Tag Archive | "Neftali Feliz"

Votto’s contract shouldn’t worry Royals fans

For many Kansas City Royals fans, Joey Votto’s 12-year $251-million deal with the Cincinnati Reds was the worst news they had heard all spring. Fans speculated on Twitter that this would make Eric Hosmer worth at least $300 million in 4 years. Sam Mellinger wrote of how the Reds could afford such a deal, and yet the Kansas City Royals (with a slightly larger TV market) have put themselves in a position where they could not. For many the idea that Eric Hosmer is destined to leave Kansas City in 4-5 short years is just further proof that this team will never compete, the Kool Aid Drinker says not so fast.

Now it’s certainly possible that I am a little more optimistic about Hosmer’s prospects than most. I did predict he would break Steve Balboni’s HR record and win an MVP this season. While that may seem a little bit far-fetched, the odds of him doing both within in the next 4 years may be better than anyone that has ever put on a Royals uniform. If he does, the Royals have virtually no shot of locking him up long term, short of him giving the club one of the biggest hometown discounts ever. Who amongst us would fault him for not doing that? Who thinks the Royals should really lock up $250-$300 million in one player?

I’m sure a large percentage of Royals fans wonder how losing a player of this caliber could not be a complete disaster for a franchise, and to them I would suggest looking at the Texas Rangers after they lost Mark Teixeira. In 2007, the Rangers traded 1 ½ years of Tex for Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, and Jarros Saltamacchia. Andrus, Feliz and Harrison all contributed heavily to last year’s AL pennant winning club. Now sure, there’s no guarantee when trading for “prospects” that things will turn that well, but I’d like to think that Dayton Moore’s success in dealing Zack Greinke bodes well.

The Rangers had learned of the perils of a $200 million contract before anyone else thanks to Alex Rodriguez. The also had the foresight to see that a Scott Boras client of his caliber was going to test the free agent market and end up with a ridiculous contract. I’m sure at the time it was a terrible feeling for Rangers fans, but do you think the last two years have been?

While it may be depressing to think about, the fact is the Royals were probably never going to have Eric Hosmer for more than the 6 years that they are guaranteed, and that is not a complete disaster. Dayton Moore has set this club up to make a serious run over the next 4-5 years, and the nucleus is almost completely locked up over that time frame. Eric Hosmer looks to be one of those rare players that hits the ground running, and should only improve over that time frame. As Royals fans we should not be worried about Hosmer being so good that he becomes too expensive in 5 years, we should be hoping he does exactly that because it will most likely lead to our best chance at a World Championship in nearly 30 years.

For far too long we as Royals fans have had to manufacture reasons to get excited about this club as plan after plan failed miserably. Today, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas homered, our starting pitching shut down the Angels for a second consecutive day, and we fielded a lineup of (mostly) homegrown up-and-coming players that are virtually guaranteed to stay together and improve over the next 4 seasons. Our minor league system is second only to last year’s in the history of the franchise. We may very well be standing in line for what proves to be the greatest ride this club has ever given us. Let’s not start crying now about being sad that it’s over, it’s only just begun.

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BBA Selects Kimbrel, Valverde For Goose Gossage Award

BBA Selects Kimbrel, Valverde For Goose Gossage Award

In earlier voting this postseason by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel won the Willie Mays Award for top rookie handily while the American League race for that award was much tighter. With the Goose Gossage Award, handed out to the best reliever, Kimbrel got to see how the other half lives, at least somewhat.

Kimbrel beat Milwaukee’s John Axford by 13 points in the votes submitted by the National League voters of the Alliance, accumulating 78 points and garnering 12 first place votes. Axford, on the other hand, received 65 points on the strength of seven first place selections. Kimbrel’s bullpen teammate Johnny Venters was a very distant third with nine total points.

The race in the American League was a little more anti-climatic as Detroit closer Jose Valverde gained 13 first place votes on his way to a league-leading 74 point total. Two New York Yankees followed him in the voting, with Mariano Rivera receiving four first place votes and 56 total points while David Robertson gained 39 points for third.

The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):

American League
Jose Valverde, Detroit (13) 74
Mariano Rivera, New York (4) 56
David Robertson, New York (3) 39
Jonathan Papelbon, Boston (1) 21
Koji Uehara, Texas (1) 6
Alfredo Acevas, Boston (1) 5
Neftali Feliz, Texas 2
Greg Holland, Kansas City 2
Chris Perez, Cleveland 2
Brandon League, Seattle 1
Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland 1

National League
Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta (12) 78
John Axford, Milwaukee (7) 65
Johnny Venters, Atlanta (1) 9
Joel Hanrahan, Pittsburgh 8
JJ Putz, Arizona 7
Sean Marshall, Chicago 6
Heath Bell, San Diego 3
Tyler Clippard, Washington 3
Sergio Romo, San Francisco 1

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 316 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.

The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.

Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot. Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.

Notably, though the Alliance’s awards come out well before their official counterparts, the BBA selections have matched those of the Baseball Writers of America in all but two instances in the past two years. This, of course, does not include the Goose Gossage Award that is exclusive to the BBA.

Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and for this award, were tabulated on a 5-3-1 point scale for first through third place. In the interest of transparency, links are given below for the ballots. Chapter affiliation is in parenthesis. Those chapters that decided on the group method are noted with an asterisk.

American League
Baltimore Sports and Life (Baltimore)
Baseball Is My Boyfriend (Texas)*
Baseball North (Toronto)
Boston Red Thoughts (Boston)*
Contract Year (Oakland)*
The Flagrant Fan (General)
Kings of Kauffman (Kansas City)*
Lady At The Bat (New York)
Misc. Baseball (History)
Motor City Bengals (Detroit)
North Dakota Twins Fan (Minnesota)
The Rays Rant (Tampa Bay)
Seattle Mariners Musings (Seattle)
Seedlings To Stars (Other)
Some Thoughts On Baseball (Toronto)
Tigers Amateur Analysis (Detroit)
The Tribe Daily (Cleveland)*
Twins On Twins (Minnesota)

National League
Appy Astros (Houston)
Blog Red Machine (Cincinnati)
Cincinnati Reds Blog (Cincinnati)
Dugger Sports (Philadelphia)
The Eddie Kranepool Society (New York)*
The Flagrant Fan (General)
Misc. Baseball (History)
On The Outside Corner (St. Louis)
Phils Baseball (Philadelphia)
Prose and Ivy (Chicago)*
Raise The Jolly Roger (Pittsburgh)
RJ’s Fro (San Diego)
Rockies Woman (Colorado)
22 Gigantes (San Francisco)
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)
Websoulsurfer (San Diego)
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke? (Pittsburgh)

Prior Winners: 2010: Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay; Brian Wilson, San Francisco

The official website of the BBA is located atbaseballbloggersalliance.wordpress.com. The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba. For more information, contact Daniel Shoptaw at founder@baseballbloggersalliance.com.

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Biggest Royals Plays Of The First Half

Worst WPA plays of the first half:

3. -53% WPA • Matt Holliday home run vs. Greg Holland

June 18 • Royals 4 @ Cardinals 5

Greg Holland has been nothing short of fantastic this year, but he shows up on this list for yielding a two-run homer to Matt Holliday that put the Cards ahead for good in the game.

2. -66% WPA • Torii Hunter home run vs. Joakim Soria

May 30 • Angels 10 @ Royals 8

In Soria’s third and final blown save of the first half, he squandered a one run lead with a single to Bobby Abreu followed by a two run shot by Hunter

1. -68% WPA • Carlos Quentin double vs. Joakim Soria

April 6 • White Sox 10 @ Royals 7

Heading into the top of the 9th, the Royals lead 6-3 and bring in Mr. Automatic, Joakim Soria. Soria retires the first two batters, at which point the Royals win expectancy rounds up to 100%. The game is over. But then Juan Pierre singles…and Gordon Beckham walks…and Alex Rios singles…and Paul Konerko singles….and in the biggest WPA swing of the Royals first half, Carlos Quentin hits a two-run double to give the White Sox the lead and a staggering 68% increase in win expectancy for the Sox.

Best WPA plays of the first half:

3. +44% WPA • Eric Hosmer home run vs. Neftali Feliz

May 18 • Rangers 5 @ Royals 4

I would not expect to see a Royals loss in this list, but here it is. The Royals trailed by a run in the top of the ninth when Hos hit his third career dinger to tie things up, but KC dropped the game in the 11th.

2. +47% • Melky Cabrera single vs. Chris Perez

April 21 • Indians 2 @ Royals 3

This hit finished off a nightmare ninth inning for Indians hurler Chris Perez and a walk off win for the Royals.

1. +52% WPA • Wilson Betemit double vs. Fernando Rodney

April 3 • Angels 9 @ Royals 12

This was the fourth game of the season and one of many big plays in a crazy opening week. Betemit’s double scored two runs to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth; ironically, Matt Traenor’s walk-off homer in the 11th was not quite as big of a play by WPA (+39%).

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