Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Royals need to move Kila

Kila Ka'aihue has gone hitless in three of his last four games and is now hitting .160/.283/.260, which is eerily similar to how Calvin Pickering started the 2005 season (.148/.226/.259). Pickering was bounced after only 31 plate appearances and wouldn't make it back to Kansas City again until 2007......except this time as a member of the T-Bones (also on that team was Rick DeHart, who pitched 4 glorious innings for the 2003 Royals). You have to admit, the Pickering vs Harvey debate was probably the most entertaining thing to come out of the '04 and '05 seasons. Unfortunately for Pickering he was playing for a front office that didn't place much value on walks, unlike Kila who........oh, right. Unfortunately for Harvey, well he just couldn't hit and he too would later find himself playing for the T-Bones.

I freely admit to being part of Team Pickering back then so it should shock no one that I'm a Kila supporter now. Pickering has long been used as a comp by those who say Kila is just a 4A player, this annoys me because, again, Pick got just 31 PAs in 2005 and because I'm somewhat concerned that they may be right. That Pickering and Kila's career numbers are nearly identical does nothing to alleviate those fears. Actually that's not entirely true, Pick's numbers are a little better.

Year PA H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
Kila 290 53 8 1 10 31 36 57 .211 .308 .371 .678 87
Pickering 310 59 10 1 14 45 43 91 .223 .329 .428 .757 96

I'm not ready to give up on Kila yet though and I hope the Royals aren't either. One thing he has going for him is that he's the teams best defensive first baseman, so unless they plan on moving Gordon there the defense will take a hit. I just don't think Yost wants Butler out there everyday so I suspect Kila has at least another month to get his mojo back. And if he can't then plan B is a hell of a lot better than Ken Harvey, of course I'm referring to Omaha's hot hitting Clint Robinson Eric Hosmer (.396/.442/.521/52 PAs).

So yeah, I still believe in the big guy but I think he does need to move down in the batting order. He's been batting fifth all year and it's clearly not working. I'd move Betemit to fifth and keep him there until Kila gets going or is gone and the Hosmer era begins.

5 comments:

Keith said...

clearly, this post influenced Yost to move Kila to 7th! :D

Daniel said...

Heh, I've been hoping for that exact switch for the last few games. Clearly Yost felt my arched eyebrow all the way from California.

Jeff Parker said...

If only it were that easy.

Antonio. said...

I'm hoping for more out of Kila, but I really feel better that he's just getting the chance finally. He doesn't need to succeed to justify the opportunity. He needed to play well leading up to this. This is the next step and if he doesn't make it, he doesn't make. At least now/then, they('d) know.

Anonymous said...

It's sad that Royals did not give Kila more Abs sooner. Those given to Jacobs, Gload, etc. would have been better invested in Kila. He certainly had nothing to prove at Omaha last year. Now the window is quite small.