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tk13
03-10-2005, 12:27 AM
http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050309&content_id=963210&vkey=spt2005news&fext=.jsp&c_id=kc

Notes: Bautista getting noticed
Pena says youngster could earn spot in the rotation
By Alan Eskew / Special to MLB.com

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Denny Bautista is the early leader to claim a spot in the Royals' rotation.

Bautista, a 24-year-old rookie right-hander, threw three shutout innings and allowed just one single, while striking out four in the Royals' 6-0 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday.

Royals manager Tony Pena said there is "no way" he could omit Bautista from the rotation if he continues to pitch the way he has been.

In two outings, Bautista has allowed one unearned run in five innings, while striking out eight and walking two.

"This kid has thrown real good in back-to-back games," Pena said. "He's real tough. He threw only 32 pitches today in three innings. He threw only two pitches up in the strike zone. Everything else was down. He had a good changeup, good curveball and a good slider."

Not to mention a fastball that tops out at 98 mph and is consistently 96-97.

"Bautista is one of the most intimidating pitchers I've ever seen," Royals pitching coach Guy Hansen said. "He has got four pitches that are all above average. He has the eye of the tiger. He wants the ball. He's just got an exceptional arm.

"He could be an impact guy. The Royals did a tremendous scouting effort to get him in a trade [with the Orioles last June for veteran reliever Jason Grimsley]. I know a couple of guys called me and said, 'You've got the mother lode.' "

The Royals said Bautista, who stands 6-foot-5, added 20 pounds to his frame and is weighing 190 pounds, which helped increase the velocity on his fastball.


Lima escapes: Jose Lima weaved his way into and out of trouble the first three innings on Wednesday.

Lima did not allow a run, but he yielded five hits, all singles, and walked three. The Royals turned double plays behind him in the first and third innings. In the second with the bases loaded and one out, Lima struck out Jamal Strong and retired Ichiro Suzuki on a ground ball.

"I got the bases loaded, but that didn't bother me," Lima said. "I'm a better pitcher when I'm in trouble. I made some good pitches. I don't try to be too fine."
Pena thought Lima got in jams because "he tried to be fine."

"He tried to make perfect pitches," Pena said.

Pena said Lima's outing was "much better" than his first, when he allowed seven runs, six earned, on eight hits against the Rangers.

"If I get the slider going, watch out," Lima said. "Then I'll have my two-seam fastball, my changeup and my slider. I can throw the changeup anytime I want now for strikes."


Forget about it: Chris George's line looked alarming in the box score: two innings, five hits, three runs, in a loss to the Rockies on Monday.

"The stats lied," Hansen said. "It wasn't an indicator. I actually thought he threw the ball as well as I've seen him. He had a firmness to his breaking ball. He had some deception in his delivery. There were a lot of good things I liked."

George gave up two ground-ball singles off infielders' gloves, a broken-bat single to Desi Relaford and a RBI on a squibbler to the first baseman.

"That's the story of my life," George said. "I was throwing all four pitches for strikes. Again, I didn't walk anybody, which is big for me. I was being aggressive, just trying to make them put the ball in play. I'm not afraid of contact."

George paused and then added, "Maybe I should be," and laughed.

"I felt really good about the way I threw the ball," George said. "I just didn't get the breaks. It's going to equal out in the end."


Guiel meeting: Outfielder Aaron Guiel met with general manager Allard Baird and Pena on Wednesday after a published report came out with the headline: "Guiel: If I'm not starting, I'll probably be departing."

Guiel is competing for an outfield job after missing most of last season because of a vision problem that he corrected with two laser eye surgeries.

"I just wanted to clear the air with Allard and Tony," Guiel said. "I was glad I could meet with both. Allard and I had a nice conversation. I was probably not misquoted, but the quotes were taking out of context.

"I never said if I wasn't starting that I wanted out. All I ever asked for was an opportunity to prove to them that my vision is 100 percent. My eye is 100 percent, but they have to see me perform on the field.

"I have a lot of loyalty to this ballclub. The organization signed me out of the Mexican League [in 2000] and gave me my first opportunity to play in the big leagues."


Injury updates: Tony Graffanino, who has been restricted to DH duties after having shoulder surgery last season, said his throwing is coming along well and that he anticipates he will be able to play second base on Friday in a "B" games against the Rangers.

Pena said third baseman Chris Truby, who has not played since the March 3 opener because of a sore left wrist, will be out at least three or four more days.

Cochise
03-10-2005, 12:36 AM
Good to hear that about Bautista, you heard he was a steal for the aged Grimsley at the time, hopefully all that talk was right.

keg in kc
03-10-2005, 12:51 AM
Oh shit, they actually beat someone yesterday?!

tk13
03-11-2005, 02:37 AM
The pitching has been much better the last two days. After a shutout on Wednesday, Kevin Appier struggled starting yesterday and gave up 4 runs, but a group of relievers (Kyle Snyder, Affeldt, Field, Ambiorix Burgos, Cerda, and Leo Nunez from the Santiago trade) followed him and over the last 7 innings didn't allow a single hit as the Royals beat the Brewers... pretty impressive.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascitystar/sports/11105251.htm

Bautista possesses right stuff for Royals

Pitcher shows team that he has a good selection of pitches

By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star


MARYVALE, Ariz. — The buzz continued Thursday in the Royals' camp over Denny Bautista's dominating three-inning performance a day earlier against the Seattle Mariners.

“It was awesome,” catcher John Buck said. “The first inning, he just went out and challenged them with fastballs, and they couldn't handle it.

“We could have stayed with that, but we made him throw his change-up, his slider and his curve. And he moved all of his pitches to both sides of the plate. He's got sharp stuff. Everything was electric.”

Bautista, a 24-year-old right-hander, was nearly as good in his first outing. He has always been long on potential but, finally, everything shows signs of falling into place.

“I've got everything under control,” he said. “Everything I've got is working. I can throw my slider. I can throw my curveball for strikes, too. And you know about my fastball, my two-seamer …”

It punched 98 mph on the radar gun against the Mariners, packing a kick thoroughly shrouded by his newly streamlined delivery.

“Bautista threw 32 pitches, and only two were up in the strike zone,” manager Tony Peña said. “Everything was down. His fastball … it looks 92, and it comes in at 96 or more.

“He had a good change-up, a good curveball, and a good slider. We need to see him continue to do that.”

If he can, Bautista will open the season in the rotation.

“No doubt about it,” Peña said. “But we have to wait. We still have a lot of time.”

The battle to determine a fifth starter is one of several to be decided over the next three weeks before the Royals break their Arizona camp for two exhibition games in Houston before the April 4 season opener in Detroit.

Here's a breakdown through two weeks of full-squad workouts and games:

• Rotation: Bautista has the early lead for the fifth spot, but oft-injured Kyle Snyder, armed with a new split-finger fastball, has been a pleasant surprise. Lefty Jimmy Gobble shows growing comfort in adjusting to mechanical changes implemented by new pitching coach Guy Hansen.

Veteran Kevin Appier is pain-free after three years of elbow miseries and throwing perhaps the best change-up of his career. Veteran pickups Dennis Tankersley and Ryan Jensen have been inconsistent.

“Tankersley has been off and on,” Peña said. “But some people take longer. That's why you hesitate to make any comments right now. We need to see more.”

Mike Wood and Chris George are also in the mix, though George is a long shot who is out of options and could be headed elsewhere. Wood seems a likelier candidate to work from the bullpen as the long reliever.

• Bullpen: The Royals figure to break camp with seven relievers. The only guy guaranteed a job at this point is closer Jeremy Affeldt, but the bullpen is already shaping up.

Lefty Andrew Sisco, a Rule 5 acquisition, has probably already shown enough to ensure he won't be heading back to the Cubs.

“When you're 6 feet 10 and you keep the ball low,” general manager Allard Baird said, “your fastball isn't just a fastball. It becomes a pitch because of the release point and the leverage on it. And he's up to 94 the other day.”

Lefty Jaime Cerda has yet to pitch an inning without walking a batter, but he was the unit's most consistent performer last season and would need a series of miserable outings to lose his job.

Nate Field has yet to allow a hit in four appearances and shows no sign of the torn oblique muscle that ended his season in mid-August. Shawn Camp also seems a likely choice because of his versatility.

“They're both tough to face,” Hansen said. “Camp because of his movement and his makeup; Field because of his makeup and his arm strength.”

Former All-Star Mike MacDougal struggled in his first two spring outings before flashing dominating form in his last appearance. Just the opposite for D.J. Carrasco — two solid outings, then a bad one.

The Royals had high hopes for Santiago Ramirez, signed in the offseason to a minor-league deal after eight years in the Astros' organization. So far, Ramirez has been a disappointment.

“Ramirez is a little tight,” Peña said, “but that's why you can't make a judgment after two weeks.”

Tankersley and Wood opened camp as the leading candidates for long relief. They still are, but some club officials now project Snyder and even Appier as possibilities.

• Harvey/Pickering: Not much has changed since camp opened. Ken Harvey missed four games because of a sore quadriceps muscle before returning in Thursday's 6-4 victory over Milwaukee.

The Royals love Calvin Pickering's discipline in trying to extend each at-bat until he gets a pitch he can handle. The debate among club officials is whether he can get enough of those pitches to offset other shortcomings.

“Pickering can swing the bat.” Peña said. “He's a threat. But we have to watch all the little things closely to see who is the best guy.”

Oddly, the decision could hinge on first baseman Mike Sweeney's success in improving his defense. Pickering is a far better fit as a designated hitter. Harvey benefits if the club isn't comfortable with Sweeney playing five or six times a week in the field.

• Nuñez/Guiel: One club official said, “This is about to get interesting.”

Nuñez entered camp as the incumbent right fielder, while Guiel needed to prove his eyesight is no longer a problem after two laser surgeries last year to correct blurred vision.

After two weeks, it's a dead heat. Nuñez is struggling, while Guiel is six for 11 and looks a lot like the player who batted .277 in 2003 with 15 homers and 30 doubles in 99 games.

Club officials particularly liked Guiel's recognition in drawing a walk on a borderline pitch earlier this week.

The hitch is this: Nuñez is out of options but could be sent outright to the minors if he clears waivers. Guiel is on a minor-league contract. That means Guiel likely has to be clearly better to win the job.

So far, he has been.

“We need to see Guiel play more to find out if he's 100 percent,” Peña said. “You can see Abraham is pressing, but I'm not making any decisions right now.”

He doesn't have to. Yet.

Ari Chi3fs
03-11-2005, 02:45 AM
our pitching is gonna be infuggincredible this year. It will be cool to see. I think we have TOO much pitching and will make a trade for some bats in May/June.

keg in kc
03-11-2005, 02:48 AM
Oddly, the decision could hinge on first baseman Mike Sweeney's success in improving his defense. Pickering is a far better fit as a designated hitter. Harvey benefits if the club isn't comfortable with Sweeney playing five or six times a week in the field.See ya, Pick.

Ari Chi3fs
03-11-2005, 02:51 AM
It punched 98 mph on the radar gun against the Mariners, packing a kick thoroughly shrouded by his newly streamlined delivery.


:hail: :drool:

siberian khatru
03-11-2005, 07:20 AM
“Pickering can swing the bat.” Peña said. “He's a threat. But we have to watch all the little things closely to see who is the best guy.”

What "little things" can Ken Harvey do? Just because he might play D a tad better than Pick doesn't mean he's an acceptable 1B. It all comes down to hitting, and Pick has more power and plate discipline than Harvey.

Pants
03-11-2005, 07:21 AM
Wow, I read Batistuta and was like WTF is he doing playing baseball?

KevB
03-11-2005, 09:32 AM
What "little things" can Ken Harvey do?



Exactly. But, he can hit his pitcher in the face at point blank range with a throw, he can allow a relay throw to the plate hit him squarely in the back, he can stand in the baseline at first and get run over, and he can wrestle with the tarp and come out the loser. All of the "little things" big league clubs look for.

beavis
03-11-2005, 09:50 AM
Bautista is such a steal. Baltimore's GM should lose his job over that trade.

I know it's early, but just imagine if Bautista, Snyder, Hernandez, Gobble, and Sisco all come through this year... One of them surely will be headed out of town for a bat, hopefully.

beavis
03-11-2005, 09:52 AM
...also, it sure looks like Ape is headed for the unemployment line. He doesn't really fit in with the long term plans of the team, but I really wanted him to make the rotation.

siberian khatru
03-11-2005, 10:00 AM
Exactly. But, he can hit his pitcher in the face at point blank range with a throw, he can allow a relay throw to the plate hit him squarely in the back, he can stand in the baseline at first and get run over, and he can wrestle with the tarp and come out the loser. All of the "little things" big league clubs look for.

Not that anyone's listening to us, the charter members of the He-man Harvey Haters Club.

KevB
03-11-2005, 11:33 AM
Not that anyone's listening to us, the charter members of the He-man Harvey Haters Club.

I can understand the team not wanting to give up on the guy....but there's enough statistical evidence at this point that he's not going to be adequate at first base, both offensively and defensively. And players with weight issues don't age well, so it's not as if we can expect a late bloomer here.

tk13
03-11-2005, 02:34 PM
The front office does seem to have a hard-on for Harvey. I'm guessing they want to see if he just sucks, or if he started to show his true talent last year but just got gassed out (and maybe a little less focused because the team stunk) before his .370 average came crashing down. Personally, I don't understand how Pickering's become such a hero, really he's always been the same thing as Harvey, a big prospect who's never lived up to it. I know he hit a zillion homers in Omaha last year so fans get caught up in that, but I always get the vibe that he's gonna put up Rob Deer numbers, real low average, 20-30 homers. Maybe he'll prove me wrong. Chris Truby tore it up in AAA ball last year, and it doesn't seem like any fans are riding his bandwagon like most Royals fans are ga-ga over Pickering. And I do think having Sweeney play first everyday is a legitimate concern...

shakesthecat
03-11-2005, 02:39 PM
Chris Truby tore it up in AAA ball last year, and it doesn't seem like any fans are riding his bandwagon like most Royals fans are ga-ga over Pickering.


Good point.

Bandwagon line for David Diaz starts here.

tk13
03-11-2005, 02:44 PM
Well maybe this is all moot. I just read on the Royals website Mike Sweeney had to be scratched from the lineup today with a sore right oblique muscle. Yippie. At least it's not a back muscle, but he's always pulling something.

tk13
03-11-2005, 02:48 PM
Good point.

Bandwagon line for David Diaz starts here.
Hehe... I don't know, Truby's been hurt most of the spring. The way Teahen is playing, Truby might not get much time anyway... Teahen is 9 for 18 (.500) batting, with 5 runs scored, a homer, and 4 RBI.

shakesthecat
03-11-2005, 02:55 PM
Hehe... I don't know, Truby's been hurt most of the spring. The way Teahen is playing, Truby might not get much time anyway... Teahen is 9 for 18 (.500) batting, with 5 runs scored, a homer, and 4 RBI.

Yeah but if Baird is true to his word, Teahan is starting the year at Omaha regardless how good he does.

Same with Gotay.

Apparently having 3, 30+ year old journeyman IF's on the roster is more important than grooming the IF of the future.

tk13
03-11-2005, 02:58 PM
There is no way they can send Gotay down if he keeps hitting like this. He's been the best hitter on the team so far. 18 AB, .444 average, 3 doubles, 2 homers, 6 RBI.

keg in kc
03-11-2005, 03:00 PM
Baird was interviewed on Petro's show a couple of weeks back and he explained why Teahan would be going back to the minors, regardless of how he did in spring training. He said a lot of guys put up huge numbers in ST because they're relaxed; there aren't big crowds, there's no pressure. So he doesn't consider it a real litmus test on how ready they are to perform at the big league level. What he wants is to be sure that Teahan has progressed as far as they want (as a batter, he says he's ready as a fielder), that he'll be able to come onto the major league club ready to compete and, more importantly, ready to deal with the inevitable first slump that every new big leaguer has. He said he'll come up as soon as they're sure he's ready, that they won't push him, but that they won't hold him back, either. Could be a couple of months, or a couple of weeks; it's up to Teahan.

Just passing on what I heard, don't really have a comment on that logic...

shakesthecat
03-11-2005, 03:06 PM
There is no way they can send Gotay down if he keeps hitting like this. He's been the best hitter on the team so far.

Yep.
I'm hoping Pena/Baird come to their senses and Gotay starts at 2nd, with Graffy being the utilityman he was signed to be.

Caplinski is a non-roster invitee, so they can easily cut bait with him.
Truby is nothing more than a AAA player and shouldn't be taking space on the 40 man anyway.


As for Sweeney, good friggin grief! Isn't an oblique injury what shut down Affledt last year?

siberian khatru
03-11-2005, 03:49 PM
The front office does seem to have a hard-on for Harvey. I'm guessing they want to see if he just sucks, or if he started to show his true talent last year but just got gassed out (and maybe a little less focused because the team stunk) before his .370 average came crashing down. Personally, I don't understand how Pickering's become such a hero, really he's always been the same thing as Harvey, a big prospect who's never lived up to it. I know he hit a zillion homers in Omaha last year so fans get caught up in that, but I always get the vibe that he's gonna put up Rob Deer numbers, real low average, 20-30 homers. Maybe he'll prove me wrong. Chris Truby tore it up in AAA ball last year, and it doesn't seem like any fans are riding his bandwagon like most Royals fans are ga-ga over Pickering. And I do think having Sweeney play first everyday is a legitimate concern...

1. Pickering will do more with a .245 batting average than Ken Harvey will with a .285 avg. No one is predicting stardom for Pick, nor is he a hero, just saying that he's a more productive hitter -- something this lineup needs a lot more of.

2. Pickering is 28; Truby is 31. Truby has had 819 at-bats in the major leagues to prove that he's worthless; Pick's had 237, never more than 54 in a season before last year's 122. Truby has a decent prospect behind him we're excited to see, playing a position we desperately need to fill for a few years. Harvey isn't a prospect anymore, and he plays a position that is easily filled with any number of journeyman types -- like, say, Calvin Pickering.

tk13
03-11-2005, 03:55 PM
1. Pickering will do more with a .245 batting average than Ken Harvey will with a .285 avg. No one is predicting stardom for Pick, nor is he a hero, just saying that he's a more productive hitter -- something this lineup needs a lot more of.

2. Pickering is 28; Truby is 31. Truby has had 819 at-bats in the major leagues to prove that he's worthless; Pick's had 237, never more than 54 in a season before last year's 122. Truby has a decent prospect behind him we're excited to see, playing a position we desperately need to fill for a few years. Harvey isn't a prospect anymore, and he plays a position that is easily filled with any number of journeyman types -- like, say, Calvin Pickering.
If Harvey hits .285, I totally agree.... I don't think that's what Baird is expecting him to develop into. I think Baird expects him to develop into a .300 plus hitter.

beavis
03-11-2005, 03:55 PM
Well maybe this is all moot. I just read on the Royals website Mike Sweeney had to be scratched from the lineup today with a sore right oblique muscle. Yippie. At least it's not a back muscle, but he's always pulling something.
I wish I could make $11 million a year to sit on the DL. :rolleyes:

beavis
03-11-2005, 03:57 PM
Could be a couple of months, or a couple of weeks; it's up to Teahan.
I've heard all that before, but it's basically a bunch of bs to cover the fact that if he stays down for a little over a month, they push out his arbitration/free agency years.

KevB
03-11-2005, 04:01 PM
If Harvey hits .285, I totally agree.... I don't think that's what Baird is expecting him to develop into. I think Baird expects him to develop into a .300 plus hitter.

I hope he's not holding his breath....

beavis
03-11-2005, 04:03 PM
If Harvey hits .285, I totally agree.... I don't think that's what Baird is expecting him to develop into. I think Baird expects him to develop into a .300 plus hitter.
Even if he does, 90% of those hits are going to be slap singles, and he'll be lucky to have 50 RBI. If he was 30 pounds lighter, and played second base or something, I might be ok with that. But you need a different kind of production out of a first baseman.

siberian khatru
03-11-2005, 04:11 PM
If Harvey hits .285, I totally agree.... I don't think that's what Baird is expecting him to develop into. I think Baird expects him to develop into a .300 plus hitter.

I think Baird's wrong. His .287 avg. last year was highest above Double-A. He's never shown power, not even doubles power. He's a big, slow, right-handed singles hitter with no glove, who doesn't even walk much to supplement his BA. Unless he develops more power, he better hit, like, .320 to contribute. Because even at .300, with all those groundball singles to left, he doesn't provide as much offense as Calvin Pickering hitting .245 but slugging .500 and drawing walks in between.

They ought to platoon them and go with 11 pitchers. Because I don't think that 12th pitcher is going to contribute as much as 350 at-bats from Calvin Pickering in this weak-ass lineup would. I'm dead serious about this: This lineup is in desperate need of guys who can work counts and belt the ball.

Course, if Sweeney's out for a month or two, it's gonna be academic for awhile. That puzzy.

beavis
03-11-2005, 04:16 PM
I think Baird's wrong. His .287 avg. last year was highest above Double-A. He's never shown power, not even doubles power. He's a big, slow, right-handed singles hitter with no glove, who doesn't even walk much to supplement his BA. Unless he develops more power, he better hit, like, .320 to contribute. Because even at .300, with all those groundball singles to left, he doesn't provide as much offense as Calvin Pickering hitting .245 but slugging .500 and drawing walks in between.

They ought to platoon them and go with 11 pitchers. Because I don't think that 12th pitcher is going to contribute as much as 350 at-bats from Calvin Pickering in this weak-ass lineup would. I'm dead serious about this: This lineup is in desperate need of guys who can work counts and belt the ball.

Course, if Sweeney's out for a month or two, it's gonna be academic for awhile. That puzzy.
He reminds me a lot of Hal Morris. He might hit .300, but it'll be the emptiest .300 you'll ever see.

The won't keep Pickering and Harvey. They've got Stairs that can play 1st too, and it would pointless to have 4 first baseman on the roster.

siberian khatru
03-11-2005, 04:21 PM
He reminds me a lot of Hal Morris. He might hit .300, but it'll be the emptiest .300 you'll ever see.

The won't keep Pickering and Harvey. They've got Stairs that can play 1st too, and it would pointless to have 4 first baseman on the roster.

Yep on Morris. Dave Magadan, too.

I'd forgotten about Stairs. He's a similar hitter to Pick, too. Those guys would be nice to platoon at the same time against righties.

Pick may be one of those guys who falls through the cracks, often a victim of circumstances. He'll probably have to go to Japan to get full-time work.

tk13
03-11-2005, 04:28 PM
I think Baird's wrong. His .287 avg. last year was highest above Double-A. He's never shown power, not even doubles power. He's a big, slow, right-handed singles hitter with no glove, who doesn't even walk much to supplement his BA. Unless he develops more power, he better hit, like, .320 to contribute. Because even at .300, with all those groundball singles to left, he doesn't provide as much offense as Calvin Pickering hitting .245 but slugging .500 and drawing walks in between.

They ought to platoon them and go with 11 pitchers. Because I don't think that 12th pitcher is going to contribute as much as 350 at-bats from Calvin Pickering in this weak-ass lineup would. I'm dead serious about this: This lineup is in desperate need of guys who can work counts and belt the ball.


Baird always talks about how he hit .370 then got tired in the 2nd half, I think if he didn't do that we wouldn't even be having this discussion. Whether that stretch of play was Ken Harvey or an aberration, I honestly don't know.

I don't think we can go with 11 pitchers, we've gotta keep Andy Sisco on the roster all season. That'd leave it down to Affeldt and 5 other relievers, with Sisco I'm guessing as a mop-up or occassional left handed specialist kind of guy. I don't think anybody wants him in too many pressure situations yet, but maybe he'll rise to the challenge. That's a big jump from A ball though.

siberian khatru
03-11-2005, 04:38 PM
I don't think we can go with 11 pitchers, we've gotta keep Andy Sisco on the roster all season. That'd leave it down to Affeldt and 5 other relievers, with Sisco I'm guessing as a mop-up or occassional left handed specialist kind of guy. I don't think anybody wants him in too many pressure situations yet, but maybe he'll rise to the challenge. That's a big jump from A ball though.

I can appreciate all that. I'm just not looking forward to watching this "offense" this summer; I'm looking for all the bats I can get. Suck it up, Andy! You're in the big leagues now! :D

tk13
03-11-2005, 04:47 PM
I can appreciate all that. I'm just not looking forward to watching this "offense" this summer; I'm looking for all the bats I can get. Suck it up, Andy! You're in the big leagues now! :D
I imagine it'll be really inconsistent at times, guys like Pickering, Stairs, and Long kill righties and we have Marrero and Harvey to hit lefties. Don't forget Aaron Guiel, he is hitting very well this spring. If he's healthy and can see he probably has the ability to take one of these OF spots outright.

Actually as I say that, checking over the game thread on kcroyals.com... Greinke had another rough outing today, but the Royals have come back to tie the game against the A's behind a 3 run double by Guiel and a 2 run homer by Gotay. Both of those guys are tearing it up...

SCTrojan
03-11-2005, 05:00 PM
I've heard all that before, but it's basically a bunch of bs to cover the fact that if he stays down for a little over a month, they push out his arbitration/free agency years.

The one thing I hate about Baird is that he often makes up his mind about the prospects (Gotay, Greinke, Teahen) and won't change it DESPITE evidence that they are ready. The biggest example last year was when he refused to bring up Greinke and plugged in Villacis against the Yankees.

Agree with the sentiment about Harvey. He only looks like a decent defensive first baseman in comparison to Sweeney. He doesn't hit for power and he hasn't adjusted to people busting him with high fastballs.

tk13
03-14-2005, 12:24 AM
Bautista pitched 2 2/3 innings today, no runs, 3 hits, a walk and 3 strikeouts as the Royals played to a 10-inning draw with the Giants. Gotay, Guiel, and Emil Brown all continued their torrid hitting by hitting back-to-back-to-back homers. Gotay has clearly been the best hitter so far, he's now hitting .480 with 3 doubles, 4 HR, 9 RBI in 25 at-bats.

For the spring, Bautista now has pitched 7.2 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 11 K, 0.00 ERA. The other interesting tidbit is that in 4 of the last 5 games, the Royals "bullpen" hasn't allowed a run. The starter usually has been going 2-3 innings to get his work in, and that's where all our runs allowed seem to come from, the pitchers following the starter have been nearly perfect. That one game in this stretch where the bullpen was scored on, 3 earned runs came from one pitcher who isn't going to make the team (Roberto Giron), and the only other earned run was given up by Mike Wood. Pretty solid work.

Coach
03-14-2005, 12:48 AM
Good deal about the Royals lately. But what is up with Greinke?

tk13
03-14-2005, 12:59 AM
Good deal about the Royals lately. But what is up with Greinke?
I think it's either one of three things:

A.) He's struggling, sophomore slump.
B.) He's bored, these games don't mean anything. Once the lights are on and these games mean something he'll be fine.
C.) He is so far advanced of everybody else as a pitcher he's using Spring Training as a testing lab to test how hitters react to different pitches, speeds, and other variables. He's like Albert Einstein on a pitcher's mound.

Which one of these is the correct answer? You tell me. I think it could geniunely be all three. I don't think we're going to know until the regular season gets here.

Pitt Gorilla
03-14-2005, 01:00 AM
I'm guessing that Gotay and Brown don't make the big club, despite their solid O. With Guiel, I have no idea...

Valiant
03-14-2005, 01:01 AM
Well maybe this is all moot. I just read on the Royals website Mike Sweeney had to be scratched from the lineup today with a sore right oblique muscle. Yippie. At least it's not a back muscle, but he's always pulling something.


that is not true...





he hasnt pulled a hit/stint/catch worth a damn in almost three years...

Coach
03-14-2005, 01:04 AM
I think it's either one of three things:

A.) He's struggling, sophomore slump.
B.) He's bored, these games don't mean anything. Once the lights are on and these games mean something he'll be fine.
C.) He is so far advanced of everybody else as a pitcher he's using Spring Training as a testing lab to test how hitters react to different pitches, speeds, and other variables. He's like Albert Einstein on a pitcher's mound.

Which one of these is the correct answer? You tell me. I think it could geniunely be all three. I don't think we're going to know until the regular season gets here.

Good points, but there's also one more thing that you may be missing, and even though nobody other than him knows...

D) Injury. Probably has some injury, but wants to fight through it.

tk13
03-14-2005, 01:08 AM
Good points, but there's also one more thing that you may be missing, and even though nobody other than him knows...

D) Injury. Probably has some injury, but wants to fight through it.
Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! You said no such thing. No jinx here.

Actually Guy Hansen apparently has tinkered with him a bit after this last struggling start because he was too far right on the rubber, and according to Hansen he worries about Greinke because I guess in some ways his arm action is similar to someone like Kerry Wood, which is a very injury-prone delivery according to him. The way Hansen comes across in the articles I've read, he seems to act like Greinke doesn't quite absorb it all and sometimes does his own thing.

Coach
03-14-2005, 01:20 AM
Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! You said no such thing. No jinx here.

Actually Guy Hansen apparently has tinkered with him a bit after this last struggling start because he was too far right on the rubber, and according to Hansen he worries about Greinke because I guess in some ways his arm action is similar to someone like Kerry Wood, which is a very injury-prone delivery according to him. The way Hansen comes across in the articles I've read, he seems to act like Greinke doesn't quite absorb it all and sometimes does his own thing.

Heh.

Yeah, I have read about Hansen tinkering with several pitcher's throwing motion, such as Gobble and Anderson if I am not mistaken.

tk13
03-19-2005, 02:26 AM
It's a couple days old but good stuff...

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/baseball/mlb/kansas_city_royals/11165439.htm

Bautista can do no wrong for Royals so far

JOE POSNANSKI


TEMPE, Ariz. — Every spring training camp needs a phenom, a prodigy, a kid who makes scouts' eyes pop out of their heads. The man on the mound fits the story. He's 24. He's 6 feet 5. He throws a 98-mph fastball. He throws a slider that bears in on you like a car salesman at a dealership. He throws a curveball that dives like Louganis.

Some scouts think his change-up is his best pitch.

He walks to the mound on Thursday to face the California Angels of Anaheim in Los Angeles County at Camden Yards — or whatever this goofy team is called now — and it's a good time to take a look at the man's statistics. Coming into this game, he has not given up a run yet in the spring. He has struck out more hitters than any other pitcher in spring training. Already, he has inspired Royals pitching coach Guy Hansen to say these words: “He's the most intimidating pitcher I've ever seen in my 30 years of baseball.”

“I'll tell you what,” says the harder-to-impress Allard Baird, the Royals' general manager. “This guy's got some serious, serious stuff.”

This guy is Denny Bautista, and as he warms up effortlessly, throwing mid-90s fastballs as if that's as easy as blowing bubbles in the back yard, you can't help but wonder how this happened, how the Royals got this phenom. Pitchers like this don't just happen. They don't just appear. They don't just end up with the Royals.

The quick answer is the Royals got him from Baltimore last June in a trade for a 36-year-old middle reliever, Jason Grimsley. But the quick answer doesn't seem to add up.

Let's explain: It was June, and the word from Baltimore was that the Orioles felt as if they were in playoff contention (they were nine games under .500 and 9 1/2 games out of the wild-card spot). Apparently, the Orioles felt like a 36-year-old middle reliever might be just the thing to push them over the top.

So they called about Grimsley. And called again. And again. Baird kept asking for Bautista. And one day — desperation can do things to a team — the Orioles just said yes.

Grimsley did not bring the Orioles that playoff spot. He did blow out his elbow.

Meanwhile, around Kansas City, baseball people keep asking the same question: “What's wrong with Bautista?” They kept trying to guess what was wrong. Maybe he was wild. Maybe he had off-the-field issues. Maybe he was in the Witness Protection Program. Maybe. Maybe.

All they knew for sure is there had to be something, because the Orioles would not just deal a young pitcher with one of the game's most overpowering fastballs and other dazzling pitches for Jason Grimsley. No way. There had to be something wrong.

The thing is, the Royals can't find anything wrong with Bautista.

“He's throwing all his pitches for strikes,” Baird says as we watch him throw those fastballs. “If he keeps doing that …”

And he stops, because he doesn't really know what follows. He honestly does not know how good a pitcher can be who throws Roger Clemens' fastball and Pedro Martinez's change-up and that big curveball and that nasty slider. He's awed by the possibilities.

After Bautista finishes warming up, we get word that Bautista has developed a small blister on his finger. It's nothing at all — happens every spring — but because of the blister, he won't throw his curveball or slider. This actually makes Baird happy — he wants to see how Bautista will react without his full arsenal of pitches. If he could, Baird would send Bautista out there with a full body cast to see how he would react.

He just wants to see what this kid is made of.

He just wants to see what's wrong.

And Bautista struggles a bit. Maybe it's the blister. Maybe it's the pressure of trying to make his first team. Whatever, he has some trouble finding the strike zone. He has worked all spring on keeping the ball down — now his pitches are coming in too low. He keeps throwing low fastballs, and he walks Darren Erstad. He gives up a single to Chone Figgins. After getting Vladimir Guerrero to bounce a ball back to him for an out, he loses track of the runners. They double-steal on him.

He gives up his first run of the spring when veteran Steve Finley punches a single up the middle. Bautista then works his way out of the jam without giving up any more runs.

“He showed me something working out of that without any of his breaking stuff,” Baird says. “That's pretty impressive.”

It gets more impressive. The next inning, Bautista breaks two bats with fastballs. He ignores the blister and unleashes a vicious slider. It's clocked at 88 mph — faster than most Royals' fastballs. He also throws his mesmerizing change-up that coaxes Angels shortstop Erick Aybar to hit into a double play.

By the end of the three innings, Bautista — even without a single curveball — has so overwhelmed the Angels hitters that Figgins desperately tries to bunt for a single with two outs. He pops it up. Bautista catches it.

“Why would you do that?” Baird asks, but he knows why. Figgins believed it was his only chance. That's what it's like to face the phenom these days. Bautista has now pitched 10 2/3 innings in the spring; he has struck out 12. He has an 0.84 ERA.

“He's pretty good,” Baird says.

Yes, he sure looks pretty good. One year ago, during the season, Denny Bautista pitched two innings for the Baltimore Orioles. He gave up eight runs. Maybe the Orioles saw enough. Or maybe they didn't see anything at all.

tk13
03-19-2005, 02:32 AM
I don't know, I've tried to be even keel all spring, but I'm starting to believe... I thought Bautista was still a little rough around the edges, and he probably is. I didn't think he'd be ready, but maybe he is. Hard to believe he has the potential to force Greinke into being our #2 starter one of these days. Greinke had a lights out performance the other day. Runelvys Hernandez threw 70 pitches and threw pretty well today. Jose Lima might end up being our 4th or 5th best starter. We'll have to see once the lights come on and it means something, but I'm cautiously optimistic our pitching won't be too shabby... and it all starts with good pitching.

beavis
03-19-2005, 08:41 AM
I don't know, I've tried to be even keel all spring, but I'm starting to believe... I thought Bautista was still a little rough around the edges, and he probably is. I didn't think he'd be ready, but maybe he is. Hard to believe he has the potential to force Greinke into being our #2 starter one of these days. Greinke had a lights out performance the other day. Runelvys Hernandez threw 70 pitches and threw pretty well today. Jose Lima might end up being our 4th or 5th best starter. We'll have to see once the lights come on and it means something, but I'm cautiously optimistic our pitching won't be too shabby... and it all starts with good pitching.
I'm the same way man. I just don't think we'll be able to score enough runs, even if the pitching is great. Hopefully, we'll have enough to trade for some bats at some point.

beavis
03-19-2005, 11:33 AM
Hey tk, what do you think about Mac. If he returns to form and Affeldt can stay healthy, that'd be a helluva one two punch at the back end of the bullpen. I'm starting to get really excited about this year, for the first time, I see a little light at the end of the pitching tunnel.

I don't see how they're going to keep Gotay out of the lineup if he keeps hitting like he has been. Think about how young our opening day infield could be. Teahan, Berroa, Gotay, and Buck. The only one with more than 2 years experience would be Sweeney. The only thing we are still really lacking is a power hitting corner outfielder.

I don't know about you, but I'm really liking how this team is stacking up. Kinda reminds me of 2003, but more legit in a lot of ways.

Link (http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050318&content_id=971150&vkey=spt2005news&fext=.jsp&c_id=kc)

Notes: Affeldt near return
If bullpen session goes well, he'll be in game Monday
By Alan Eskew / Special to MLB.com

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Closer Jeremy Affeldt is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Saturday, and if all goes well he will pitch on Monday against the Cubs.
Affeldt has not appeared in a game since straining the adductor muscle in his left groin area March 12 against the Giants.

Affeldt said he threw more than 40 pitches in a 10-minute bullpen "without pain" Thursday, but the club wants him to have another mound session before pitching in a game.

"I worked on some stuff to figure out the final piece of my mechanics," Affeldt said. "I just finalized my mechanics. I made some changes during the 'pen. My back leg has been stiff, and my groin would take the pressure. That's why I've had (groin) problems with it the last three years. I've softened my back leg."

He said he uses more of his hamstrings and quads in his new mechanics and takes pressure off his groin.

"It gives me more power," Affeldt said. "Once I changed that in my last 25 pitches, I probably threw four or five balls. I was hitting the glove. I threw a lot of strikes. Last year I was a little inconsistent with the curveball, but this year I think I'll be more consistent."

Graffanino update: A MRI revealed a Grade 2 sprain of second baseman Tony Graffanino's left ankle, trainer Nick Swartz said. Graffanino will be held out of games for the next seven to 10 days, but the Royals are hopeful he'll be ready for Opening Day.

Graffanino turned his left ankle Wednesday and when the ankle puffed up over night, the Royals ordered X-rays and an MRI.

Graffanino has played only two games in the field after having shoulder surgery last August. The Royals brought him along slowly with his throwing in spring training.

If Graffanino is not ready by the April 4 opener, Ruben Gotay, who is hitting .415 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 14 games, would likely start in his place. Gotay singled Friday to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Gotay hit .270 with one home run and 16 RBIs in 44 games last season with the Royals.

In another injury, utility player Chris Clapinski injured his arm in a game Thursday and was examined Friday. The Royals expect the results back from the examination Saturday.

Struggling Nunez: When Spring Training opened, general manager Allard Baird said right field was Abraham Nunez' position to lose.

Nunez certainly has done nothing to win the job this March. He is hitting .185 with eight strikeouts in 27 at-bats.

Manager Tony Pena had Nunez report to the hitting cages at 7 a.m. MT for tutoring. Hitting coach Jeff Pentland also attended Nunez' early morning session. Afterwards, Nunez was sent to a minor league game so he could get several at-bats.

"The stance is a little bit different," Nunez said on Friday. "They've spread out my legs a little more."

Nunez hit 10 home runs in Spring Training last year with the Marlins, but all five of his hits this spring are singles.

"The difference is I'm a little bit lost at home plate right now," Nunez said. "Right now I don't feel comfortable at the plate."

Said Pena, "He's just pressing too much. He's going forward and is too quick with his hands with his stride and has nothing behind it. Now he's loaded up with the new stance."

Nunez, Aaron Guiel and Emil Brown are competing for the final outfield slot. "The war is still on," Pena said of the competition.

Vintage MacDougal: Mike MacDougal, who was an All-Star closer in 2003 but spent most of last season in the minors with nagging shoulder and elbow injuries, pitched a spotless ninth and struck out two in the Royals' 5-3 loss to the Angels on Friday.

MacDougal is 1-0 with a 1.42 earned run average and a save in six relief appearances. He has struck out eight and walked three in 6 1/3 innings, while giving up four hits and one run.

"MacDougal is throwing the ball well," Pens said. "He's more consistent with his fastball. His breaking stuff is better. He's added a pitch, a changeup, to his repertoire. He's in control of everything. His mound presence is there. It's nice to see him bouncing back after the year he had last year."

Anderson back: Brian Anderson, who has not pitched since going two innings March 7 against the Rockies because of back stiffness, is scheduled to throw Saturday in a minor league game.

"Because of the change of my mechanics and I've been throwing so much, I got to the point where I was tired, my body was fatigued from the workload," Anderson said. "So I got pushed back a day or two."

Anderson had a heat pad around his lower back on Friday.

"Bad Spring Training bed," he said.

Bautista blister: Denny Bautista had finger blisters on two fingers on his right hand before he pitched Thursday against the Angels.

"Every year in spring time, I get the blisters from throwing a knuckle curve," Bautista said on Friday.

He eschewed the knuckle curve against the Angels, throwing only his fastball, slider and changeup.

He said the trainers have treated the blister, filing it down, and he should be able to put the knuckle curve back in his arsenal in his next outing. He said he would throw the knuckle curve in bullpen session between games.

"I think it will be good," Bautista said of his finger.

Bautista has been very good this spring: an 0.84 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings.

"It's more like a callous than a blister," Pena said. "It should not be a problem."

Hernandez outing: Runelvys Hernandez was the losing pitcher Friday, giving up three runs on four hits, including a Juan Rivera home run, but is making steady progress after missing all of last season.

"Right now I'm coming along fast, everything's coming together," said Hernandez, who had elbow surgery at the end of the 2003 season. "The most important thing right now is I'm pain-free."

Hernandez threw 70 pitches against the Angels.

"He was still fresh," Pena said. "That's a good sign."

Up next: Right-hander Kevin Appier, who has a 12.71 ERA in his first three outings, will start on Saturday, 1:05 p.m. MT start, against the White Sox in Tucson. Appier needs a strong performance, as time is running out for him to win a spot on the Royals' staff. The White Sox will start left-hander Mark Buehrle.

Deberg_1990
03-19-2005, 11:44 AM
.. and it all starts with good pitching.

Didnt they move the fences back at the K to their original dimesions this year?? That should also help our pitching out alot this year as well.
I guess they want to see us return to the slap hitting style of the 70's?

VonneMarie
03-19-2005, 11:48 AM
Didnt they move the fences back at the K to their original dimesions this year?? That should also help our pitching out alot this year as well.
I guess they want to see us return to the slap hitting style of the 70's?
They did that last season. They pushed it back to 410 it's original dimensions. It didn't do our staff any good, as you can tell. :banghead:

tk13
03-19-2005, 01:18 PM
Hey tk, what do you think about Mac. If he returns to form and Affeldt can stay healthy, that'd be a helluva one two punch at the back end of the bullpen. I'm starting to get really excited about this year, for the first time, I see a little light at the end of the pitching tunnel.

I don't see how they're going to keep Gotay out of the lineup if he keeps hitting like he has been. Think about how young our opening day infield could be. Teahan, Berroa, Gotay, and Buck. The only one with more than 2 years experience would be Sweeney. The only thing we are still really lacking is a power hitting corner outfielder.

I don't know about you, but I'm really liking how this team is stacking up. Kinda reminds me of 2003, but more legit in a lot of ways.


MacDougal went to work with Guy Hansen before the 2003 season I do believe, and he obviously came back and had a pretty good year, so they've had success before. Hopefully they can repeat that.

Supposedly Baird believes Gotay needs more time to work on his defense, Graffanino can't seem to stay healthy though, Baird may not have a choice. On paper the offense doesn't look all that great really, they'll probably have to manufacture some runs. I like the fact that it looks more like a team that can put rallies together as opposed to waiting for a 3 run homer like last year though. It'll be tough to repeat 2003, but we'll see. We don't have Raul Ibanez or Beltran, and that team led the league in hitting with runners in scoring position. I think our pitching looks better than either of the last two years though.