Royals Notes: Brett’s New Job, Duffy During Rehab, and Decisions
May 30, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost (3) and interim hitting coach George Brett (5) watch batting practice before a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
I’d guess that within seconds of the Royals announcing that George Brett was taking over as hitting coach, the next step was to consider him as a manager. With Ned Yost seemingly having few answers, speculation was that he was close to getting the ax and Brett, a Royals legend, would be right there and ready to assume the role.
Brett’s obviously invested in this team and organization, but he’s never been a coach in any official capacity and he’ll tell you that he’s not really sure what he’s doing yet, either. Even his interim role as hitting coach is looking like a month to month situation. Yet the speculation continues. It’s clear that the Royals have talked to Brett in the past about a bigger role and having the best player in team history in the dugout carries a ton of clout, but that Brett’s never been interested before and recently turned 60 just doesn’t seem like the kind of time for him to start being a manager for the first time.
It’s ironic that he’d likely only be in position to have to make the decision if he first fails in his current role. If the Royals don’t hit, Yost likely gets fired, and sure, maybe Brett steps up to an interim manager’s role. But if Brett’s lessons take hold and Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas get back on track, then the Royals likely win and Ned Yost’s hot seat cools off.
By the way, David Glass gave Yost a vote of confidence on Wednesday.
–Sam Mellinger threw out some terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad statistics about the Royals slumbering offense on his blog on KansasCity.com. I’ll only give up one of the figures (you’ll have to go read his post for the rest): if the Royals took on all of Chris Davis‘s 20 homers (the most in baseball so far), they’d still be last in the majors in team home runs.
Part of the problem is that Eric Hosmer only has one homer all year and it’s June 5th. We’ve talked about his swing plenty, and on Tuesday night, he added pitch selection to his list of problems. WARNING: the image built by Twitter user @BHIndepMO is not pretty.
—Danny Duffy made his third rehab start on Wednesday as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. He threw 71 pitches and covered 4 innings of work for Northwest Arkansas. In 10.2 innings, he’s walked four batters, struck out 15, and allowed five runs.
Also, his next rehab start will be in Omaha on Monday. It will be interesting to see how he fares against a higher level of competition. He’s still throwing a lot of pitches per inning, and while his walks so far have been limited, his big league career walkrate is 11.6% of batters faced. League average is usually around 8%. If he can limit walks, his strikeout ability could make him a really dangerous lefty as his velocity is already back at his pre-injury levels.
–With the Royals failing spectacularly in May, the questions of getting a jump on the next rebuild are already popping up and Brian Honea at Yahoo Sports asks if the Texas Rangers could be a suitor for James Shields. He floats the potential of trading Jurickson Profar (and perhaps more) for Shields as one move that might land Shields in Texas.
Remember that Texas was in the mix for Shields this winter before the Royals landed him.
I imagine that the Royals are going to wait until they’re very clearly out of it this year before exploring any sort of trade involving Shields, though being able to put Profar in at second alongside Alcides Escobar (or even move Escobar to let Profar have shortstop) is pretty intriguing.