Monday, June 30, 2008

Eh, whatever

Can't win them all but the 13-5 record KC had in inter-league play this year is their best ever. Unfortunately the remaining games are all against the AL so KC needs to build on their inter-league success and carry it over against the superior league. But that's easier said than done.
vs AL24-404.394.81
vs NL13-55.614.11

I'll let someone else speculate on why KC dominated the NL this year while being a punching bag for AL teams - because I really don't know.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Nice comeback

In KC's remarkable 11-10 win yesterday Kyle Davies reverted to his pre-2008 form and got rocked for 5 ER's in just 1.1 innings. It will be interesting to see if he can bounce back in his next outing. But Davies didn't get a loss because the offense refused to quit and that was nice to see. How many times this year have we seen KC get down early and basically seem to surrender? I don't know if it's because they are playing the Inferior League or if Mike Aviles has been the sparkplug this team has been missing but they are showing some life out there right now.

Tim Lincecum continued his string of poor performances against the AL and gave up 6 hits and 5 ER's in 5 innings, he did have 8 K's so at least he had that going for him. I do remember his name being thrown around a little leading up to the 2006 draft but now it seems like everyone and his brother were wanting KC to draft him. I wanted Hochevar and so far I am pleased with what he has done in his brief career. It's just way to early to pass judgment on this draft but one thing to remember is that Lincecum would not be dominating the AL like he has the NL. I'm sure he would certainly be better than the career 8.55 ERA (smallsamplesizealert, 4 starts 20 IP) he has in interleague play but how much better we really don't know.

The legend of Mike Aviles continues to grow, Sparkplug had a double and 3 RBI's in the win. He is now batting .328/.353/.625 with 12 extra base hits and 12 RBI's in 17 games. KC is 10-7 in his starts. Defensively, he seems to be holding his own. While I realize there are no perfect defensive stats he is comparable to TPJ in fielding pct (.967 vs .969) and range factor (3.92 vs 3.91).

KC is currently 9-3 vs the NL this year and are on pace to have their best interleague season ever.
  • 1997: 6-9
  • 1998: 9-7
  • 1999: 6-12
  • 2000: 8-10
  • 2001: 8-10
  • 2002: 5-13
  • 2003: 9-9
  • 2004: 6-12
  • 2005: 9-9
  • 2006: 10-8
  • 2007: 10-8

Friday, June 20, 2008

Freddie Patek Juiced!!!!

Not really. But on June 20, 1980 he turned in a Ruthian/Bondsian peformance. Patek went 4/6 with 3 HR's, a double, and 7 RBI's. Unfortunately he did this with the California Angels and not the Royals. But I swear I'm past that, I've moved on. A career .242/.309/.324 hitter with a 79 OPS+ and only 41 home runs, Freddie Patek for one day was the best hitter on the planet. And since he was my favorite player that date has been permanently branded into my brain.
In large part to that game, Patek had one of the better months of career. In June 1980 he OPSed .824 with 4 HRs and 21 RBI's in 105 PA's. He went on to hit a TPJ-like .185 for the rest of the season and at age 35 I'm sure he knew the end was near. The 3-time all-star retired after the '81 season.
1980 ended up being the second best season of his career - only in 1971 was he better when he finished 6th in MVP voting. Here are some interesting Patek tidbits (at leats to me).
  • His 1241 games at SS for KC is 565 more than 2nd place U.L. Washinton. He is also 7th all time in Royals in history in games played.
  • Only George Brett, Frank White, Amos Otis, Willie Wilson, Hal MCrae, and Mike Sweeney had more plate appearances than Pateks 4867.
  • Patek is in Royals career top 10 in runs (7th), hits (8th), total bases (10th), doubles (8th), triples (9th), walks (6th), stolen bases (3rd with 336), singles (7th), sacrifices (2nd), & sacrifice flies (8th).
  • He had an .802 OPS in 15 playoff games.
  • He led the league in steals in 1977 with 53.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aviles, Davies update.

KC 2 StL 1
Davies is now 3-0 thanks to Aviles 3rd home run.
Always sweet beating the Cards.

How about that Aviles?

Mike Aviles is on fire. The 27 year old is batting .341/.372/.659 in his first 11 games with 2 HR's and 5 RBI's. The Royals are 5-6 in games he has started as opposed to the 20-27 record when TPJ starts. Hmm, wonder what the difference is? And can we just quit with the talk that TPJ's hitting would have sufficed if the rest of the team was hitting? The guy is at .154/.174/.191, perfect defense wouldn't make up for that line. F0r crying out loud - he is OPSing .365! I'm not gonna sit here predict that Aviles will continue his current rate of production but he was batting .336/.370/.631 at Omaha so his numbers with KC fall in line with what he has been doing all season. I do expect regression but even if his OPS drops into the .750 range (and since his minor league OPS is .802 that is a reasonable expectation) it still trumps whatever TPJ can offer.
Ditto Kyle Davies. After going 6-2 2.06 in AAA he is 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA since replacing Tomko in the rotation. He most certainly can't keep that up but anything under 4.50 will do. Speaking of Tomko, is he a candidate for worst free agent signing ever by KC? I'm gonna say yes. I know most people will claim Mark Davis gets that honor but he was coming off a Cy Young Award. Tomko was coming off a 4-12 5.55 season and was handed 3 million dollars and a spot in the rotation. A lot of fans seen this coming before the ink was dry on the contract and yet DM didn't, I don't really know what to think about that.
Interesting topic on the scout forum about Ryan Ludwick and why KC can't find guys like this. In my opinion (other than Ibanez) KC really don't give guys like this a chance. Some guys just need to play everyday to be productive. Matt Diaz & Jeff Keppinger are two guys that KC had nothing to lose by playing everyday and yet wouldn't do it. Justin Huber may end up being a third. Given Esteban German's lack of playing time it would have made more sense to trade him and keep Huber but I've said all I care to on that topic.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Soria is human, who knew?

Eh, it was bound to happen. Weird stuff happens at Yankee Stadium so just move on I say.
Here are some fun stats (small sample size alert).
Last 7 days:
Callaspo - .385/.385/.462
Aviles - .429/.500/1.000
German - .091/.091/.091
Pena - .143/.143/.143

I think its safe to say that Callaspo & Aviles should get the majority of playing time at shortstop so the question is what to do with German. With regular PT German is a valuable part of the roster but playing once a week seems to not agree with his productivity and with a glut of middle infielders he seems to be the odd man out. DM has already traded away Berroa so might German be next?
Those of us who were calling for Kyle Davies to replace Tomko in the rotation haven't been disappointed. While he won't be able to maintain a 1.54 ERA he certainly seems to be flashing the potential that has always been there. At any rate he certainly is a better option than Tomko.
Haven't seen anyone making this comparison in awhile so I will oblige.
Jose Guillen - .262/.289/.460/98 OPS+/9 HR/45 RBI
Emil Brown - .252/.291/.387/87 OPS+/5 HR/37 RBI