Tag Archive | "Regime"

Cardinals Winter Warm Up Wrap, Day 2

The second day of the Cardinals Winter Warm Up brought on even more players to the annual event. Outside of the passing and impact of Stan Musial, popular topics for the day on the upcoming season, popular topics included the competition for the fifth starting position, which included three of the candidates for the role offering their take on their chances for it.

 

Shelby Miller is showing up in shape to compete for the opening in the rotation.

Shelby Miller is showing up in shape to compete for the opening in the rotation.

Joe Kelly: Is open to pitching in both the rotation and the bullpen, and there is an appeal to pitching every day possibly in the bullpen. He went on to state the transition from starter to reliever is easier from a preparation perspective. He understands there will be a tough competition for spots on the pitching staff, and feels he is “probably the most competitive guy on the team”.

Shelby Miller: The three-time top organizational prospect said that strength improvement was his top focus this winter. In discussing his slow start to 2012, he takes responsibility for being in bad shape calling his frame a “beach bod” shape, which was no good for him to be a starting pitcher. He came into camp light at 204 pounds, but is up to 223 this year.

As far as what he learned from his early difficulties, Miller affirmed “I didn’t really struggle at any point in the minor leagues except in Memphis in the first half. I was probably one of the most stubborn guys ever seen.” And in regards to why it took so long to work out, he revealed “I wasn’t a happy person but I blame myself for that.” Said he is thankful for his struggle, as he gained perspective from them.

Trevor Rosenthal: Has been training in St. Louis with Chris Carpenter this winter, and has been working out at Busch for eight hours a day. He complimented Carpenter’s intensity and regime as helping him take strides to be ready for any roll on the team.

In regards to his postseason success as a reliever, after making the conversion from minor league starter, he gave credit to Adam Wainwright for helping him ease into the roll: “One of the main conversations we had going into the postseason was to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Don’t try to change anything, trust my stuff and go out there and do what I’m used to.”

 

In other player news to prime for Spring Training:

Jon Jay: Stated that playing next to Carlos Beltran, a three-time Gold Glove center fielder, was a definite bonus in him taking strides forward as defender. After having troubles with his shoulder mid-season in 2012, he says it is fully healthy now with no restrictions.

Jordan Swagerty: The 2010 second round pick, who missed all of last summer due to Tommy John surgery, stated he threw 60 pitches, all maximum effort, this month. He continued on that his breaking pitches not as sharp, but they are coming back around. In regards to whether he will return as a starter or reliever this year, he has “no idea what they have in store for me. I like to do both, but I got a little bit of a closer’s mentality.”

Pete Kozma:  In regards to his experience being thrust into the starting lineup for the final months of the season, he stated that the intensity of the games was a shock, but over the experience was very memorable. As for his place in this year’s club, he sees versatility as his ally, and is encouraged by the fact the team didn’t add anything via free agency or trades in the middle infield.

Jake Westbrook: Stated that he would have been healthy to participate in the World Series if the club had reached it, and perhaps could have been available in the NLCS as well. In regards to being back with the club after the club activating his option for 2013 late last season, “I couldn’t be happier. I love playing here and it’s good to continue on in St. Louis.”

Westbrook later on said he enjoys his role in the background of the rotation this season, but is surprised about Kyle Lohse still not being signed.

Edward Mujica: Entering his second season with the club, Mujica Says that Mike Matheny gave him a lot of confidence when he came to St. Louis, and that knowing he would be pitching the 6th and 7th innings helped tremendously from a preparation stand point. He is also excited to have Randy Choate rejoin him in the bullpen, and that Choate contacted him before signing with the club. The two were teammates in Miami last season.

Mitchell Boggs: On the subject of his path from fighting to a bullpen spot to leading the National League in holds last season, he says nothing has changed in his approach to spring training. “The thought process doesn’t change at all. Last year was very positive, but it’s not something I’m going to hang my hat on. I expect to be great again.” He elaborated further stating, “It helps to know every single day to know what your role is going to be. But at the same time, you have to go out there and be ready for everything and be focused on what it takes to get the job done.”

He made a clear turning point in the success of the Cardinal bullpen a year ago, pointing to the acquisition of Mujica as key: “Adding Mujica was huge for us. He stabilized our bullpen and gave us another proven arm that could go out there night in and night out. We took off as a bullpen when we got him.”

On the subject of being selected to Team USA’s roster for the World Baseball Classic, he stated felt it was something he takes a lot of pride in and an opportunity he was very excited to accept. He said when talked to Matheny he was “extremely supportive” of his opportunity. He added that the opportunity to be coached by Greg Maddux and Dale Murphy was a bonus as well, as he grew up a Braves fan in Dalton, Georgia.

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Winter Warm Up Day 1 Recap

Here are a few player notes and info from thus far into the Cardinals Winter Warm Up. Besides the updates provided by John Mozeliak yesterday, there was a bit of player provided news as well. As for below, here is yesterday’s info:

Wainwright

  • Jamie Garcia said that while he was mentioned in association with Team Mexico for the upcoming World Baseball Classic, which he never intended to participate in the tournament and wasn’t asked to. “It’s a tough decision. It’s an honor to represent your country, but now is not the right time.”
  • Garcia also has not thrown off a mound yet, but is on schedule with his preparation.

 

  • Matt Adams, who had elbow surgery during the offseason, said he is rehabbing well. He also dropped 10-15 pounds as part of new nutrition plan he undertook as well.

 

  • Marc Rzepczynski described his season last year as an up and down affair, leaning on a philosophy that Tony LaRussa described in saying “The season is a roller coaster, and the goal is to keep the rollercoaster as small as you can. And it got a little big last year.”

 

  • Chris Carpenter says he is feeling as good as he does any season at this point, and does not anticipate any adjusted spring regime. In response to the competition for the pitching staff amongst the young arms, he is excited to work with them all, and no singular one impresses him more than any other. “Everyone in this community and organization should be excited about what the team has.” He joked that he will show up “ready to compete for the rotation when
  • About his future after this season, Carp has no plans yet and will decide on if he will continue to play after this year. However, if he has more health issues he doubts he would undergo any more rehab to keep playing.

 

  • Adam Wainwright reported that he’s undergoing a completely normal offseason in the fashion that he did before his Tommy John surgery. He is stated that he was forced to alter his approach at times last season, including throwing a four-seam fastball for the first time since 2006.
  • His breakthrough moment was his May 27th, complete game win versus the San Diego Padres. “That was when I really felt like I was back”, said Wainwright. As for season goals, he does not see 200 inning as a personal mile marker (he threw 198 in 2012), but that “when you get to the Roy Halladay, 250 to 260 inning mark is when it’s an achievement.
  • He was not contacted to participate in the World Baseball Classic, and would have declined due to resuming his normal training regime. However he did state he would be very interested in participating next time, as it is a great honor.

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Going To WAR On The Trades Of The GMDM Era- Part 3: 2008

After analyzing the trades made by the Dayton Moore regime with the Kansas City Royals in 2006 and 2007, we now take a look at the deals made in 2008.

As we mentioned in the first column of this series, there are three phases to “The Process”, as Dayton Moore likes to refer to the Royals journey toward building a championship-caliber team.  The Royals have completed Phase One (rebuilding the farm system), and are nearing completion of phase two (transitioning of the farm system talent to the major league roster).  Assuming that Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, etc continue to live up to expectations, there are still going to be a few holes to fill.  And while some of this may be able to be done via free agency, most will have to be done via trades.  Dayton must shrewdly determine which young talent he is going to keep, and who the potential trade chips might be.  So as we approach this final phase in “The Process”, we take a look at the success (or lack thereof) Royals trades past, so as to be able to better predict the the success of Royals trades of the future.  We use the WAR (wins above replacement) statistic to determine who came out on the winning end of each trade.  In 2006 and 2007, it was clear that Dayton was more or less cleaning house of talent he felt was not part of the Royals future, exchanging for similar type players in other organizations hoping to find a diamond in the rough. The early part of 2008 was more of this, but after a promising end to the 2008 season, Dayton got a bit more aggressive as soon as the post-season hit:

March 19, 2008: The Cincinnati Reds traded Brad Salmon to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later. The Kansas City Royals sent Henry Arias (minors) (June 13, 2008) to the Cincinnati Reds to complete the trade.

Neither of these players played for either team they were traded to and both appear to be out of baseball.

DRAW

March 26, 2008: The Colorado Rockies traded Ramon Ramirez to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later. The Kansas City Royals sent Jorge De La Rosa (April 30, 2008) to the Colorado Rockies to complete the trade.

This one is interesting.  De La Rosa was inconsistent at best with the Royals, if not consistently maddening.  For those that remember “Ram Ram”, he was lights out for the Royals in 2008 coming out of the bullpen.  With Joakim Soria settled in as the closer and a recently rehabilitated Zach Greinke setting up, the Royals had one of the most dominating back ends of the bullpen we have seen in some time.  The forgotten man in the back end of that bullpen is Ramon Ramirez.  For Royals fans that may not recall, take a look at the line he posted in 2008:

Innings Pitched: 71.2

SO: 70

ERA: 2.64

WHIP: 1.228

Ramirez left the Royals after the 2008 season, but he has continued to pitch at this level in each of his 2 stops with the Red Sox and the Giants after leaving the Royals after the 2008 season.  As for De La Rosa, he also came into his own after this trade was made, becoming a very reliable starter, thus earning himself a 3 year deal worth roughly $30 million with the Rockies after the 2010 season.  Even with the season Ramirez had in 2008, most Royals fans would probably have liked to see De La Rosa experience his success in a Royals uniform rather than a Rockies uniform.  In fact, he would probably be the ace of the Royals staff if that were the case.

De La Rosa: 5.6 WAR with Rockies (2008-2011)

Ramirez: 2.1 WAR with Royals (2008-traded after ’08 season to Red Sox for Coco Crisp)

Rockies win trade by 3.5 WAR

  June 6, 2008: The Los Angeles Dodgers traded Juan Rivera (minors) and cash to the Kansas City Royals for Angel Berroa.

Who is Juan Rivera?  A 24 year old Dominican who never made it past high A ball with the Royals before falling out of baseball following the 2010 season.  That doesn’t matter though.  Because the bottom line is the Royals found someone dumb enough to take Angel Berroa off their hands.  So even if the WAR doesn’t say so, this has to be considered a win for the Royals.

Berroa: 0.0 WAR with Dodgers (2008)

Rivera: 0.0 WAR (never played for Royals)

DRAW

August 9, 2008: The Kansas City Royals traded Horacio Ramirez to the Chicago White Sox for Paulo Orlando (minors).

Paulo Orlando is a 26 year old who played in Triple A Omaha in the Royals organization in 2011.  He is likely just organizational depth and unlikely to ever contribute at the major league level.  Most will remember that Horacio Ramirez was not gone from the Royals for very long.  He was dealt in August of ’08, and back in a Royals uniform by Opening Day 2009.

Ramirez: -0.3 WAR with White Sox (last 2 months of 2008)

Orlando: 0.0 WAR (has yet to appear in a game with the Royals)

Royals win trade by 0.3 WAR

October 31, 2008: The Florida Marlins traded Mike Jacobs to the Kansas City Royals for Leo Nunez.

There are many Royals fans who will blast Dayton for this trade.  And if you only look at how it turned out for the Royals, then one cannot argue that this was not a terrible trade.  However, as referenced before, the Royals had a dominant bullpen in 2008.  Nunez was a part of this bullpen.  Coming off a 2008 season in which Nunez put up a 2.98 ERA as a 26 year old, they dealt him to Florida for Jacobs, who was coming off a 2008 season that saw him hit 32 home runs with 93 RBI.  Most Royals fans also know it has been a long time since the team has a had a guy hit 32 or more home runs in a season.  So Dayton dealt from a position of strength (bullpen) for power, which the Royals desperately needed at that point.  Needless to say, it didn’t work out.  Nunez is a solid closer for the Marlins, while Jacobs played one horrbile season for the Royals and is now out of baseball.

Nunez: 2.1 WAR with Marlins (2009-2011)

Jacobs: -0.9 WAR with Royals (2009)

Marlins win trade by 3.0 WAR

November 19, 2008: The Boston Red Sox traded Coco Crisp to the Kansas City Royals for Ramon Ramirez.

This was an exciting trade at the time.  The Royals needed a CF badly.  Again, Dayton decided to deal from a position of strength by shipping Ramirez off to Boston in exchange for Crisp.  Coco Crisp was definitely the type of player the Royals needed to add.  He was a true lead-off hitter who could get on base at a high clip, and an excellent defensive CF.  The only problems?  Crisp had shown throughout his career to be extremely injury-prone, and the Royals had now lost 3 of their top 4 relief pitchers from the 2008 season.  Nunez had gone to the Marlins, Ramirez to Boston, and Zach Greinke back to the starting rotation.  Dayton thought the additions of Kyle Farnsworth and Juan Cruz would be enough to piece together another respectable bullpen in 2009.  So what happened?  Crisp played in just 49 games, batted .228, got hurt, and was done for the year.  And oh yeah…the bullpen sucked.  Meanwhile, Ramirez went on to replicate his 2008 performance in 2009 with the Red Sox.

Ramirez: 1.9 WAR with Red Sox (2009 and most of 2010)

Crisp: 0.9 WAR with Royals (2009)

Red Sox win trade by 1.0 WAR

So as you can see, Dayton did not make out so well with trades in 2008.  In aggregate, he came out on the short end by 6.2 WAR.  It is easy to understand Moore’s thought process with some of these deals, but the results were not good.

Next week, we take a look at 2009 and we’ll see if Dayton was able to make up a horrendous year of trades in 2008.

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Going To WAR On The Trades Of The GMDM Era- Part 1: 2006

By most accounts, “The Process”, as Kansas City Royals General Manager Dayton Moore has often referred to his vision for the Royals, can be broken down into 3 phases. Phase One would be the rebuilding of the farm system. There is no denying that phase is complete. The second phase is transitioning the talent in the farm system to the Big League roster. Most would agree that this phase is mostly complete as well. The third and final phase to “The Process”, would be to identify the missing pieces and fill those gaps via free agency and trade. The Royals are just beginning to enter this phase now. Since Dayton Moore took over his post as Royals GM in June 2006, the trades that he has pulled off have drawn mixed reviews. So as he and his staff embark on Phase Three of “The Process”, it is important that we review the history of the Royals trades in the Dayton Moore era, so as to help predict the success of the recent and future trades that will be made by this regime.

We will use the WAR (Wins Above Replacement) statistic to determine the positive or negative impact of each trade. For those unfamiliar with this statistic, it is defined as: A single number that presents the number of wins the player added to the team above what a replacement player (think AAA or AAAA) would add. In fairness, we will only take into consideration the production that each player the Royals traded FOR had with the Royals, and each player the Royals traded had with the team they traded that player to. So while this study does have some flaws, it will provide a pretty good snapshot as to how Dayton has fared in the trade department.

In the first of this multi-part column, we examine the trades that took place in 2006:

June 20, 2006: The Tampa Bay Devil Rays traded Fernando Cortez and Joey Gathright to the Kansas City Royals for J.P. Howell.

Before Dayton even had time to pick out the furniture in his new office, he decided to go shopping for a=n athletic, speedy center-fielder. Enter Joey Gathright and somebody named Fernando Cortez, and exit J.P. Howell.

Howell: 3.2 WAR since Trade with Rays(06-11)

Gathright: 0.9 WAR with Royals(06-08)

Cortez: 0.1 WAR with Royals (2007)

Rays win trade by 2.2 WAR

July 19, 2006: The New York Mets traded Jeff Keppinger to the Kansas City Royals for Ruben Gotay.

Keppinger has been a useful starting major leaguer for a number of years, and it is easy to forget that he was even a Royal. And there surely have been plenty of times since July 19,2006 that Royals fans would have much rather seen him patrolling 2nd base rather than whoever they had out there. Unfortunately, for the 3 months he was a Royal, he did prety much nothing

Gotay: 0.2 WAR with Mets (2007)

Keppinger: -0.1 WAR with Royals (2006)

Mets win trade by 0.3 WAR

July 24, 2006: The Kansas City Royals traded Mike MacDougal to the Chicago White Sox for Tyler Lumsden (minors) and Dan Cortes.

Mac the 9th didn’t really do much after leaving the Royals. But at least he actually played for the team that traded for him, unlike the 2 gentlemen the Royals got in return.

MacDougal: 0.4 WAR with White Sox (2006-2009)

Lumsden: 0.0 WAR (never made majors)

Cortes: 0.0 WAR (never made majors with Royals before being shipped to Mariners for Yuniesky Betancourt)

White Sox win trade by 0.4 WAR

July 25, 2006: The Los Angeles Dodgers traded Blake Johnson (minors), Julio Pimentel (minors), Odalis Perez and cash to the Kansas City Royals for Elmer Dessens.

Dessens had been a mediocre at best reliever for the Royals for the first part of 2006, so the fact that they were able to flip him prior to the deadline for a serviceable former all-star starting pitcher like Perez, makes this the first decent trade of the DMGM era.

Dessens: 0.1 WAR with Dodgers (2006)

Johnson: 0.0 WAR (never made majors)

Pimentel: 0.0 WAR (never made majors)

Perez: 1.0 WAR with Royals (2006-2007)

Royals win trade by 0.9 WAR

July 25, 2006: The Kansas City Royals traded Tony Graffanino to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jorge De La Rosa.

This is an interesting one. Because if you consider what De La Rosa has been able, when healthy, to do since leaving the Royals then this one without question swings in the Royals favor. However, during De La Rosa’s tenure wiht the Royals, he was one of the most frustrating to watch and at times ineffective pitchers to wear a Royals uniform.

Graffanino: 1.9 WAR with Brewers (2006-2007)

De La Rosa: 0.8 WAR with Royals (2006-2007)

Brewers win trade by 1.1 WAR

July 31, 2006: The Kansas City Royals traded Matt Stairs to the Texas Rangers for Jose Diaz.

This turned out to be pretty equal trade in terms of Suck for Suck.

Stairs: -0.3 WAR with Rangers (88 plate appearances in 2006 before being shipped off to Detroit for the remainder of the season)

Diaz: -0.2 WAR with Royals (6.2 innings in 2006)

Royals win trade by 0.1 WAR

July 31, 2006: The Colorado Rockies traded Scott Dohmann and Ryan Shealy to the Kansas City Royals for Jeremy Affeldt and Denny Bautista.

Royals fans should remember this one quite well. Affeldt was a maddening pitcher for the Royals. I will never be able to hear about a pitcher having blisters on his throwing hand again without thinking of Jeremy Affeldt. Affeldt has since put it together to become a very effective left-handed reliever, but it didn’t happen with the Rockies. Bautista was supposed to have this “electric stuff” that he just needed to harness. Well, it never happened with the Royals, or anywhere else for that matter. And in Shealy, the word was that the Royals had finally found their 1B of the future and could begin taking the pressure off of Mike Sweeney. And…who is Scott Dohmann again? Whoops…

Affeldt: -0.3 with Rockies (2006-2007)

Bautista: -1.1 with Rockies (2006-2007)

Shealy: 0.2 WAR with Royals (2006-2008)

Dohmann: -0.6 WAR with Royals (2006)

In aggregate, both teams essentially added less than replacement talent with this trade,but in this study, the Royals came out on top.

Royals win trade by 1.0 WAR

December 6, 2006: The New York Mets traded Brian Bannister to the Kansas City Royals for Ambiorix Burgos.

For awhile, this trade was the crown jewel trade of the Dayton Moore era. Bannister immediately arrived in Kansas City and settled in as a steady starting pitcher and finishing 3rd in the Rookie of the Year balloting, while Burgos soon encountered legal issues in his native Dominican Republic and never played again.

Burgos: 0.1 WAR with Mets (2007)

Bannister: 2.8 WAR with Royals (2007-2010)

Royals win trade by 2.7 WAR

December 16, 2006: The Kansas City Royals traded Andy Sisco to the Chicago White Sox for Ross Gload.

It is hard to imagine why Kenny Williams was so interested in taking all of the ineffective relievers off of the Royals’ hands. This should have been a good trade. And for one year it was. But when “Gloady” as Buddy Bell liked to call him, is getting 418 plate appearances in a season and starting 95 games at 1st Base, that says a lot more about your team than it does about a steady utility player like Ross Gload.

Sisco: -0.3 WAR with White Sox (2007)

Gload: -1.4 WAR with Royals (2007-2008)

White Sox win trade by 1.3 WAR

So what does this tell us? Other than the fact that the Royals did quite a bit of exchanging of “junk” with other teams in 2006, Dayton Moore came out slightly on the short end of his trades in by -0.6 WAR, based on this study. The big ones were the J.P. Howell trade, which he lost, and the Brian Bannister trade, which he won.

Next week, we analyze the trades made in 2007…

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