Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Links: Wade Davis as Closer, Chen’s Return, Stats Debate, & More

Last night at Kauffman Stadium probably could have gone better. The Royals missed opportunities at the plate and on the basepaths, but six runs should have been more than enough to win the game. Jason Vargas failed to do his job, and while I would have liked to see Ned Yost make a pitching change prior to Paul Konerko‘s home run in the 5th inning, Vargas is the one who let the game get to that point after being handed a five-run lead in the first inning. It was a frustrating loss, to be sure. Luckily for us, today is Yordano Ventura Day. Here are some links to hold you over until the fire throwing begins tonight.

- Clint Scoles at Pine Tar Press suggested the Royals should start to give Wade Davis some closing opportunities this season. Davis’ contract options are at fixed costs, while Greg Holland may begin to get very expensive as early as next year, so inserting the former into more save situations could be very beneficial. Fewer saves for Holland would keep his arbitration number down, and if the Royals trade Holland in the offseason, Davis would be prepared to step in.

- In an article in the Kansas City Star, Andy McCullough includes some quotes from Bruce Chen on his potential role when he returns from the disabled list. Chen insists he’s only focusing on getting healthy right now, but I think it’s becoming more and more clear that Danny Duffy is establishing himself as the better option for the rotation.

- Kevin Ruprecht wrote something at Gammons Daily on James Shields. With Shields set to hit the free agent market this winter, the author was looking for potential red flags, but beyond his age, Shields appears to be a pretty sound investment. Ruprecht breaks down Shields’ pitch mix, velocity, and peripheral stats to show how well he’s performing, much like I did last week.

- With all of the injuries around baseball, Baseball Prospectus’ Zachary Levine posted a column at FOX Sports in which he comes up with his list of the 10 players baseball fans should most want to stay healthy. The Royals’ Yordano Ventura checks in at number 3 on the countdown.

- The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan wondered if the average fan cares about sabermetrics, which is a valid question. Ryan goes on to ask if “New Breed Stat Guys” even enjoy watching a baseball game, which is not a valid question. He also makes false claims and presents weakly supported arguments, some of which are disputed by FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron.

Cameron points out that the traditional baseball stats only have meaning because those covering the game have ascribed meaning to them. Stats are used to tell a story, and for decades, the story was told through batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. Now, we have other, more detailed – and frankly, more accurate – methods of explaining what happened and why it happened. If the media starts to emphasize advanced stats, the average fan will likely start to care more about sabermetrics.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals

  • unclejesse40

    If Wade Davis can take over the closer role and do what he is doing now, and Holland can be traded for a real piece that will help this team win then the Shields Myers trade begins to look better for us. A top of the rotation starter and a really good closer is worth a lot in today’s baseball. And yes we gave up a lot to get it so maybe just maybe it will be a wash.

    • JBL918

      You feel like the Royals need to trade their All-Star closer in order for the Shields-Myers trade to be worth it? Really? I disagree. James Shields has currently has a career ERA of 3.75. He has pitched over 200 innings in the past 7 straight seasons, and is currently one of only 18 active pitchers to have recorded over 1,500 strike outs. He’s been reliable, consistent, and solid since the day he joined the organization. He brought both a sense of experience and leadership this team hadn’t known in decades, and it’s made a tremendous difference.

      Yes, Wil Myers had an excellent rookie season and is a great baseball player. It’s a shame we couldn’t have held onto him. How’s he doing THIS year, though? As of right now, he’s got an average of .240 and an OBP of .312. He’s hit 4 home runs so far–so have Moustakas and Perez.

      There aren’t too many things I can say I’m 100% content with when it comes to the Royals, but trading Wll Myers for James Shields was absolutely worth it.

      • unclejesse40

        I am just saying that I have seen all star closers literally fall off the face of the earth and do it very quickly. So if you can get a player of real value for the closer when you have someone else who has shown comparable results to step into the closer role, I think you would be crazy not to at least explore it. That is merely my opinion and I completely understand if someone disagrees with it.

        What we got in trade: Shields (beast, but only 2 years), Davis (dominating in the pen, failed in the rotation), Johnson (FAIL).
        What we gave up: Myers (Rookie of the Year), Odorizzi (not dominating in rotation but holding his own in his early career), Montgomery (getting back to being a strike out pitcher at AAA already has 5 wins and only 1 lose), Leonard (High A, already has 7 homers and hitting .286)

        So yes, in my opinion for the trade to be a wash I would like to see Davis as a dominate closer if he is not going to be in the rotation. But I will also say that trades tend to go in the favor of the team that has what you want. I hope that someday soon the Royals are the ones trading off the pieces that they have a plethora of and getting the pieces they need to win.

        For the Royals to contend long term, they have to get really good at trading off their all star pieces for multiple future all-stars.

  • Stan Colbert

    It sure is a good thing we got rid of Bonifasio, he hasn’t done anything and we have no place for him to play.

    • JBL918

      Bonifacio, but yeah.

  • JBL918

    Why…for the love of God why…would they give Davis a shot at closer? We have an All-Star closer, one of the best in the game right now, and Davis has been doing very well as a setup man. Of all the things the Royals should be concerned about right now, this is NOT one of them. The idea that anyone in the front office would be thinking about “giving Holland fewer saves to keep his eventual arbitration number down” is insane, and really rather infuriating. An insult to every Royals fan alive.