Source: Sports Management Degree Hub
Posted on 12 March 2013.
Source: Sports Management Degree Hub
Posted on 21 February 2013.
James Shields was the “big name” in the Shields/Wade Davis trade, but the success or failure of the trade hinges on Davis. Shields is the Kansas City Royals’ ace, but he’s a free agent after the 2014 season. Whether he pitches well or not, it’s likely he’s gone after two years. However, Davis is under team control until 2016. The Royals believe Shields will improve the team now. As for Davis, the Royals believe he will develop into a two or three starter and be a part of the starting rotation the next few seasons.
This spring, the Royals plan to give Davis every chance to make the starting rotation as their 3-4-5 starter. From 2009-2011, Davis started 64 games for the Tampa Bay Rays. But last year, Davis stayed in the bullpen, appearing in 54 games. During Spring Training, the Rays gave Davis a shot as their fifth starter, but he lost out to Jeff Niemann. And when Niemann went down with a broken ankle, the Rays promoted Alex Cobb to the starting rotation, leaving Davis in the bullpen.
So is Davis a better starter, or a better reliever? Let’s see what the stats say:
|162 Game Avg.||3.94||44||24||171||75||1.315||8.6||1.1||3.3||6.7||2.04|
Davis prefers a starting role, but his stats say he’s a better reliever. He had a much lower ERA, and over nine innings gave up fewer hits and struck out more batters. However, he did walk more batters over nine innings, which isn’t good if you’re a reliever. And with the Rays talented starting rotation last year, Davis stayed in the bullpen.
But how does Davis as a starter compare to the 2012 Royals starting rotation? Here’s the stats of the top five Royals starters:
If you take Davis’ worst year, 2011, he had a better ERA than the Royals rotation, save Jeremy Guthrie and Luis Mendoza. The Royals rotation had more SO/9 than the 2011 Davis and except for Mendoza and Will Smith, the Royals rotation had a better BB/9 ratio than the 2011 Davis. If Davis was in the Royals starting rotation last year, he would likely be the number three starter behind Guthrie and Mendoza.
So what does this mean? Well, Davis is a good middle of the rotation starter, but is a better reliever. If Bruce Chen and Mendoza regress, Luke Hochevar pitches like Luke Hochevar and Davis pitches like he did in 2010, he’ll be in the starting rotation. But if Chen, Mendoza or Hochevar have a great Spring Training, Davis might end up in the bullpen.
But that’s not likely, despite what happens this spring. The Royals will give Davis every opportunity to make the starting rotation, just to show the Shields/Davis trade wasn’t a bust like some Royals fans and pundits think it is. If Shields and Davis are starters, the trade doesn’t look bad. The team got two quality starters to improve their rotation. But if Shields is a starter and Davis is a reliever, then the trade looks like the Royals got an ace for only two years and another bullpen arm in an already strong bullpen. Not bad, but not that good either.
Posted on 18 February 2013.
The Kansas City Royals took huge measures this offseason to fix their number one on-field issue, the rotation. The addition of James Shields gave them a legitimate ace pitcher at the front of their rotation. The rebuilt rotation looks stronger but leaves the question open: Who’s number two?
Throughout 2012 the opinion around the Royals fanbase was very similar. Many people felt that the team was full of pitchers that projected as the fourth or fifth best pitcher in a rotation. There was no clear cut “ace” nor was there anyone that the fans felt confident in taking the mound to stop a losing streak. The team had major league quality pitching, it just was not elite.
Dayton Moore seemingly set out to fix that during the end of 2012 and into the offseason. A three year contract was reached with Jeremy Guthrie, who had pitched very well after joining the Royals during the second half of 2012, and trades were made for Shields, Wade Davis, and Ervin Santana. The fifth spot is up for grabs this spring and eventually Danny Duffy will join these four to round out the starting five.
Shields obviously will head line the starting rotation for the Royals and is the type of pitcher that would headline most rotations across baseball. Last year was a team full of rotation guys that projected as four and five starters, this year, it appears that the rotation may be full of guys that are top-three style pitchers.
Looking at the four starters that are set into the rotation this season, where will they rank at the end of 2013?
Wade Davis: Number Four
Davis has been a solid Major League pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. In four seasons he has proven to be a durable starter and a reliable relief pitcher. The Royals brought him in as insurance and an upgrade over the pitchers they currently had, but he was never projected to be near the top of the rotation. Davis will provide some inning-eating starts throughout the summer and be serviceable in his role, but ultimately will remain as a lower-rotation starter that may end up back in the bullpen before long if other pitchers are pitching well when Duffy returns.
Ervin Santana: Number Three
Santana is the pitcher that the Royals most hope can realize his potential. In eight seasons of starting pitching for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Santana has won 16 or more games three times in his career. He has also lost 12 or more games three times as well. An up-and-down career has seen moments of brilliance and frustration for Santana. The Royals will hope that Dave Eiland can work with Santana on mechanical flaws in his delivery and help him regain his top-of-the-rotation form. Santana should be able to be the number three starter when the smoke clears, though Kansas City may be hoping he is better than that.
Jeremy Guthrie: Number Two
Looking at past performance of all three starters would rank Guthrie much lower in this conversation. However, in recent interviews Guthrie has talked very openly about a renewed confidence, a satisfaction with management and coaching and overcoming a mental block that he felt kept him for being a better pitcher in Colorado. He has spoken to the fact that Kauffman Stadium is a pitcher friendly environment and that he feels that he has one of the best defenses in the league behind him. The confidence shows in his statistics from last season, with nearly all of his stats showing best in his career type numbers. He is pitching to contact, keeping the ball in the park, and letting his defense do the work.
By the time the smoke clears on the 2013 season, the Royals will be looking at a rotation that will feature top-tier players at most of the slots. Jeremy Guthrie has every opportunity to become a great part of that rotation for the next three years.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.
Posted on 12 February 2013.
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.
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.
Posted on 09 December 2012.
KANSAS CITY, MO (December 9, 2012) – The Kansas City Royals tonight acquired right-handed starting pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis and a player to be named or cash considerations from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for minor league outfielder Wil Myers, right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi, left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard.
Shields, who will turn 31 on December 20, has established himself as one of the premier pitchers in the American League. He followed up an All-Star campaign in 2011, in which posted a 16-12 record with a 2.82 ERA and finished third in the A.L. Cy Young voting, by posting a 15-10 record with a 3.52 ERA in 33 starts with Tampa Bay last season. In 227.2 innings, Shields allowed 208 hits, walked 58 and struck out 223, just two shy of his career best set in 2011 and the third-most in the league. Shields is joined by the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and the Tigers’ Justin Verlander as the only four pitchers in baseball to record at least 220 strikeouts in the last two seasons.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander has compiled an 87-73 career record with a 3.89 ERA in 218 games (217 starts) all for the Rays since making his debut in 2006. Since tossing 124.2 innings in 21 starts during his rookie campaign, Shields has won at least 11 games, made at least 31 starts and topped the 200-inning mark in six straight seasons. He joins the Jays’ Mark Buehrle, the Giants’ Matt Cain, the Yankees’ CC Sabathia and Verlander as the only five pitchers in baseball to post at least 200 innings in six straight seasons. In 2011, his 11 complete games were the most by a Major League pitcher since Arizona’s Randy Johnson had 12 in 1999.
Shields and his wife, Ryane, reside in Clearwater, Fla., with their two daughters. The couple is active with a number of charities specifically geared toward foster children and James was the Rays recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The 27-year-old Davis made a combined 64 starts for the Rays from 2009 to 2011 before pitching exclusively in the bullpen for Tampa Bay in 2012. He went 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA last season, allowing 48 hits and 29 walks with 87 strikeouts in 70.1 innings. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder made 29 starts in both 2010 and 2011 and finished fourth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting after posting a 12-10 record with a 4.07 ERA in 2010. Davis is 28-22 with a 3.94 ERA in 118 career outings, including 64 starts. He is 25-22 in his career as a starter with a 4.22 ERA, including an 8-2 mark with a 3.38 ERA in 30 games (18 starts) against A.L. Central foes.
Davis and his wife, Katelyn, reside in Lake Wales, Fla. Davis organized the Full Count Foundation to help children who are at risk or have special needs or chronic illnesses.
Myers, who will turn 22 on December 10, was the 2012 Baseball America, USA Today and Topps Minor League Baseball Player of the Year after hitting a combined .314 with 37 home runs and 109 RBI in 134 games for Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA). He was the Royals’ third round selection in the 2009 June Free Agent Draft.
The 22-year-old Odorizzi went 15-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 26 outings (25 starts) for Northwest Arkansas and Omaha in 2012 before making two starts for the Royals in September, going 0-1. He was acquired by Kansas City in a six-player trade with the Milwaukee Brewers on December 19, 2012.
Montgomery, 23, split his season between Omaha and Northwest Arkansas, posting a 5-12
record with a 6.07 ERA in 27 starts. He was the Royals’ supplemental first round selection (36 th
overall) in 2008.
The 20-year-old Leonard batted .251 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI in 62 games for Burlington (R) in 2012. He was the club’s fifth-round pick in the 2011 Draft.
Posted on 28 August 2012.
For most of the last quarter of a century, the Kansas City Royals have done something more difficult than achieving success…they’ve avoided it completely.
Royals fans are very well aware of the last time their favorite team played a post-season game. It was October of 1985, and there is a large group of Royals fans that have been born and graduated college and maybe even gotten their first promotion that have never witnessed this feat. This is truly a remarkable feat, especially when you consider the following things that have taken place in major league baseball since October of 1985:
The 14 organizations listed above are all similar in market size to the Royals. Most of these organizations have had multiple runs of competitive/championship baseball in the time that the Royals have not even been able to put together one. The only organization that has managed to go longer than the Royals without a playoff appearance is the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals. However, they are all but assured of making the playoffs this season. While Royals fans likely are ready to throw their computers out the window after reading this, it provides some good perspective on just how pathetic this organization has been over the last 25+ years.
Posted on 28 June 2012.
The All-Star game will be coming to Kansas City on Tuesday July 10. About a month ago, we took a look at 4 players who could be in position to to make the team. While it doesn’t appear that any Royals player will be voted in, it does appear that they still have 4 players in position to possibly make the team. Only one of those is different than a month ago.
“The Butler” is proving to be the best hitter on the team, and the most clutch performer as well. Starting in St. Louis on Father’s Day when he hit the game-tying home run in the top of the 9th, he has continued to get big hit after big hit. Most recently, he homered in today’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the bottom of the 8th to put the Royals ahead 5-4 and help secure the 3-game sweep. Butler has stiff competition at the DH position. It appears that David Ortiz will win the fan voting, and Butler will be competing agains the likes of Adam Dunn and Edwin Encarnacion for a spot. Both of whom are having outstanding years. Butler will have the advantage of being the hometown guy though, and would be a great choice to participate in the Home Run Derby as well.
“Moose” has continued to swing a hot bat just about the entire year. Along with that, he has played surprisingly stellar defense at 3rd base. It looks like the fan vote is going to go to either Adrian Beltre or Miguel Cabrera. Along with those 2 players, the Anaheim Angels’ Mark Trumbo is also having a terriffic offensive year. Moustakas has his work cut out for him to make the team, but like Butler, the hometown advantage will help his cause.
Relative to the competition at the position, Escobar is the most deserving Royal. As of now, it appears Derek Jeter will get the nod as the starter. He is having a fine year, but Escobar has been phenomenal. Along with playing a gold-glove caliber defense, he is hitting .315/.353/.427 with 12 stolen bases. There are other shortstops having good years like Elvis Andrus and Asdrubal Cabrera, but nobody has been as good all-around in the American League at the position as Escobar has.
Broxton is quietly putting together a very good year. He currently ranks 4th in the American League in Saves with 19 and has blown just 3 all season. Royals fans have been treated to a few tense moments by the man they call “Johnny Drama”, but overall, he has been a very solid door-closer all season. While Broxton is somewhat deserving, he is more of a longshot and it would be very disappointing if the Royals only got one all-star and the spot wen to him.
Posted on 03 June 2012.
I know it is hard to believe, but the Kansas City Royals have actually been a very competitive team for the last month and a half. Since starting 3-14 they’ve gone 19-15, against a much tougher stretch of competition than they’re preparing to face. Even at that pace they’d finish the season with 84 victories at the end of the year. In theory, if they do continue playing the same level of baseball, they’ll win many more than 84 games. Why? Take a look at the winning percentages for the Royals past and future opponents:
Last 34 games (19-15 stretch): .521
Rest of June: .457
That’s a huge difference in quality of opponent. Even after another disastrous start by Luke Hochevar against the worst offense in the American League, the Royals still find themselves in prime position to climb back to .500 by the end of June. Their next 10 games are against teams with losing records, before they face the fading Cardinals on back-to-back weekends. The opponent in between those weekend match ups is none other than the Houston Astros, picked by many to be the worst team in baseball in 2012. In fact, the only formidable opponents the Royals face in June are the Tampa Bay Rays, and they get three against the hapless Twins right after that. All told that leaves 25 games remaining in June, with 22 against teams you could argue the Royals are equal with or better than. Now of course, that only puts the club at .500, does that really even matter?
Yes, when you consider…
- Salvador Perez is playing in extended spring training games and expected to be back with the club in the next month
- Jonathan Sanchez is dominating at AAA, looking like his DL stint may have actually helped
- Wil Myers continues to force the Royals hand, and could be playing center field in Kansas City by the beginning of July
- Their July schedule is not much tougher as their July opponents currently have a .466 winning percentage
The only good thing about all of the Royals injuries is that they will have a mid season injection of talent without having to trade any of their best prospects. Perez makes this team considerably better, so does Sanchez if he can harness 2010. Does this team look like a contender with those two? Not even close, unless Eric Hosmer wakes up and Wil Myers comes up and mashes. That is the thing about this club, as young as they are, for many of them we are just waiting for the light bulb to switch on. Hosmer could put together a June that almost completely erases April and May. In fact against the teams he is about to face, I would almost be more surprised if he didn’t.
Okay, I’ll pause the hyperbole and get back to math. If the Royals win at a .558 clip against opponents with a .521 winning %, they should in theory play .625 (17-10) ball based on the winning % of their June opponents and .619 (16-9) in July. That would put the Royals at 55-48 on August 1. From August 1st through the end of the year, the Royals play 29 games against the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Chicago White Sox. At the very least they would control their own destiny; they may even be in the driver’s seat.
As Royals fans we’ve been promised a competitive team “in the future” since before the Allard Baird era, and for the most part, the club has failed to deliver. In my opinion, that future starts right now…in June…it’s our time.
Posted on 18 March 2012.
After an up and down week in Surprise, I think everyone is actually more confused about this Kansas City Royals team than they were at the start of Spring Training. It is one thing to wonder if a collection of young talent can piece it together over 162 games. Add two long-term contracts, a significant injury to one of the recipients, a huge push from Luis Mendoza, some confusing quotes from Ned Yost, and the 2012 Royals are a difficult picture to paint. On one hand, they could be one of the most exciting stories in baseball if they make a playoff push; on the other, injury, luck, and historical precedence could be catching up to them already. I wanted to offer my thoughts on Spring Training to this point, in no particular order:
The Royals are not trying to do something unprecedented, and believing they may contend does not make you a Kool Aid Drinker. I think to win the division, or one of the 17 Wild Card spots, the Royals probably need to add 18 wins to their 2011 resume. Sounds outlandish, right? Here are 4 teams that have done it in the last 4 years. They all did it in different ways
2011 Milwaukee Brewers 77 to 96 wins
2011 Arizona Diomandbacks 65 to 94 wins
2009 Colorado Rockies 74 to 92 wins
2008 Tampa bay Rays 66 to 97 wins
The Salvador Perez injury does not preclude the Royals from winning the division. It seems like the same people that wanted to blast projections of Perez based on last year’s success now say that without the young catcher the Royals do not have a chance. The Royals do not have to build the perfect team to win the American Central, whichever team does will certainly have a couple of noticeable warts. Sure, a knee injury to a 21 year old catcher is ominous, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee doom. Look at the catchers on the 4 teams mentioned above: Jonathan Lucroy, Miguel Montero, Chris Iannetta, Dioner Navarro.
Luis Mendoza is going to win a spot on this team. I may not like it and you may not like it, but the numbers make it pretty obvious.
-12-5, 2.18 ERA in 2011 with Omaha
- 10 IP, 1 run, 11K, 1 BB in Spring Training
- 0 options remaining
The Royals don’t have much of a choice but to give him one more chance in the majors. The question is, how? You could send Danny Duffy down to AAA, make Mendoza/Felipa Paulino a long relief man, or go with the dreaded 6-man rotation. Paulino has been pretty terrible in relief, so that seems like the worst option but I hate the idea of sending Duffy down unless he struggles towards the end of Spring Training. No one likes the 6-man rotation, so in my opinion that makes it easy: carry Mendoza as a long relief/swingman.
The Alex Gordon contract situation is in trouble. The more you hear about how much Gordon wants, and how much the Royals want to give him, the more it makes sense. This deal is just too tough to make at this time. The real question is, will it ever get any easier? There is a real possibility that Gordon could play his way out of Kansas City’s market with a repeat of 2011. Oddly, the possibility seems just as real that Gordon could regress and lose his leverage with the club. Unfortunately, the only thing to do is wait and see because I don’t see the two sides coming together without a little more statistical evidence to prod them along.
Spring Training has been a hodgepodge of excitement and devastation for Royals fans. There is better competition, especially in the bullpen, than there has been in many years. There are new contracts to get excited about and terrible injuries to worry about. More than anything there is hope, and it is legitimate hope, that these storylines will mean something come September.
Posted on 26 February 2012.
The St. Louis Cardinals opened camp for pitchers and catchers Feb. 18 and had their first full-squad workout Thursday in Jupiter, Fla. So far there hasn’t been much of note to come from any Spring Training activities, and that’s a good thing.
At this point last year the Cardinals had already grabbed headlines throughout the country for two major reasons. First baseman Albert Pujols showed up to camp after shutting down contract negotiations with the team, and starting pitcher Adam Wainwright blew out his elbow on the first day.
This year everything has been more low-key, which is slightly amazing since the team is the defending World Series champions.
That’s not to say the team’s Spring Training isn’t full of storylines. Catcher Yadier Molina is approaching a contract situation similar to what Pujols experienced last year, and the team has a new manager in Mike Matheny. Both of those situations will get plenty of attention as the season approaches and probably throughout most of the season, but not much is going to happen to either of them anytime soon.
Molina and the Cardinals still have a ways to go in contract talks that have thus far been inconsistent, at best. Although people will be interested in what Matheny does throughout Spring Training, managers don’t often do many noteworthy things until it comes time to make roster decisions late in the spring.
Instead, Cardinals camp has opened quietly and all of the on-field action has been positive. Lance Berkman provided the grandest entrance to Spring Training this side of Pujols when he arrived Thursday with a mustache worthy of professional wrestler Sgt. Slaughter.
We’ve seen teams invent some interesting hairstyles in the name of team loyalty and a late-season push. For example, the Tampa Bay Rays sported Mohawks for their stretch run to the World Series in 2008. If the Cardinals are in a tight battle late in the season, might they grow rally mustaches?
These are the days to have fun. This is the first week the team has been together since it won the World Series in October, and they still have another week until actual Spring Training games begin. Once March 5 rolls around and the Cardinals take the field against the Miami Marlins, they should be close to game shape and the ever-interesting position battles will begin in earnest.
Fair or not, that is also when fans will begin evaluating Matheny. Former manager Tony La Russa used the Grapefruit League standings as motivation. He wanted the Cardinals to leave Florida on top. Whether Matheny takes the same approach is yet to be seen, but this is a veteran team with core players who know how to prepare for the regular season.
The Cardinals haven’t had a headline-grabbing Spring Training to this point, but early spring headlines usually aren’t very positive.
There is a saying that a bad Spring Training means a good regular season. That might not be 100 percent the truth, but a Spring Training without many newsworthy events usually means a smooth transition into the regular season for potential playoff contenders such as the Cardinals.