Peavy, Bale, Moustakas, and a Link

  • First off I want to personally thank Jake Peavy for rejecting the trade to Chicago.  I like him even more now that he has given the White Sox the finger.  To Mitch Williams and any other paid media who went on record as saying that the Sox acquiring Peavy would not impact the AL Central, you should be ashamed to call yourself an expert and should donate your 2009 salary to charity.  Of course Mitch having such an ignorant take shouldn’t surprise any one who routinely watches MLB Network.  He talks baseball like he pitched.  Some nights he has quality insight and opinion and some nights he comes off like Paula Abdul trying to complete a thought on American Idol.  All in all, I don’t mind Mitch on MLB Network, but he is good to say something completely stupid at least once a week.  Even so, he’s far better than Eric Young, Fernando Vina, Orestes Destrade, or most of the other former player trash that ESPN rolls out on Baseball Tonight.
  • Now back to the Royals.  Bullpen help may not be far away.  John Bale, on a rehab assignment after thyroid surgery earlier this year, was moved to Omaha on Wednesday.  In 6.2 IP with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Bale allowed 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB and 5 SO.  That works out to a 1.35 ERA and 0.30 WHIP during his 6 appearances there.  The Royals plan to give him 4 or 5 appearances in Triple-A before he heads to Kansas City.  His 30 day rehab assignment ends on June 3rd.  Unless he has a setback or there is another injury among the ML pitching staff, the Royals will have to make a decision on who leaves the bullpen.  The Royals have two moves that would significantly improve the staff as a whole.  The first is to remove Ponson from the ML roster.  I don’t think this is going to happen despite his failures as a bullpen pitcher.  He essentially is the Royals only Hochevar insurance.  If Luke continues to struggle Ponson could easily swap roles with him.  If Hochevar strings together a couple good starts between now and June 3rd removing Ponson from the 25 man roster certainly becomes an increasingly attractive move.  The second option the Royals have is to release Horacio Ramirez.  Ponson in the bullpen is worthless, but he does have some “value” as a back of the rotation starter.  Ho-Ram has little value in either capacity at this point.  Even when Ho-Ram pitches somewhat effectively, he still allows too many baserunners and rarely pitches a clean inning.  John Bale has not been healthy very often since he’s been with the Royals, but his low 4s ERA would be a nice addition to the pen compared to Ponson’s 6.41 or Ho-Ram’s 6.61.
  • Mike Moustakas’ ML debut might not be imminent, but he is doing his part to accelerate Dayton Moore’s time table along those lines.  Moustakas has played 37 games at High-A Wilmington heading into their game tonight.  In 148 AB, he is hitting .297/.327/.500 with 7 HR, 31 RBI and 27 R.  In his last 10 games he has hit .326 with 3 HR, 10 RBI and 6 R.  Moustakas is holding his own against LHP despite hitting left handed and despite being only 20 years old.  His OBP and SLG are way down against lefties but his BA is pretty good.  Against LHP this year he is hitting .274/.303/.371.  By comparison, he is hitting .314/.344/.593 against RHP.  It bears repeating that these splits are very impressive for a 20 year old left handed power hitter.  He does have 27 SO and only 7 walks in his 37 games played so he still has work to do, but a promotion to Northwest Arkansas should come at some point this summer.
  • Going forward, one of the things I want to start doing a better job of on this site, is to highlight quality articles/thoughts written on other sites.  My first action along these lines it to draw your attention to The Sky is Not Falling posted on Undying Royalty.  All in all I found this to be an excellent take, in line with my own thoughts, on the state of things before tonight’s game.  The only point I would take issue with from his post is Eric Wedge’s job security.  Regardless of how bad the Indians play this year, I don’t think there is much chance that Mark Shapiro fires Wedge during the season this year.  Owner Larry Dolan, Shapiro, and Wedge are all very close. If Dolan forces Shapiro to fire Wedge, I think Cleveland will also be looking for a new GM.  With that starting rotation and bullpen, Eric Wedge is not the problem in Cleveland.  My belief in Wedge’s job security is largely shaped by the recent comments of Jason Stark, Buster Olney and other experts who have been heard on 810 WHB and MLB Network in the last week.