Kings of Kauffman Mailbag – Ep.8


Spring Training has started. The bickering has begun. Will the 2013 Kansas City Royals be a 90-game winner and make the playoffs, or have marginal improvement and make the Wil Myers fans out there even more upset? So many twists, so many turns, let’s waste no time and get straight to this month’s KoK Mailbag.

Hit us up at On to the bag:

Should Kelvin Herrera move to starter? Why won’t Crow? – Jeremy in Blue Springs

I love the idea of Herrera as a starter and I’m not sold on the reasons being given that he wouldn’t be able to do it. Just because a reliever transitions to starter doesn’t automatically mean that they need to start pacing themselves in an effort to get deeper into games. Of all the pitchers I’ve coached, trained, and all the innings I’ve thrown myself, to have the thought that pitch No.2 needed to be thrown with any less conscious effort than pitch No.88 is befuddling to me. And if I have a pitcher that’s worried about pitch No.88 in the first inning, then I don’t want him pitching for me.

And if there’s a worry that he’ll run out of gas, train better. The biggest misconception about pitchers is that they need some kind of outwardly endurance that can only be acquired by running lots and lots of miles; that pitching is a marathon. It’s not. It’s just not.

Pitching is just a bunch of sprints run one after another with somewhere between a 5 and 10 minute break every 18 or so. If you’re telling me that Herrera’s 100 mph, or any other pitcher’s fastball, can’t last for 6 to 7 sequences of 18 pitches over the course of 2 ½ hours, then I’ll show you an pitcher and an organization that doesn’t know how to condition.

What’s your deal with Gordon? – Steve in Wichita

I’m assuming this one is for me personally since I’m the resident Gordon fanboy around these parts.

I’m a sucker for elite athletes, and as much as I use statistics to frame my arguments, at my core I’m still a baseball fan with a player/coach/recruiter/scouts eye. And because of that the first thing I look for before anything else is the natural body control and movement skills that are unmistakable in terrific athletes. Gordon is one of those guys. There is no weakness to what his athleticism can do – except elite speed – and those are the guys that turn into All-Stars and top tier players. Those are the ones you bet on to fulfill their potential.

How would you have advised Dayton Moore this offseason? – Jordan in Ames

Use the only resource you are truly in abundance of: money. Not talent.

Wil Myers may or may not have been better than Jeff Francoeur this season, but given what we know of Francoeur and his career, the odds are not in his favor. And the idea that prospects are just prospects and they bust is the most self-fulfilling form of dis-logic imaginable. Under that same line of thinking Billy Butler would have never been good, Alex Gordon would have never been good, and any star on any team would have been, and will never be good. It’s the easy way to defend the players that are currently on the team without ever establishing who will be next…

I’m off the rails now…this offseason…

Attack with offense. This is still a lineup that is vastly unproven in the spots that need to improve, and incredibly proven in other spots that will most certainly see 600 plate appearances. The central focus on pitching and pitching only never made much sense to me. There are still at least three glaring holes in the every day lineup with at least two more that could easily be. That’s not a recipe for success.

Wil Myers may have been what the Royals needed to get a return like James Shields, but in the immortal words of Dr. Malcom in Jurassic Park: “you were so preoccupied with whether or not you could that you didn’t stop to think if you should.”