike Engel, so you’re probably familiar with my points, so I’ll make them brief: Mendoza reinvented himself before 2011 and won the PCL Pitcher of the Year award with a ridiculously good year at Omaha. Last year went totally against his history, but that has been known to happen to ballplayers, so isn’t unprecedented. Today was more of the same, lots of ground balls, nothing hit too hard, 0 net Ks, no runs scored. I don’t see him making the rotation unless Paulino’s hammy continues to be a problem, but, as Luis is out of options, he is probably in the running with Teaford as long relief/spot starter with the club hoping to get something in trade, as he’s not part of the long term Royals.
    Mazzaro is pitching for a BP spot and to, maybe, enhance trade value. He pitched well today, two innings, 18 pitches, 14 strikes, 4 ground outs, 0 fly outs. He didn’t hurt himself, has options, and looks to join the spare parts in Omaha’s bullpen to rotate back to KC as needed to rest a tired reliever on a 7 man staff.
    Nate Adcock made a nice appearance, had a couple of Ks and 4 GOs, 0 FOs, what is expected from a sinking fastball, but it was likely against Rangers’ subs in the 7th and 8th. Adcock will go to either Springdale or Omaha as a starter and wouldn’t be surprised to see him called up for a two or three game stretch in case of injury.
    SOS is just killing time, don’t see any future for him with the team.

  • Ethan Evans (Royals Trenchfighter)

    I dont disagree with that, Jim. I wrote this before the game on Sunday…was just a little late posting it. I only watched the gamecast on my computer, but it seemed like the guys pitched fairly well. I don’t want to discredit Mendoza at all. I definitely believe it’s possible to reinvent yourself in the later stages of your career and out of all of these guys I could definitely see Mendoza finding a spot in the bullpen providing he continues to pitch as well as he has, obviously. I agree with your analysis of Adcock and Mazzaro as well. They just don’t seem like guys that will see much big-league time this year unless there are some injuries or fatigue issues…..which is likely an issue we’ll have to deal with seeing as how we are planning on leaning on that bulpen. So it’s a possibility they could help out a little. I was glad Vinnie pitched well.