Jun 30, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) stays on first for the out in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins designated hitter Kendrys Morales (17) at Target Field. The Kansas City Royals win 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals Can’t Just Stick to the Script


Baseball seasons are long. If you want to be an astute follower, you need to understand the season’s length offers rhythms and streaks. It’s a stat head game because the season lasts long enough for stats and formulas to play out. Baseball is usually more like baking than stir-frying. It’s usually more sketch than improv.  Usually.

Ned Yost and Dayton Moore busted out their woks last week, by demoting Butler in the line up and signing Raul Ibanez. So far, not tasty.  Royals brass is not done improving, not even close. Alex Gordon is at least out for the Detroit Series, and Jason Vargas is likely missing a month. Eric Hosmer, despite last night’s great game, looks more like a Storm Chaser than a number two hitter.

The Gordon injury now makes this Ibanez resurrection experiment defensible. With Aoki and Gordon shelved, they need him. Facing the Tigers, Ibanez needs to give the Royals a reason to wave goodbye to Aoki. Ibanez shouldn’t take any more innings from Jarrod Dyson. I strongly think Dyson need to hit against righties moving forward regardless of their decisions on Aoki and Ibanez’s place on the team. If Ibanez really brings maturity and profesionalism to this immature club, they should dump Aoki and keep Raul. Ibanez can spell at DH and 1B.  One of the keys to the second half of the season will be what the Royals decide to do with their trio of outfielders and how they perform.

There are two reasons you have a guy like Bruce Chen on your team. He’s good at teaching young players how to not get fleeced at strip bars, and a solid stop-gap starter when a rotation guy gets hurt. The scary scenario? Vargas doesn’t recover quickly or another starter goes down. When Guthrie is this rotations weakest link, this rotation looks very good. When he’s your 4th best guy and you are patching in your 5th starter ?  That spells trouble for a team only averaging 4 runs a game.

Then there is Eric Hosmer, the unreachable wonder kid. Does anyone really think things are going to click for him this season?  The Royals are contenders, and it seems like everyone, myself included, have been hanging all hopes on a young, aloof, and lost hitter.  This team needs hitting and right now.  This is James Shields last year with the team.  The Royals don’t have any MLB ready prospects to deal, whats a GM to do?  Maybe it’s time to go off script.

Perhaps Hosmer still has a grip on the imaginations of other GM’s.  Maybe his high slot in the lineup has articulated the Royals belief in him and it has had some impact on other teams.  Maybe the Royals need to find out at the All Star Break.

Hosmer alone won’t net what the Royals need.  A package of Hosmer with Ventura or Duffy  will be what it takes to get the impact player(s) this team needs.  810′s Soren Petro proposed a trade to Tampa that would land David Price, Ben Zobrist, and James Loney.  I kind of love it.  The Shields departure would no longer sting, and there would be a competent, every day right fielder.  First base would be improved because, right now, Loney is a much better baseball player than Eric Hosmer.

Whether it’s this scenario or another, the team needs to rift.  The Royals need to contemplate if Eric Hosmer is a “change of scenery” guy.  He’s certainly an excellent candidate.

I have little faith in the Royals financial and tactical abilities when improvizing, but they have surprised me a few times this season already.  In the meantime, pray for a split with Detroit and a quick recovery by Gordon and Vargas. The opportunity for a split lies in tonight’s game. The weakest pitcher in Detroit’s rotation, Drew Smyly, throws against Guthrie.  Let’s hope the Royals can ride the positive wave created by Sal Perez’s heroics last night, and take this series opener.

Another big game.  Ain’t it great?

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Tags: Eric Hosmer Kansas City Royals

  • Stan Colbert

    The other night Yost was asked if he considered bringing in Davis in the 7th. with runners in scoring position and favorable matchup. His responce, “that’s not his job! His job is to pitch the 8th with a lead to get to Holland.” This is part of the brain trust you expect to–think outside the box! Good luck with that!
    Here is a really off the wall idea! I have noticed throughout the season when the bench invariably gets sent down that when they get to Omaha they turn into hitters! I know there are other reasonable causes, but has anybody thought about the Omaha hitting coach becoming Royal. I am certainly willing to try anything!

    • jimfetterolf

      Omaha is a long ways below the major leagues. The bat boys hit .300 in the PCL. As for thinking out of the box, what is within the box is a series with Detroit. Yost isn’t going to waste either Davis or Holland when behind.

      • Stan Colbert

        May I start by saying I thought Ned had a great game tonight! I had no questions about any of his decisions, and I am not being sarcastic. That is what I don’t know about. With regard to hitting, just a thought. It would seem Ned does have a hard fast idea of how he is going to use his personnel and no matter what could be gained by adjustment he will stay the course.

        • jimfetterolf

          Our previous manager was known for thinking out of the box. It’s kind of like playing blackjack, nobody really likes holding on 14, but the odds say to do so. To go beyond the odds requires card counting or a hunch, in baseball specific match ups or a gut feeling. And that gets a manager crucified. I agree with Ned’s theory but realize a certain random number of times it doesn’t work. Baseball is funny that way.

          • Stan Colbert

            I think a better poker reference would be going all in. If I am going all in I would rather have a pair of kings than a pair of nines. If I win this hand the next one doesn’t have as much pressure if I don’t win the hand it doesn’t matter.

          • jimfetterolf

            Royals aren’t going all in, that’s a fantasy from the blogosphere. The business model is sustainable contention and that comes from the draft, development, and the occasional trade for an impact player using excess talent.

            In the case of the Trade last year we got a top 15 pitcher, what turned out to be one of the most dominant relievers, and in return we gave up a guy who can’t hit change ups and a pitcher who can only make five innings. Trading one of next year’s #1 or #2 pitchers for an extra homer a week with weak defense and a big contract don’t work for us. We tried that with Jose Guillen, Mike Jacobs, and even the Frenchy extension. Going all in is the two David Cone trades or the Bret Saberhagen trade. I hope that never happens again.

          • Stan Colbert

            Well I certainly didn’t equivocate pitching Davis in tthe seventh with all that. I’m just saying, if there are bases loaded in the seventh inning and a good hitter is up to bat and the manager wishes to use a real good pitcher in that situation I don’t think its necessary to be incumbered by the fact it is not the eighth inning. After getting through the seventh start with another reliever and if necessary Bring Holland in for the end of the eighth if that reliever can’t make it through. I have been told KC has a real good bullpen!

          • jimfetterolf

            That gets interesting. Not every pitcher is a fireman. KC has two great relievers, one very good, and four “meh”. Of the bunch I’m probably most comfortable with Herrera coming in with bases loaded. Holland used to be great at that. Not sure about Davis. Kind of hurts that Crow and Collins both lost effectiveness.

          • Stan Colbert

            I didn’t realize Crow had lost his effectiveness. I like Herrera! He seems to disappear sometimes. I was aggravated before finding out he had shoulder stiffness, because he hadn’t been used. Didn’t Collins have a real good year last year? Seems, in my mind, he did? When I have looked at other teams BPs seems Royals have good one(held Det. scoreless tonight).

          • jimfetterolf

            He’s been spotty, velocity down, strike outs down, Ned Yost doesn’t really trust him much. Tim Collins is in Omaha again working on a change and trying to throw strikes. Our top three of Holland, Davis, and Herrera is as good as anyone’s, but gets a little scary after that, which is where Bueno and Marriot and Crow are working. With Chen nobody is sure if his back allows effectiveness, hasn’t looked good since the DL.

  • jessanders

    I haven’t heard the proposed trade. What were we giving up for that haul of MLB players?

    Like, everything? Hosmer, Ventura/Duffy, Zimmer and Dozier or some shit like that?

    • jimfetterolf

      Wondered that myself. Being talk radio the proposed trade was likely something along the lines of Hosmer, Duffy, Ventura, and Perez for Wil Myers and Ben Zobrist. All those great Tampa players aren’t doing much this year, so sure, “Gut the Royals to take on payroll. The lines are now open and we go to a word from our sponsor.” Given how badly the Rays got skunked on “The Trade”, maybe they’ll take Giavotella and Marimon for David Price? Might toss in Cuthbert.

      • unclejesse40

        Here is what I don’t understand. Ventura has been great this year and is only getting better as a pitcher and not just a flame thrower, Duffy has looked downright nasty and I mean that in a good way. I don’t think anyone thought that Duffy was going to be this good this year. Vargas is showing us that he fits this defense and ballpark to a T. And there you have three out of the 4 pitchers in your rotation baring injury are going to be here for the next three years. Guthrie is a really good #5 pitcher, heck 3-4 years ago Guthrie would have been our opening day starter.

        And what gets me really excited is that Lamb is back to pitching in the mid 90′s in a hitters league in a hitters ballpark for half his games and he is starting to dominate. I think we have to take a look at him at some point with Vargas on the DL. If Lamb could be our #4 pitcher next year but pitch like a #3 that could be one of the best rotations in baseball next year. Sorry for being a homer but that makes me excited for the Royals moving forward. Heck I have even left out our number 1 prospect Zimmer who if he is what we think he is going to be and he fits in somewhere in that rotation and you have Guthrie as a long reliever holy smokes thats a downright dominate rotation that isnt costing you an arm and a leg.

  • Ryan Caltrider

    Tonight’s game was over in the first inning. Tonight we are seeing what a real major league lineup can do. All thoughts of winning this division should be over by Sunday.

    • Bear Brinkman

      I hate to agree with you but I’m afraid you’re correct.

  • Ed Connealy

    The trade IDEA I referred to was Price, Zobrist, and Loney for Hosmer, (Duffy or Ventura) and one highly regarded prospect. You may not agree with it, but to dismiss it is as crazy is….kind of crazy. I say that even though I love Ventura and Duffy.

    • Ryan Caltrider

      I don’t think I would do it, but I don’t think it is a crazy idea. I think it would undoubtedly make the team better for the next year and a half.

  • Wes Loeffler

    The Royals are moving dangerously close to sellers territory. The worst thing that could happen is for us to be neither buyers or sellers. No major acquisitions, no trades for the future, just standing pat. Which is sadly what I expect to see.