Sunday, May 8, 2011

Predictable Ned

Billy Butler .847 OPS, Mike Aviles .844 OPS, Wilson Betemit .822 OPS, Chris Getz .592 OPS

One of these players is not like the others, yet that one, Getz, is the only one of the four to start each of the last 2 games. One of the reasons Ned Yost used in justifying Kila's demotion was that, being in contention, they needed more production out of his position. Okay fair enough, what's done is done, Eric Hosmer is off to a great start (.944 OPS) and looks like he's going to provide that bump in production (for more of my thoughts on Hosmer/Kila, check out this piece I wrote for the St. Joseph News Press). But that explanation raised a couple questions.......

My first question is, why isn't the contention argument being applied to Getz? And my second question is, if he was acquired by Allard Baird would he still be on the roster?

Seriously, there's absolutely no reason why he should be starting with Aviles and Betemit swinging the bat so well. None. Yost is intentionally making the offense weaker for reasons that I can't quite comprehend. Replacing Getz's bat doesn't even require a roster move, sure it makes the bench worse, but that's hardly a reason to start him. This year isn't an anomaly either, Aviles and Betemit are just better major league hitters and their numbers prove it.

  • Getz - .249/.314/.315 (793 PAs)
  • Aviles - .295/.325/.432 (1120 PAs)
  • Betemit - .268/.336/..448 (1697 PAs)
I said Friday that I didn't believe Kila's demotion had anything to do with contending, not with the rotation being a mess, and I still believe that. With each Getz start, I believe it even more. The double standard and hypocrisy that exists regarding the lack of production by Kila and Getz is truly disappointing.

Gregor Blanco was traded to the Nationals for that popular PBTNL guy (he really gets around). This was really inevitable, especially after Jarrod Dyson beat him out for a spot on the 25 man roster. With Cain being the logical next outfielder promoted there was simply no spot for Blanco in Kansas City. I gotta believe a guy with on-base skills (.358 OBP) and speed will find his way back in the major leagues.

I attended the Omaha/Oklahoma City game last night and three players made definite impressions. 
  1. Lorenzo Cain - He had two doubles and a sensational diving catch in center field. I can see why people use Mike Cameron as a comp. His doubles weren't bloopers down the line, they were line drives that one hopped the wall in left-center field. I can't wait to watch this guy in Kansas City. 
  2. Mike Moustakas - Moustakas was hit by a pitch, walked, and hammered a pitch down the line that banged off the right field foul pole for a home run. He also flied out to deep center field. I've seen him play before but this was the first time I got to see the Moustakas I've read about. It was fun to watch.
  3. Clint Robinson - The clamoring for Robinson has subsided since the Hosmer promotion and last nights performance possibly showed why he didn't get a look first in Kansas City. I've never seen a player have a worse game in my life. He went 0/4 with 4 strikeouts, 3 swinging on pitches out of the strike zone and the 4th one standing. He looked absolutely lost. Now one game is, of course, a terrible sample size but there's a reason the free Clint movement never picked up any steam, he's just not as as good as his numbers suggest. When a player is largely dismissed by his organization and the stathead elite (I use that term affectionately, don't hate) he doesn't stand a chance.


  1. Look at the splits. Aviles is hitting .222 vs. RHP this year and .367 against LHP.

  2. First off I am a huge Mike Aviles fan, but I am also a realist.

    The Royals starting pitching has been terrible, hence the need for defense. Kila was not only sent down because he couldnt hit ANYTHING, but also because he was horrible defensively. I remember countless times Kila couldnt make a pick at first.

    Chris Getz is the only true option for leadoff. Sure Mike Aviles can leadoff, but he lacks common speed at the top of the lineup. Getz brings great defense, and a decent bat. I mean if you wantch enough of the games you would see Getz taking pitch after pitch. Aviles just hacks at everything.

    Once again I am a HUGE fan of Mike Aviles, but I also know he doesnt play defense. Which is most important? There is the true argument.

    Please dont justify Kila over and over again. He may not have gotten the plate appearances we wanted to see, but he was just terrible. The scouting report was simple... Throw breaking stuff out of the zone, and he will get himself out. Reminds me of the horrow stories of Angel Berroa.

    We are off to a great start, we needed production. You can bring up your numbers that show anything you want to prove. One thing I will say is that Ned Yost is the MANAGER of this ball club. I support him every night...

    Yost has been the first manager in over a decade that I have actually supported. H brings fire, class, experience, and leadership. The way hes handled the bullpen has been great. You can say classic Yost over and over again. What does that mean? Another win? Because to me, the Royals are in 2nd place, when you predicted them to be lackluster at best... How about we be positive every once in a blue moon. We are 4.5 out of first place... We are 5 games above the White Sox and the Twins... Ned Yost deserves credit, and true Royals fans would be pleased with our production!!!

  3. Ok that's fair, I can be too negative at times. I was actually thinking about that before I read your comment. Before the season I was more optimistic than most about the season, I felt they were better than last years team and would end up closer to .500 than 100 losses. What's changed, I believe, is that they are actually doing well but could be doing better. Thus the negative tone of this blog of late. I'm probably not focusing enough on the good, I think that's fairly obvious, and maybe something I need to work on.

    It's fine that you like Yost but he is predictable, I do think he's a better manager than Bell and Hillman though.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  4. Scott - So Getz is batting .217 vs RHP, whats your point? And only dinosaurs use batting average anymore. Vs RHP Getz has a .579 OPS and Aviles has a .698 OPS. Neither is eye popping but Aviles is better.

    Anon - Aviles is closer to Getz defensively than Getz is to Aviles offensively. And Getz doesn't get on base enough to bat leadoff. Neither does Aviles though. Something needs to be done there.

    Jeff - I think your bitterness over Kila being demoted left you unable to enjoy Hosmer's debut. I liked Kila too but the club just got better. When Getz goes it'll get even better. The club is in contention whether or not you think so, try and enjoy it, you'll thank me later.

  5. If you're familiar with Strat-O-Matic, you might know that Getz's latest rating at 2B is 2e8. You might also know that Aviles' latest rating at 2B is 4e21.

    In other words, Getz is a really, really good defensive second baseman. Aviles is not.

    Given their current offensive performances, Getz is the better second baseman because of his defense.

    You cannot simply look at a guy's OPS to figure out how valuable he is to the team.

  6. Anon-If you are going to give Yost all this credit for the competitiveness of the Royals, then he gets the blame when they have the inevitable slump. I give Yost some credit for way he is handling infield. He is playing Aviles and Betemit more, which he will have to do as Getz sinks back to his normal state. He has to get on base more to get the true tag as starter, especially since we lack offense as short and catcher.

  7. Adrian- Yost get credit because this team was supposed to be trying to keep their heads above the water. They are playing great with new attitude every night. The Royals I have watch over the past two decades, wouldve lost 15 games in a row instead of six. Yost is keeping the teams heads together. The coaching staff has resurrected a few guys as well.

    Yost gets a lot fo credit because this team is winning. I loved him last year, when we struggled. He handles the bullpen GREAT, and keeping Dyson on this team when everyone was going crazy has given us a couple extra wins.

    Yost has my full support, and Royals fans should believe in their manager.

    I NEVER like Hillman or Bell. As far as Getz again, when the Royals are tops in almost EVERY offensive category besides home runs, we need to have some defense. Getz is BY FAR the better defender. If you have already forgotten , Getz was one of teh Royals better hittes three weeks ago. So what if he is slumping. EVERY ONE DOES. If you really want to comment, how about Billy Butler... This guy cant hit in a clutch situation EVER. He has dropped 40 points off his average in two weeks. Talk about a guy killing this offense!

  8. I like Yost because I think his players believe he has their backs--he doesn't tear a guy down. That means he blows some smoke, but he still asks that his players produce in the roles they've been assigned.

    He may make head-scratching decisions in-game, but so does every other manager.

    First base was always a revolving door in Atlanta. They never had anyone long term. That's why I cannot see the Royals holding on to Billy Butler for the length of his contract--especially given that Hosmer should already be considered a fixture at first.

    (However, it would be nice to think of Hosmer as Dayton Moore's Chipper Jones, even if he is a first baseman.)

    Should the Royals fall out of contention before the trade deadline, I will have no problem if they deal Butler. For that matter, I wouldn't have an issue if they won the World Series and then traded Butler in the off-season.

    I really have no problem with Butler, personally. It just makes too much sense to me from a strategic perspective--get younger and more talented.