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Old 04-07-2003, 03:09 PM   Topic Starter
DaWolf DaWolf is offline
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Peter Gammons on the Royals start...

I believe he's wrong about Sweeny declaring his out clause after this season. We've got 2 seasons to finish at least .500 before that clause gets triggered, IIRC...
http://espn.go.com/gammons/s/2003/0407/1534974.html
Quote:
6.
If you heard anyone rail about the futility of the Royals pitching after spring training, then you know that that person wasn't following the game. "The Cubs and the Royals pitching was the talk of Arizona," one veteran scout said. "The Royals are going to make some good teams look bad at different times during the season, because they're loaded with young power arms and have two more in the minors who are second or third starters in the big leagues."

It is no surprise that Jeremy Affeldt and Runelvys Hernandez combined to start the season 3-0. They have extraordinary stuff and every team in baseball wants them. Miguel Asenscio throws in the 90s with a good changeup. Longtime prospect Chris George, on what may be his last stand in Kansas City, pitched well in his first outing. On the immediate horizon are former No. 1 pick Kyle Snyder and left-hander Jimmy Gobble, who most scouts project as a second or third starter in the big leagues.

Then there is the bullpen: Mike MacDougal hit 100 in spring training. Ryan Bukvich, Jeremy Hill and Rule V draftee D.J. Carrasco (out of the Pirates organization although he'd been released by two organizations) is a legit 93-95 with a boring sinker. Not only that, but early in spring training he caught GM Allard Baird's eye by going into the baseball office and asking to use a copier -- for the charts he keeps on every batter he faces.

"We knew that we had to get these pitchers to the big leagues and have them perform," said Baird, who with his staff worked very hard in the winter preparing and developing several of these arms. "At the end of last season, I told our staff that by speeding up the development process and pushing our young pitchers to the big leagues in September probably caused us to lose 100 games," Baird said. "But I told them there's no difference between losing 90 games and losing 100. We have opportunities here and we can't let skeptics and critics get us away from our plan. The fact that Tony Pena is the manager is a key as well because he loves the kids and there's never a day when he's not on. He is an unusual man. He has belief, he has passion and he has sincerity, and the players love it."

What Baird hopes is that the young pitching gives the positional players enough hope that Mike Sweeney wants to stay and declines his option to become a free agent at the end of the season. He hopes shortstop Angel Berroa develops with hitting coach Jeff Pentland, because Baird said he believes Berroa "has the most range and the second-best arm of any shortstop in the American League."

With pitching, there is hope. The Royals may have the former. "The fans in Kansas City," said Baird, "deserve hope." Winning their first five games breeds hope, however realistic.
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