Monday, May 26, 2008

Not to go all FJM here

Trey reaffirms that TPJ is still his starting SS in this Bob Dutton piece. It's kind of a depressing read for Royals fans. Let me just cherry pick a few quotes from our wise leader.

“I think it goes back to this,” manager Trey Hillman said, “if the guys who are supposed to be hitting will just hit, then he’s not the issue. The issue is the other guys in the lineup who are hitting one through six on any given day."

Uh Trey, not sure what was or wasn't acceptable in Japan but .162/.185/.204 is so atrocious that the #9 hitter for the 1927 Yankees wouldn't have gotten away with it. There are other problems to be sure but to just dismiss TPJ's offensive woes because nobody else it doing well is rather lame.

“Seven-eight-nine? Sure we’d like to have some contribution from them. But if we can just have one through six being patient until they get good pitches, we’ll be fine.”

Yeah because why wouldn't you want Pena to come up with the bases loaded? Look it doesn't matter if the guys in front of him start hitting because he is a rally killer.

Utility infielder Alberto Callaspo has started eight games at shortstop and, much like a backup quarterback, is an increasingly popular favorite with the public.

But Callaspo is a natural second baseman who lacks the range of a big-league shortstop -- a deficiency confirmed again last Thursday when the Red Sox loaded the bases on three fieldable grounders before J.D. Drew unloaded a grand slam in an 11-8 victory over Brian Bannister.

Okay this is Dutton and he does make a good point but it's still speculation that Pena gets to those balls. Here is something that is not speculation: .162/.185/.204!

“I say Tony gets two or three of those,” Hillman said. “You can’t hit .160, but I think it was six weeks into the season last year that he was at .206. Obviously, .160 is a far cry from .206, and we’re more than six weeks into the season.”

In his defense of Pena he basically says what the critics have been saying - you can't hit .160 and be an everyday SS. It's kind of confusing. But wait........

Peña made a costly misplay Monday when he failed to handle a throw from catcher Miguel Olivo that could have limited the Blue Jays to two runs in the second inning. It wasn’t ruled an error -- Marco Scutaro was credited with a steal -- but Gregg Zaun followed with a two-run homer.

“If Tony catches the ball,” Hillman said, “(the runner) is out and we’re out of the inning. That’s the difference between a two-run inning and a four-run inning.”

Isn't he only playing because of his stellar defense? Seems to me somebody allowed to start who is hitting .162 should make that play every time.

“I had our people run AC’s statistics as a starter,” Hillman admitted, “but he’s only at .255. So I say keep the plus defense, because it is plus defense, and continue to attack the other areas in the hope that he can get better there."

Seems kind of an absurd thing to do, .255 is not great but his playing time is sporadic, it is still better than .162. And I thought Trey was an OBP guy so it's surprising that he knocks AC for his batting average. But Trey if you are interested AC's OBP as a starter is .356, your welcome. Here's what else he should have looked at:
AC - .317/.370/.437
TP - .252/.282/.352
Those are their minor league numbers in about the same number of at bats.

Pena - “It’s tough, you know? But I’m not at the point where I’m going out there and not caring. I’m still battling on every at-bat. I just need a little more luck.”

Luck only gets you so far, then you need talent.


  1. Come on. He does need luck. If he could only get a little more bounce out of those infield choppers, he'd totally have another hit, RBI, and run a game. Just like his defense is totally saving AT LEAST a run a game.

    Anyways, this is far from Hillman's fault. This is a MAJOR mistake of Moore's, and he's the one that really needs to fix it. It was a stupid move to bring Pena over as our SS last year. Not finding a replacement before this season is as dumb as any move we saw Baird make.

  2. DM did sort of tie Treys hands by not giving him a suitable alternative but Trey is the one who continues to play him everyday so I think they are both to blame.

    I don't believe Callaspo is the long term answer but I think he can be a quick fix until DM realizes he made a mistake and brings another SS to KC.