Sep 14, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost (3) talks to first base umpire James Hoye after Kansas City Royals second baseman Emilio Bonifacio (not pictured) is ejected in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes Royals Just Got to Act All Royals

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Yordano Ventura solidified himself as a starter on the opening day roster.  He is the most exciting, promising rookie the team has had since Johnny Damon.  Ned Yost actually spoke to the media with a tone that smacked of common sense, with no air of condescension, or even his famous huckster mystery.

“It doesn’t do any good to drag this stuff on.  Really, after an outing like tonight, and after outings like he’s had all spring, you look foolish if you try to continue to hold your cards close to your chest.”

The Royals then decided Justin Maxwell is so valuable, and likeable that Mike Moustakas has a shot of playing all over the infield.  Then the Royals began greasing the skids for Danny Duffy‘s placement in the bullpen. It is actually a good thing his performance made it impossible to keep him on the major league roster.

I really don’t like Justin Maxwell on this team.  Jarrod Dyson‘s career line is 251/322/338/600.  He went 34 for 40 on steals in 2013.  He is a unique and distracting weapon.  Maxwell’s presence on the roster means a little less of Dyson.

Alcides Escobar is not a viable big league hitter, even when he is healthy.  He is not healthy.  Omar Infante is also not healthy, and his durability track record says he won’t stay healthy all season.  It is almost a good thing Infante’s injury is lagging this long and may force the Royals to make the appropriate roster decision.  (Isn’t it kind of painful to realize how perfect Emilio Bonifacio would have been for this team?)

The Royals still have a strong bullpen, and a suspect rotation.  They certainly  have a very weak history of developing young starters.  How could the Royals have thought tinkering with Duffy’s “starter potential” was wise? You would think they would do all they could to push every chip into the young man’s starting pitcher future.  I actually think Yost wants Duffy to enjoy the big league minimum salary in the bullpen while he waits his turn to start.  That’s something Ned Yost would do for a player he loved. 

There are no advanced statistics for chemistry and confidence, but most of us know these are important attributes for a team sport logging over 160 games.  Guys that have played under this regime have consistently lauded the clubhouse and leadership of this organization.  After an 8-20 May, the team still held it together, and made things exciting in September.  Perhaps these “player-first”, head scratching moves are part of that “togetherness-culture” the Royals enjoy.

Maybe it’s time to stop letting it anger me.  Maybe we need to realize this huckster cleverness is just part of the marriage.  Is it simply time to let go and let Royals?  Many of us bemoan the Royals for not thinking outside the box.  Maybe they often do think outside the box, just not the way we want them to.

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  • jimfetterolf

    Dyson can’t hit lefties and the Royals have little OF depth should Cain do 50 games on the DL, so Maxwell is forced. For the IFs, Infante goes DL then someone comes up. Escobar is a great fielder and routinely saves hits, so isn’t an issue. He is also fixable with the bat, as ’12 showed, so not a major worry.

    • Ed Connealy

      Valid point on Dyson. In 49 AB’s he only post a 286 OBP vs Lefties in 2013.
      We really disagree on Escobar. I fear his career is going the wrong way fast. I hope to be very wrong.

      • jimfetterolf

        Word on Eskie is that he got homer happy and tried to jerk everything. That put him into a slump, then he started pressing and trying to force things, which didn’t help his already bad plate discipline. The cure they are attempting is similar to what they’re doing with Moose, keep balanced, keep the hands back, take the outside pitch to the opposite field, flatten out the swing instead of an uppercut. Basically, everything Seitzer taught him in 2012. That offensive production plus a glove that saves a hit every game or two makes him an extremely valuable player. We’ll just have to see if he listens.

        • Ed Connealy

          Fingers crossed buddy! ( for both those guys)

  • moretrouble

    I agree with much of what you said, Ed, although not with the negativity. Look, they like Maxwell and they’re not sure Cain plays a full season. If not, you might see Aoki in CF and Maxwell in RF and keep Dyson on the bench. Honestly, I began to like Dyson the more I saw him and would be equally comfortable going with four OFers ’cause Dyson would get more AB’s.

    I was a big fan of Bonifacio and was surprised they picked up Infante. He gets injured a lot and that’s a problem. But, regarding thinking-outside-the-box, if using Valencia or Moose at 2B isn’t outside the box, then there isn’t any box.

    I don’t think the rotation is suspect at all. And, they’re handling Duffy pretty well; he just didn’t pitch well enough. However, I do agree with your point about gifting a kid the MLB minimum for awhile. That’s the great thing about Sept. call-ups — it’s a chance to reward your best prospects with enough money to live on all winter. Hey, no winter construction jobs for once — nice.

    And, yeah, Yost is a great guy to play for. That’s what you want…he protects his guys and the organization is one of the best to work for. KC took the Dad’s on a road trip over Father’s Day last year…what could be better than that.

    • Ed Connealy

      MT, great points as always. Like I wrote in the closing, the Royals do deliver outside the box thinking. I’m really trying to appreciate and understand their brand of it more.