Saturday, November 6, 2010

On Zawadzki, Arias, and Tejeda

I'm not familiar with either of the middle infielders Moore recently claimed so I'll defer to Craig Brown's analysis at Royals Authority. After reading his post and checking their minor league numbers I agree that Zawadzki probably has should have the edge over Arias. Their major league PA's are too small of a sample size (Arias 275, Zawadzki 42) to gauge whether they can hit at this level.

Joaquin Arias 3383 417 900 106 52 28 340 138 51 147 334 .285 .317 .378
Lance Zawadzki 1631 221 389 73 15 30 187 58 11 163 329 .268 .344 .401

Arias has more speed, Zawadzki walks more and has some pop. If it's up to me I'm going with the guy who gets on base more. Now you may be wondering why it matters how often a utility infielder gets on base because they are usually just defensive replacements and pinch runners. Well on another team that might be true but in Kansas City the managers tend to fall in love with their backups and give them entirely way too many plate appearances. We've seen it time and time and time again. Managers in KC may change but this is a constant.
In his last post Rany brought up moving Robinson Tejeda to the rotation and I wholeheartedly agree. In fact this was something I brought up before the 2010 season after Tejeda made a mockery of major league hitting in his six 2009 starts (the league hit just .138/.271/.248).

The more I think about it, the more I think the Royals should commit to Tejeda in the rotation. 
The downside is minimal; he’s already proven he can pitch effectively in middle relief, and can 
go back to that role if need be. He’s a hefty guy who should be more than durable enough to 
handle a starter’s role. The Royals desperately need one more starting pitcher to start 2011, but 
don’t want to commit to a free agent for the long-term given the number of minor league pitchers 
who may warrant a promotion by season’s end.

I actually thought, after he failed to make the rotation after spring training, that they would move him to the rotation at some point during the season but I wasn't really surprised when they didn't. It's funny that a good September will insure Kyle Davies 20+ starts year in year out but all it got Tejeda was a ticket to the bullpen. Tejeda in his career has a 4.52 ERA in 53 starts but if you throw out his disastrous 2007 season his ERA drops to 3.41 in 34 starts (179.1 innings). Much like Greinke isn't the same pitcher he was in 2005 I think it's safe to say Tejeda isn't the same pitcher he was in 2007.
If the 1-3 spots in the rotation are Grienke, Hochevar, and Tejeda I'm feeling pretty good about the 2011 season as a Royals fan.

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