Tag Archive | "Paulino"

What to do with Wade Davis?

When the Royals made a splash this off-season by acquiring James Shields and Wade Davis from the Tampa Bay Rays, they figured they were getting two above average Major League pitchers that would solidify their rotation right away.

Shields and Davis

Shields has been as advertised, but Davis has quite frankly been terrible.

Davis’ ERA is approaching 6.00 (5.92) and his record has dropped to 4-8. In 97.1 innings pitched, Wade sports a 1.80 WHIP.

It’s not that Davis isn’t talented enough to be an effective starter. He posted respectable numbers in two seasons as a starter with the Rays. In 2010, he started 29 games and went 12-10 with a 4.07 ERA. In 2011, Davis also started 29 games, with a 4.45 ERA and an 11-10 record.

When you compare the numbers from those two seasons as a starter, there are a few alarming trends. Most notably, Davis’ hits per nine and walks per nine are way up. This season, Davis is allowing a whopping 12.2 hits per nine and 4.1 walks per nine.

Davis spent all of 2012 as a reliever for the Rays, and was great. In 54 appearances, Davis was 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA and a career-high 11.1 K/9.

So the question for the Royals becomes, do you leave Davis in the rotation and hope for the best, or do you make a switch and move him into a bullpen that is already very deep?

It’s not an easy question to answer. He has proven that he can be an effective reliever and with the Royals needing to make a move in the standings, they may not be able to stomach many more of his bad starts.

The Royals have two good candidates to take Davis’ spot in the rotation in rehabbing starters Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino. Duffy is further along in his rehab than Paulino, but whenever they are ready they could challenge for Davis’ starting gig.

Both Duffy and Paulino still have hurdles they need to climb before returning to the majors, but once they return it would make sense to move Davis back into the bullpen.

Until they return though, Davis has an opportunity to turn around his season and make a case that he still belongs in the rotation.

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Elliot Johnson Acquired By Royals

SURPRISE, AZ (February 12, 2013) – The Kansas City Royals today announced that infielder/outfielder Elliot Johnson was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays as the player to be named in the December 9, 2012 trade that also sent right-handed pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals.

ElliotJohnson

Johnson, who will turn 29 on March 9, was placed on the Royals 40-man roster while right-handed pitcher Felipe Paulino was placed on the 60-day Disabled List effective today as he continued his rehab from Tommy John surgery.  Paulino will be eligible for reinstatement on June 1.  Johnson is expected to join the Royals Spring Training camp in Surprise, Ariz., on Thursday, February 14.

The switch-hitter played in 123 games for the Rays in 2012, batting .242 with 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 33 RBI and 32 runs scored.  The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder also stole 18 bases in 24 attempts playing mostly at shortstop (68 starts), but also making starts at second base and third base and appearing in the outfield.  Johnson is a career .223 hitter in 200 Major League games, all for Tampa Bay.

Johnson, born and raised in Arizona, now resides in Durham, NC, with his wife, Nicole, and their son, Blake.

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Royals Announce Series Of Roster Moves

KANSAS CITY, MO (November 2, 2012) — The Kansas City Royals today announced several 40-man Major League roster moves.  Following the moves, the Royals now have 40 players on the club’s 40-man roster.

The club has reinstated left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy and right-handed pitcher Felipe Paulino from the 60-day Disabled List.  Both pitchers underwent ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery) during the 2012 season:  Duffy on his left elbow on June 13 and Paulino on his right elbow on July 3.

In addition, the club claimed right-handed pitcher Guillermo Moscoso on Outright Waivers from the Colorado Rockies and claimed catcher Brett Hayes on Outright Waivers from the Miami Marlins.

Leaving the Royals organization is right-handed pitcher Blake Wood, who was claimed on Outright Waivers by the Cleveland Indians.

Catcher Manuel Pina was assigned outright to Omaha while left-handed pitcher Tommy Hottovy, right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress and outfielder Jason Bourgeois were designated for assignment.

The 28-year-old Moscoso (name is pronounced “jee-AIR-moh mahs-KOH-soh”), who will turn 29 on November 14, has pitched for parts of the past four seasons in the Majors with the Rangers (2009-10), Athletics (2011) and Rockies (2012).  The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder made 23 appearances, including three starts, for Colorado last season and went 3-2 with a 6.12 ERA.  His best season came in 2011 with Oakland when he compiled an 8-10 record with a 3.38 ERA in 23 games (21 starts), allowing three hits or fewer in eight starts.  Born in Maracay, Venezuela, Moscoso was originally signed by the Detroit Tigers as a non-drafted free agent in 2003.

Hayes, 28, has worked as the Marlins backup catcher for parts of the past four seasons.  In 39 games in 2012, he batted .202 with six doubles after hitting .231 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 64 contests in 2011.  Known as a strong defensive catcher, Hayes has caught 19 of 74 attempted basestealers in his career (26%).  The 6-foot, 201-pound right-handed hitter was the Marlins’ second-round selection in the 2005 draft out of the University of Nevada.  His father, Tim Hayes, was drafted by the Royals but never played professionally.

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Kool Aid Drinker’s Crystal Ball (Part 2)

As if this Royals season hasn’t turned depressing enough, I took a look today at the original crystal ball from 1/1/2012. So much was possible then…

* Roy Oswalt was still a free agent

* Danny Duffy, Joakim Soria, and Felipe Paulino were all still in the mix

* Salvador Perez was expected to play a full season

* Eric Hosmer was still thought to be the savior

* Jarrod Dyson wasn’t expected to leave AAA

* Johnny Giavotella was expected to start at second base

* Mike Montgomery was still a real prospect

Looking at that list did something besides depress me though…it inspired me. It’s unreal that this team isn’t 30 games below .500 with the luck they’ve had. They are way overdue right? Let’s go back to the crystal ball and find out:

 July

  • Jonathan Broxton is traded for 2 players we’ll either never hear from again or grow to hate. This opens up the closer’s role for Kelvin Herrera, perhaps the club’s best bullpen arm.
  • Jeff Francoeur finishes the month on a tear, raising trade interest around the league. Dayton Moore refuses all trade offers and takes out a full page ad in the Kansas City Star to write an “Ode to Frenchy”.
  • Lorenzo Cain gets a paper cut playing poker in the clubhouse and is immediately placed on the 60 Day DL. Wil Myers is called up to replace him.

August

  • Eric Hosmer finally gets his batting average over .250 with a 4 hit, 2 home run performance against the Baltimore Orioles.
  • As fans and the media clamor for Jake Odorizzi, Luke Hochevar “figures it out” with a 10 inning shutout in which he throws only 85 pitches. Hochevar credits his cutter, which he says he’s throwing more often.
  • Jeff Francoeur hits .210 with no extra base hits and one RBI for the month. Dayton Moore tells him he’s proud of his effort.

September/October

  • On the birthday of David Glass, fans assemble in the parking lot to celebrate, by boycotting his Royals. When parking lot attendants are unable to disperse the crowd, upper deck ushers are called in to use their notorious intimidation tactics.
  • Jake Odorizzi finally joins the big league club and lasts 4 2/3 innings in each of his big league starts.
  • Billy Butler hits home run number 37 to win the first game of a three game series against the Chicago White Sox. The Royals go on to win their next twelve in a row, costing themselves 4 spots in the draft in the process.

I am not saying the Kool Aid Drinker is giving up on 2012, the club may still have a Rockies-esque run in them. While this is obviously tongue-in-cheek, I don’t think there’s any chance at all the Frenchy gets traded. That probably means that another Cain injury is the only way that Wil Myers gets a call up before September.

As is usually the case in July inKansas City, next year offers much more intrigue, so I’ll leave you with my guesses on that:

Is there any chance the Royals acquire a front line starter? No

What does Dayton do with Wil Myers, Lorenzo Cain, and Jef Francoeur? Frenchy is here for the duration, Myers will have to beat out Cain.

Who really is the second baseman of the future? Chris Getz

Will any of the Royals pitching prospects ever experience sustained success in the majors? Not in 2013.

Do we ever see Joakim Soria in a Royals uniform again? Yes.

Do Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino make it back by the All Start Break next year? Will they still be any good? Duffy comes back better than ever, after the break. Paulino is the wildest of wild cards.

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Royals Mid-Term Report Card By Position

As we sit at the All-Star Break, we take some time to reflect on the Kansas City Royals performance by position in the first half of the season.

There is no denying that expectations were higher for this Royals team. With this being the first year having most of the young players Royals’ fans have been hearing about starting the season with the team, it is only natural that fans expected to see production right away. Well, for the first week, things looked pretty decent. Then Johnny Broxton blew a game in Oakland and everything went to hell in a handbasket for 2 weeks. The Royals proceeded to get blown out on their home opener in front of a sold out crowd, in the second of 12 consecutive losses. Once the Royals finally snapped their losing streak, they actually began playing well. Despite several more injuries to key players, they managed to claw back to 5-6 games out of first place. Then they hit a swoon last week that puts them currently at 37-47 and 9 1/2 games out of first place in the division. How has each position performed? We will fill you in on that right now:

Starting Pitcher-C minus

People may feel like this is being too generous. But based on the injuries to guys like Duffy and Paulino, what more could you expect? Bruce Chen has regressed a little, and Luke Hochevar has been his same unreliable and inconsistent self. But Luis Mendoza has been a pleasant surprise, and guys like Vin Mazzarro, Nate Adcock, and Everett Teaford have done an ok job filling in. If it wasn’t for Jonathan Sanchez, I might be able to give this group a B minus.

Catcher-B
Brayan Pena will always be Brayan Pena. But this year he has solidified himself as a solid clubhouse presence as well as a high quality backup catcher. He and Humberto Quintero had to start more games than the Royals would have preferred due to Salvador Perez‘s knee injury, but that’s what they’re there for. Quintero is now gone, and since Perez returned from injury, he has been a monster in every respect. It would not surprise me if the Catcher position receives an A for its final grade based on what Perez is able to contribute in the second half of the season.

First Base-D plus

Eric Hosmer now has his batting average up to .231. This is saying something, considering it doesn’t seem that long ago that he was hitting a meager .179. The Royals and their fans expected more out of Hosmer this season, as they should have. I believe he will turn it around and have a very solid 2nd half of the season.

2nd Base-B

The tandem of Yuniesky Betancourt and Chris Getz (when he as been healthy) has certainly outpaced expectations for this year. Johnny Giovatella’s less than inspiring performance after getting called up is certainly a downer, but overall I think the Royals have gotten more offensively than they expected to out of the 2nd Base position.

3rd Base-A

Mike Moustakas has exceeded all expectations both offensively and defensively. He is currently on pace for 29 HR’s and 91 RBI. While nobody doubted he could put up numbers like this eventually, nobody expected it to come this year. On top of that, he is playing gold glove calibur defense.

Shortstop-A

Alcides Escobar is hitting .307 and slugging .410. He also has 21 doubles at the break. And is probably the best defensive shortstop in the game. Yes, we will take that.

Outfield-C

Defensively, the trio of Alex Gordon, Jeff Francoeur, and Jarrod Dyson has performed quite well. Offensively, however, the production coming from the 3 outfield spots is well below where it was last year and well below where anyone expected it to be this year. After a slow start, Alex Gordon has now raised his batting average to .274 with 27 doubles. However, his 5 HR’s are well off the pace of the 23 that he clubbed in 2011. His speed on the basebaths has also somehow disappeared, as he sits at 3 SB’s after swiping 17 bags last year. Jeff Francoeur has been similarly disappointing at the plate. After hitting .285 with 20 HR, 85 RBI, and 22 SB’s a season ago, he currently sits with a batting average of .251, 7 HR, 25 RBI, and just 1 SB. This is far from the kind of production they were hoping for in 2012, and is the primary reason Royals fans are clamoring for Wil Myers to replace Frenchy in RF. And the lack of production in CF is almost entirely due to the injury of Lorenzo Cain, who is scheduled to return this coming weekend. Jarrod Dyson is a nice player with a limited skillset, so he is performing about as well as one could reasonably expect him to. So once Cain comes back we should see an uptick in production from the CF position.

Bullpen-A minus

A lot has been asked of this bullpen and for the most part they have delivered. Even with Joakim Soria going down before the season, Jonathan Broxton has stepped up and performed admirably in the closer’s role. Kelvin Herrera, Tim Collins, Jose Mijares, Greg Holland, and Aaron Crow have also been very reliable options out of the pen. The hope is that this group was not over-used in the first half of the season and doesn’t break down, but time will tell.

Looking at these performances, it is hard to not feel somewhat optimistic about the 2nd half of the season. With drastic increases in production expected from Catcher (Perez), Right Field (Myers), Center-Field (Cain), and the opportunity for Gordon to show improvement from the first half, the Royals could find themselves in position to make some noise in the 2nd half of 2012.

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Here’s to you Mr. Robinson

With inter league play about to be in full swing the Kansas City Royals seem to be in a pretty good position to make a move in the later part of the month of June. With scheduled off days in the right spots Ned Yost will not have to worry about filling out a 5 man rotation for a few weeks, a luxury for him since not everyone has been up to par on the mound lately. The one snag that he could run into is the recent “injury” of starter Felipe Paulino who may or may not miss his next scheduled start.

Photo Courtesy of Minda Haas

The biggest news of the upcoming schedule for the Royals is the fact that they re-called minor league first basemen Clint Robinson for an extra left handed power option off of the bench. Maybe this time when he is in the major league dugout he will get a chance to have the success in the show that he had had over his minor league career.
The call-up does two things for the Royals. It makes it harder for National League managers to force Royals hitters to face pitchers they shouldn’t. With an extra lefty in the dugout, the late inning pinch hitter comes into play when you are in an NL ballpark. The extra bat not only could fill in as a backup but also maybe give the Royals bats the shock that has been hugely needed over the last week.

On the other hand it may light a fire under one player and one player alone. Eric Hosmer, whom has been showing much improvement over the last couple of weeks, will have to continue to progress or he may get bumped if Robinson comes up and kills the ball. The Royals need one of them to step up and hit for some power for the team to come out in top of their inter league schedule.

The one thing that I know I am worried about and may be in the back of the minds of many of the Royals faithful is if we had another Kila Ka’aiahue on out hands. A guy that displayed a lot of power in the minor leagues and never could cut it in the big league. As we saw even more evident when the offensively challenged Oakland Athletics cut the “slugging Hawaiian” earlier this week. So if he is like Ka’aiahue he would be a bust but the difference is the fact that Robinson has hit for better averages all throughout his career. With Kila it seemed to be extra base hits or bust but Robinson can get the base knock thrown in their with the power to go with.

As a lifelong Royals I always love when the longtime minor leaguers who have paid their dues over years of bus rides and 2-star dining finally get their big chance to shine. Now don’t get me wrong I love the stars that come up after only a few years of development but it’s the guys who had not complained staid by and waited there turn who seem to not let it go to waist. Like fans saw earlier in the season with Irving Falu maybe Robibson can shed some light on a dark offense of the past. In the words of Rex Hudler. “You go ahead, Clint Robinson, you take Kansas Itt by storm.”

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How bad are the Kansas City Royals

This team is hopeless. Dayton Moore has run it into the ground. The Glass family hasn’t been willing to spend to keep pace with the big-market clubs.

Ned Yost is a terrible in-game strategist. He mismanages his bullpen. “The Process” is just a myth. Our so-called “best farm system in baseball” means nothing at the big league level.

Something about our development of young pitchers is causing them to break down. Luke Hochevar is the new Kyle Davies. We should never have given Salvador Perez such a big contract at 21 years of age. Johnny Giavotella should have made the big league roster instead of Chris Getz.

I heard every one of these opinions expressed ad nauseum during the month of April. Particularly on talk radio, but also in the traditional newspapers and of course in the Internet blogosphere, Everyone piled on like a rugby scrum.

Now the team is the hottest in baseball, as of May 16, having knocked off the mighty Texas Rangers in back-to-back road contests.

I know this Royals team isn’t among the league’s best. But they are winning at that pace at the moment, and they’re steadily climbing back toward .500.

The negativity rubbed me wrong in April, and I couldn’t be happier that the Royals are vindicating themselves now.

Sure, the 12-game losing bender made me sick. But the rats fleeing the ship made me even sicker.

Think about it. Which team could have survived losing their ace reliever, centerfielder, catcher and a key starting pitcher (Felipe Paulino) at the start of a season?

Could the Rangers? They haven’t made a roster move yet. Take four key pieces from that team and see how good they would be.

Could the Yankees? They’ve limped along after the loss of Mariano Rivera.

I’m not trying to make excuses for the 12-game bender. But just as we’re probably not as good as our record in May would indicate, we probably weren’t as bad as we played in April.

I’m trying to not get too high over winning 12 of our last 18. But I don’t appreciate everyone who jumped off the bandwagon when we were 3-14. Maybe they didn’t belong on the bandwagon after all. Just stay off and leave room for the real fans.

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Just keep rollin’

After a horrific start to the 2012 season at Kauffman Stadium, the Kansas City Royals showed much improvement in their second home-stand against the beasts of the east.

Against the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, the Royals had it all bad pitching with good pitching, timely hitting and then not so clutch hitting.  But the most important thing is that they were victorious 4 times.  After going 0-10 in their first home-stand the Royals stepped it up quite a bit with the above .500 home-stand ending it at 4-3.  Now it is not exactly the best result of a home-stand but the fact that they were able to come home and prove to the fans that they were truly a team and able to win ballgames is the biggest accomplish.  I believe that if they would have come home and laid another egg and only won 1 or 2 games the town would have gone nuts, some maybe even hanging the t-shirt jerseys in the closet for the summer.  But, just like in all sports patience is a virtue.

The surprise of the home-stand, at least on the mound that is, was the start of the season for Felipe Paulino.  Some at the beginning of the season did not want to see Paulino in the Royals’ rotation, and those that did got there wish with Paulino going on the 15-Day Disabled List to begin the season.  But once he was given the opportunity to pitch again in Kauffman Stadium he was not going to give his spot back.  Yes is was only one start but maybe it was exactly what the pitching staff needed not only for the quality starts that have been lacking so far this season but also the ability to rest the bullpen more with an innings eater like Paulino on the mound.  In his first start, he went 6 innings, while only throwing 96 pitches, 59 of which were strikes.  He had 6 strikeouts and only 2 walks.  Oh yeah and he didn’t give up any runs.  If Paulino can continue to be a good back of the rotation guy then his value on this team is unprecedented.  When you have pitchers like, Luke Hochevar and Jonathan Sanchez, on your staff that cant seem to get out of the fourth inning but once in a blue moon, having a guy that can tell the bullpen take a little time off for tonight is a huge help.

One hitter stood out on the home-stand, even though his hot streak started on the road in Cleveland.  After a terrible start Gordon has seemed to found his stride at the plate.  He has raised his batting average exactly 100 points since April 24th.  To say that he is hot would be about right.  Having a four hit game always helps the average this early in the season. The fact that he is now driving in runs not by hitting the ball out of the ballpark but cutting his swing down and getting just base hits is what stands out the most with Gordon. He is just getting base hit after base hit, as the singles come the doubles follow and the big flies follow suit.  If he continues playing both in the field and at the plate he will be finding himself playing an extra game at The K around early July.

Fans, our Royals are not fully back but boy does it feel good to have them playing baseball that we all enjoy to watch.  Although they had only one more wins than losses in the last seven games, it felt like the baseball that was being played was not only smart and productive but enjoyable.  Losing 12 games in a row is never fun but when it is happening without having any good baseball being played that changes is completely.  This team needs about a five or six game winning streak and they will be right where they and we all want to be.  Right back in the thick of things in a sluggish American League Central.

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More positives than just the Royals recent record

Last week I wrote that I felt the Cleveland Indians series could be the turning point in the Kansas City Royals 2012 season, and a week later I’d have to say so far, so good. The club split a pair of rain-shortened series with the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers and currently holds a 2-1 series lead over the New York Yankees. Since snapping their self-inflicted 12-game losing streak the Royals are 6-4 and regardless of what happens today will have gone 4 straight series without losing a series. They’re still 5.5 games out of first, which is still phenomenal considering how bad they were at home in April. However, their recent steadying of the ship isn’t the most encouraging sign, it’s not even close:

Mike Moustakas has been en fuego. Over the last week Moose has his .318/.375/.682 and has been every bit as good with the glove. His bare hand play to save game one of the Yankees series was iconic. He’s only 23 so I’m sure there are a few slumps on the way, but this kid looks like the Royals best bet to make the All Star Game at this point.

They are who we thought they were. Those famous words from Dennis Green can now be spoken about our red hot bullpen. Even without Joakim Soria and Greg Holland, the bullpen is turning into the strength we’d hoped it’d be. Through 10 games, Jonathan Broxton has a 1.86 ERA and has converted 5 out of 6 save opportunities. Tim Collins has a 2.30 ERA and has struck out 12 while walking only 3 in 15 2/3 innings. Tommy Hottovy, Nate Adcock, Jose Mijares, and Kelvin Herrera all have ERAs below 3.50.

The return of Felipe Paulino. I struggled to understand in Spring Training why Paulino seemed to be the most questioned starter coming back for the Royals. From the time he joined the club in 2011 he was arguably the Royals best starter. Replacing Luis Mendoza with Paulino is a huge upgrade in the rotation. Essentially you’ve taken long reliever out of the rotation and replaced him with a true #4 that has the potential to be a #3. Paulino’s debut against the Yankees (6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K) did nothing to discourage me from thinking he makes this club a lot better. Basically, bad Paulino is like good Mendoza, and good Paulino is the best pitcher on this staff.

Future All-Star Danny Duffy looks to be fine. After skipping a start with elbow soreness, Duffy returned to light up the radar gun and pick up a win. Duffy has a lot of work to do in terms of limiting his pitch count, but even after 1 terrible start and 1 skipped start his 2012 line projects out to 12-13 wins, a sub 4 ERA and 160+ strikeouts.

While this does explain the Royals improved play, what does it say for the future? More importantly, is there any chance the Royals can dig out of this hole? Jeff Francoeur famously told us to check back at the end of May, but that’s far too soon to expect the Royals to get back to .500, at least in my mind. The club can legitimately hope to have Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain back in July which I think should make this club even better than they’ve been the last two weeks.

With that in mind, I think July 31 is legitimately when you could expect to see them back at .500, and essentially back in the Central Division race. To do that they only need to play 3 games over .500 in each of the next months. From that point they play 35 games against division opponents and will have every opportunity to win their way into the playoffs with (hopefully) a full deck of cards for the first time all season.

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Are the 2012 Royals a bad team?

Are the 2012 Kansas City Royals a bad baseball team? This question that was asked frequently during the notorious twelve game losing streak. Because the losing streak happened so early in the season it is a legitimate question. I know the 2012 version of the Royals is not a good team. Good teams don’t go on twelve game losing streaks and have starting pitchers with ERAs above 7. However, does this Royals team have the potential to get near .500 like we anticipated in March? Or are we looking at another 100 loss season? There is only one place to find these answers: Baseball-Reference.

The Royals have had four 100 loss seasons in their history. Let’s see how the 2012 Royals would stack up if they were in a division with those four teams after 25 games:

Year W L GP GB
2002 8 17 25 -
2004 8 17 25 -
2012 8 17 25 -
2005 7 18 25 -1
2006 5 20 25 -3

As you can tell the 2012 Royals are in some bad company. You can tell me this team is more talented than those teams. You can tell me that their Pythagorean W-L shows a record of 10-15 and that the Royals have been “unlucky” so far this season. The team is playing better and has won 5 out of their last 8 since ending the losing streak. Including what I consider to be Mike Moustakas’ emergence as “player” on the major league level. Yes, injuries have been a major problem and I expect this team will play a lot better when Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez, and Felipe Paulino return from the disabled list. However, other major league teams have injury issues too. Even the 2005 Royals had a stretch from May 31st to Jun 16th where they won 11 of 15, including a 3 game sweep of the Yankees at Kauffman Stadium. I remember that sweep well; it was the highlight of that season.

The reality is this team has real pitching problems. It’s not like we didn’t know pitching could be an issue. It became apparent early last season that the pitching at the major league level and in the minors was not going to be enough open a “playoff” window anytime soon. It is such a major story line for me I wrote about it four times last season: here, here, here and here.

If the Royals are ever going to contend be a mediocre team instead of terrible they will need to add pitching. Danny Duffy has made some strides this season at becoming an ace pitcher this team needs. However, Duffy is just one pitcher. Felipe Paulino has shown some promise but a long way from a sure bet. I don’t see Bruce Chen or Luke Hochevar as long term solutions.

It’s frustrating that six years after Dayton Moore said “pitching is the currency of baseball” not much has improved among the starting rotation. There needs to be more pitching. Pitching is expensive whether you trade for it, or pay for it. The problem is, Even if ownership approves such a costly move, which is up for debate in the first place. I don’t have confidence in this front office to execute such a deal. Dayton Moore has been flat out schooled in trades at the major league level.

That is why I’m leaning toward this version of the Royals being a bad team. The glaring holes in the roster configuration have not been fixed from last year. Not to mention this team seems to lose focus a lot more than last year. I think the likelihood that this is another 100 loss season is greater than the Royals turning it around and getting near .500. The next question is, can the front office get enough pitching before it’s time for this young nucleus to chase their free agent contracts?

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