Sunday, August 31, 2008

The serviceable Brandon Duckworth

 I could have called this Ducky Log but that would be tacky so I'll go the serviceable route. There was some minor displeasure when KC promoted Duckworth to take Hochevar's spot in the rotation but I stayed silent knowing that while he is not a world beater he is certainly steady. You know what you are going to get - 5,6 innings with 3,4 runs. Not great but it keeps his team in the game. Last season in three starts he had a 4.02 ERA and in 2006 had a 4.85 ERA in eight starts. So he is at least consistent and is definitely protecting some young arms from being rushed. It could always be worse.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Boras being Boras

Seriously does anything this scam artist does surprise you anymore? Now MLB has told KC to bench Hosmer until everything is settled. I don't think this Alvarez/Pittsburgh mess will ultimately effect Hosmer's contract but this whole grievance filed by the union is just downright shady. If I'm Hosmer I fire Boras yesterday, but he didn't just get me six million dollars so I guess that's easy for me to say.

I know some people feel that Pirates GM Frank Coonelly threw the Royals (& Hosmer) under a bus but I
feel that he was just trying to show what a hypocrite Boras is - and in my opinion succeeded. Boras would love to see Alvarez declared a free agent but I don't think the arbitrator will rule in his favor so ultimately he will gain nothing and lose....well nothing. Players know what a tool Boras is but they also know he delivers with big contracts so he will not be hurting for clients anytime in the near future.

Remember in baseball 99.9% of the time its about the $$,$$$,$$$ - even when players say otherwise.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Banny looking better

I know I have been down on Banny lately but his last two starts have been encouraging and borderline impressive. In an extremely small sample size the righty has a 3.68 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched. Unfortunately he is 0-2 due to a less than stellar offense supporting him ( yeah I know, shocking). Maybe he has figured things out, I don't know but he is always striving to improve so I will give him the benefit of the doubt for the remainder of the season.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Remember when KC was 53-60?

Those were good times and seem an awful long time ago. They are 2-14 since then and have currently lost seven in a row heading into todays series finale against the Tigers. Folks it is getting ugly and there is no hope on the horizon because they are dropping like flies. Hoch, Maier, Gordon, & Mahay join Grudz on the DL which mean we are going to see plenty of Brandon Duckworth & Kip Wells the rest of the year. Callaspo & Gathright are back and should play everyday the rest of the year which may actually work to KC's benefit as they shape their roster for next season. I gotta think it's sink or swim for Joey so he needs to make the most of this opportunity because Mitch Maier showed he belongs in the big leagues. Only one of the two will be on the team next season. Right now my money is on Maier.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The more things change.............

So I guess Barack Obama, aka "the one we've been waiting for", decided on his running mate and it wasn't quite what I expected. The man who has been trumpeting change during his campaign chose Joe Biden as his vp pick. Not a woman, not a minority, he chose an old white guy. That is party politics at its best.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'll say this about the Royals.....

They really stick with a bad pitcher because he was successful the year before. That is about the only way to explain why Bannister and his 5.96 ERA are still in the rotation. We seen this in 2005 with Lima (6.99) & Greinke (5.80) and in 2004 with May (5.61) & Anderson (5.64). They all were pretty good one year and ineffective the next. Much like Bannister, in his last 20 starts dating back to April 30th he has a 7.02 ERA. Wasn't he supposed to be a better pitcher when his K rate went up? It was 4.2/9 last year and is 5.8/9 this season. That is impressive improvement but he is getting knocked around and over the yard.

Some called him lucky last season and unlucky this year. I think there's probably more to it than that and I wonder if the adjustments he made to try and up his K rate have ended up negatively effecting his performance. No way to know that for sure I suppose but in his best three starts this season he has 12 K's in 24 innings (4.5/9) so it would seem he is at his best when pitching to contact - or maybe he was just lucky those three starts.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

That was fun

Three games, two runs, three losses. Nice. Meanwhile Kaaihue is OPSing over 1.200 for Omaha in 15 games which is pretty small sample size I realize but I think it's time to punt Jason Smith and bring him up. I just have a feeling that KC is going to Justin Huber him - giving him just a few September at bats to prove himself and then decide he will never cut it at this level. They missed a terrific opportunity last year when they could have semi-answered two questions by playing Butler at 1st and Huber at DH for the final month everyday. Of course they didn't do this as Butler DH'd and Huber got all of 10 at bats. Huber hit 18 home runs in 286 AAA at bats and KC finished dead last in the AL in the long ball but still couldn't find playing time for him. Amazing. Then they traded Huber in ST and put him in a worse position. SD has an established first baseman, an enormous outfield, and a no DH rule to deal with. But I have covered all this before.

Back to Kaaihue though, only two other players posted a .900+ OPS for Omaha this year - Mike Aviles & Billy Butler. Whatever that means. I think Kaaihue will get a September call up but if he doesn't play everyday then my worst suspicions about Trey and DM will be confirmed.

In other news scientists have proved that beer goggles are real.  I think we can put this in the "yeah and grass is green" category.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Random Royal Thoughts

Horacio Ramirez was traded to the White Sox for A ball lifer Paulo Orlando. My feelings on this trade border on indifference, Ramirez was pitching well but he has an unimpressive K rate and an unsustainable BB rate so I'm not real surprised that all DM could get was a 22 year old in high A ball with a .716 OPS. Orlando is most likely just organizational filler. I doubt Ramirez could have fetched more, I'm sure most GMs are aware of the 619 innings he has thrown before 2008. His 24 innings in KC were nice but definitely out of character.

It might be time to pull the plug on Banny. I know everybody loves him but in his last 18 starts he has a 6.32 ERA. Now that is not some small sample size fluke, he has pitched 99 innings in those starts and given up 129 hits. In his last 7 starts he has a 8.02 ERA. The league has figured him out.

Who else just knew that Alex Gordon was going to strike out yesterday in the bottom of the tenth with the winning run on 3rd base? I get so sick of hearing how K's are just like any other out, that is simply not true. I could probably live with all those K's if he was hitting 30-40 home runs but he's not so he needs to start making contact or there is no way he will ever justify his draft position. I'm not giving up on him in the least but I am starting to get a little concerned.

In just 12 games for Omaha Kila Kaaihue has 6 home runs, 10 RBI's, and is batting .366/.480/.805. Meanwhile Ross Gload continues to use up precious oxygen in Kansas City. If only DM could evaluate hitters as well as he does relief pitchers........