Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Trade Greinke? What?

Let me get this straight, now that Zack Greinke has achieved his potential and put up numbers worthy of a top 10 draft pick people want the Royals to trade him? Wow consider me lost on this one, why you ask - glad you did, here's why:
  • 3.47 ERA - 9th in AL
  • 8.14 K/9 - 6th in AL
  • 183 K's - 5th in AL (tied with Meche)
  • 131 ERA+ - 6th in AL
I thought the days of KC trading their best players for prospects (who may or may not pan out) were over. Priority #1 this offseason should be to ink Greinke long term, in fact the only reason he should be traded is if he rejects a new contract and then and only then should Moore explore other options. No doubt there are teams drooling over him but that's not a reason to trade him. A Greinke-less Royals team next year may put them right back in the cellar and creates a hole in the front of the rotation that KC would have to fill by overpaying a free agent to come here. CC, Sheets, & Lowe are not coming to KC, ditto Burnett.
The smart thing to do is sign Greinke long term and go after a bat or two.
The Royals traded David Cone twice, here's their entire haul:
Ed Hearn
Rick Anderson
Mauro Gozzo
Chris Stynes
David Sinnes
Tony Medrano
It's enough to make a grown man cry.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Meche still deserving of contract

Before KC signed Gil Meche to the 5/55 contract that was so universally mocked he had never pitched 200 innings in a season or had an ERA below 4.00 in a year where he pitched more than 86 innings. He has achieved both those goals two years in a row as a Royal. Major props to Moore and his scouts for seeing it coming. I know some want to split hairs and say that it took for his final start to keep his ERA under 4.00 for good but come on, look at his ERA by month:
  • 7.22 April/March
  • 3.65 May
  • 3.13 June
  • 3.05 July
  • 3.49 August
  • 3.48 September
Only that horrid first month did he have an ERA over 3.98, so horrid in fact it took him the rest of the year to get it down to something respectable. Take away March/April and compare these two pitchers:
A. 28 starts 13-7 3.36 ERA 176.2 IP 160 K's
B. 27 starts 10-10 3.95 ERA 166.1 IP 164 K's
A is Meche and B is Greinke. Lets not name Greinke ace of the staff just yet. (And for crying out loud lets drop all the trade Greinke talk, that would be crazy.)
Meche combined with Greinke to give KC their best 1-2 punch since Kevin Appier and Tim Belcher in 1996. (People forget about Belcher but he was solid for KC his three years here, ERA+'s of 127, 93, & 111 while pitching over 213 innings all three seasons.)

At the beginning of the year I predicted Meche would go 14-8 3.30 with 210 IP. I was spot on with the wins and innings and if not for his first six starts might have been real close to ERA. (Not really bragging because I also predicted Mike Maroth to get the 5th starter job and win 13 games, I'm just saying....)
Two years in KC has gotten a pretty good return on their investment and with three years left I think the best is yet to come.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

11 wins: a Royal rarity

Coming into this season only three Royals had won 11+ games in a season this decade, Paul Byrd (17, 2002), Mark Redman (11, 2005), and Brian Bannister (12, 2007). That is a depressingly low number and while I know wins aren't the greatest stat to use when evaluating pitchers (see Meche, Gil 2007) its still sad. Between 2000-2007 it was done 570 times in all of baseball - Curt Schilling by himself has three 20+ win seasons this decade. Just a sad, sad number.
Well things are on the upturn now because both Meche and Greinke have won 11 games this year representing 40% of the decade's total. They have a shot to do something that only Byrd has done and that is to win 13 or more, it would be nice if they both did it. Long-suffering KC fans who overvalue wins deserve it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tejeda to start Saturday

I like this move. Alot. Tejeda has a 136 OPS+ in the Royals bullpen but a 4.80 ERA in 238 innings as a starter. Not real awful numbers and though his stuff may work better in the pen the Royals have nothing to lose by giving him a few starts.