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Old 12-11-2012, 08:59 AM  
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2013 Kansas City Royals Repository Thread

Proposed 2013 Slogan: Tigers: They're what's for dinner
Actual 2013 Slogan: Come to Play
A better, more accurate, or alternative slogan: All in, no panic, we promise.

Dayton Moore has pushed all his chips in and is riding on King/Jack suited, hoping it comes together, he gets some good luck, and he hits the nuts by the river card. There's potential, oh yes, there's potential. There's also risk.

At the midway point, Dayton is left counting on the river card. The flop and turn didn't help him, and he's looking at the Tigers holding a pair of Queens and the Indians holding a pair of 9s. His 2013 plan hasn't failed - yet - but the odds are not in his favor.

Burning questions updates below.

Burning Questions for 2013:

1) Will the improve rotation be improved enough? Does James Shields pitch like a fringe No. 1 away from Tampa Bay? Does Ervin Santana pitch to his highest upside in his walk year? Can Jeremy Guthrie build on his strong performance as a Royal in 2012? Can Wade Davis bring his new mentality- and velocity - back to the rotation?

Midseason check-in: Yes, the rotation is certainly improved enough. Shields has pitched like a fringe No. 1 and Santana is having his best season. Guthrie has horrible peripherals but has continued to perform well at his home park and eat innings on the road. Davis brought neither his kick-ass mentality or improved velocity back to the rotation and is in Luke Hochevar/Hiram Davies territory.

2) When will Luke Hochevar be shown the door?
Midseason check-in: It appears, never, at this point. Hochevar has been solid in non-leverage situations, though pretty much every time he has been used with men on base in an inning, it has been a disaster.

3) Does Hosmer bounce back?
Midseason check-in: It took some time, but Hosmer's performance from June 1 on is probably the most encouraging thing about the 2013 season so far.
4) Can Moustakas hit for a whole season like he did in the first half of 2012?
Midseason check-in: Nope. Moustakas was god-awful, then great for about 3 weeks, then god-awful again. He has been better since he started working with Brett and Grafol but still has a long way to go.
5) Who regresses?
Midseason check-in: Welp, Alicides Escobar is not a surprising name here (though Yost's stubborn insistence on hitting him second is ridiculous). Billy Butler is a surprise. He isn't having a terrible year - still contributing a lot to the offense - but he's not hitting for the average or power he has displayed over the past several years.
6) Who plays 2B?
Midseason check-in: A whole bunch of people, and not that great. Gio is at least getting a shot, though he once again is not doing much with it.
7) Can Jeff Francoeur be at least replacement level, rather than epic horrible level?
Midseason check-in: Hahahahahahahahahahaha
8) Will Dayton Moore survive to see 2014?
Midseason check-in: Outlook uncertain. Probably still around, unless the team completely tanks in the second half and he does something foolish. My guess - he sacrifices Ned Yost this offseason and gets one more shot with a new manager in 2014.
9) Will Danny Duffy come back healthy? And if he does, is he the same, better or worse?
Midseason check-in: Yes. Velocity looks the same, and it looks likely he is the same guy as before.
10) And the big one: Has KC added enough to run down the big-money Detroit Tigers?
Midseason check-in: Doesn't look like it, does it?

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Old 04-22-2013, 08:51 AM   #3046
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I looked up Utleys stats....why have his power numbers gone down the last few years? Anyone know?
Injuries. Knee problems sapping his strength in the lower half.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:51 AM   #3047
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Originally Posted by Deberg_1990 View Post
Agree with all this. It feels great so far.

The main thing with the starting pitching is, even when they are not perfect, they are not giving up the big inning and letting the game get out of hand.


I looked up Utleys stats....why have his power numbers gone down the last few years? Anyone know?
He hasn't been healthy. Dealing with a tricky knee that was chronically inflamed and sore. That sapped a lot of his power. His ABs were also down significantly. He averaged 375 ABs over the past 3 years. Age is also likely a bit of a factor.

He's on pace this year for about 22 HR (if he gets 550 ABs), and his HR rate is likely to rise as the season goes on. All indications are that he's healthy.

Playing in the American League would probably be good for Utley. If they trade for him, the Royals could give him 1 day a week off and 1 day a week at DH (with Butler playing 1B and Hosmer off) to keep him rested and strong.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:55 AM   #3048
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Why? He is garbage. If we want to win, then we play someone who contributes today and not someone who is "building for tomorrow". Unless you think Moose turns it around in which case then of course he stays.


I'd ship him and Hos today to Omaha. And I'd tell them not to think MLB is a given right. You ahve to earn it. They've not just struggled this month - it's gone all the way back to last summer. It's been going on a full year almost now.
And then you'd end up playing whom every day?

Elliott Johnson? Miguel Tejada?

If they had an alternative, I could buy it. They don't. I also like most of the signs I'm seeing with Hosmer. He's still having good at-bats, and his approach is good. He needs to make some adjustments to better handle and square up pitches middle-in, but I think he might have tried something to do that. It looked like he opened up his stance a little over the weekend, and that should help with those pitches.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:59 AM   #3049
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Originally Posted by duncan_idaho View Post
He hasn't been healthy. Dealing with a tricky knee that was chronically inflamed and sore. That sapped a lot of his power. His ABs were also down significantly. He averaged 375 ABs over the past 3 years. Age is also likely a bit of a factor.

He's on pace this year for about 22 HR (if he gets 550 ABs), and his HR rate is likely to rise as the season goes on. All indications are that he's healthy.

Playing in the American League would probably be good for Utley. If they trade for him, the Royals could give him 1 day a week off and 1 day a week at DH (with Butler playing 1B and Hosmer off) to keep him rested and strong.
Cool....id be all for it. A veteran bat with some pop would certainly be good. Push Hosmer and Moose further down the lineup to help take some pressure off them.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:02 AM   #3050
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And then you'd end up playing whom every day?

Elliott Johnson? Miguel Tejada?

If they had an alternative, I could buy it. They don't. I also like most of the signs I'm seeing with Hosmer. He's still having good at-bats, and his approach is good. He needs to make some adjustments to better handle and square up pitches middle-in, but I think he might have tried something to do that. It looked like he opened up his stance a little over the weekend, and that should help with those pitches.
I don't agree that Hosmer is having good at bats. He's 0-2 as soon as he steps in the box.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:09 AM   #3051
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Hosmer's at bat in the 8th inning in the Saturday game with runners on first and third with one out was just painful. I'm rooting for him, and I hope he turns it around.
Grand scheme -- we came out of the Atl and Boston games with three wins, so I can't complain too much.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:13 AM   #3052
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I looked up Utleys stats....why have his power numbers gone down the last few years? Anyone know?
He has had problems with his knees with chronic tendinitis and even started last year on the DL because of them. That scares me for a middle infielder that could have his range limited.

I am much more and the Anything for Stanton bandwagon.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:26 AM   #3053
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Why? He is garbage. If we want to win, then we play someone who contributes today and not someone who is "building for tomorrow". Unless you think Moose turns it around in which case then of course he stays.


I'd ship him and Hos today to Omaha. And I'd tell them not to think MLB is a given right. You ahve to earn it. They've not just struggled this month - it's gone all the way back to last summer. It's been going on a full year almost now.
If Moose or Hosmer do not turn it around, the season is over. (If our pitching holds up, maybe we don't need both, but we do need one of them)

We have absolutely no shot, whatsoever, if they both keep playing like this. If we weren't trying to win this year, maybe we can be concerned about whether struggling in KC is bad for his development, but we can't be worried about that right now.

Thats what I mean by saying we have no choice. If we had some stud prospect in AAA who is being blocked, that would be a different thing.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:39 AM   #3054
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I'm just not ok with leaving guys up at the MLB level when they're playing so bad. (Hos has been terrible, let's not pretend otherwise). We stayed too long with Alex back in the day, but we did send Butler down and it helped a lot. Dayton sticks with guys too long and stunts their development. If he was concerned about them long term, sending them to Omaha right now won't hurt that. It might help. In fact I'm sure it would. But either way I'd tell them both that if they don't perform they don't stay. That's what loser small markets do: allow loser youngsters to keep playing no matter what.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:47 AM   #3055
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He has had problems with his knees with chronic tendinitis and even started last year on the DL because of them. That scares me for a middle infielder that could have his range limited.

I am much more and the Anything for Stanton bandwagon.
1) The Marlins aren't guaranteed to trade Stanton. He's still young and cheap, and after the winter fire sale, they'd come under even more fire for trading him.

2) If the Marlins DO move him, there are other teams that match up better with more MLB-ready talent (i.e. the Rangers, with Profar and Olt)

3) You're talking about much lower costs with Utley. The Royals would give up much less to get him because of the injury concerns and the pending FA status.

4) Utley is a professional hitter who has great experience and would be able to, with James Shields, help this team prepare for a pennant/playoff race.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:51 AM   #3056
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Utley does have a partial no-trade clause, so not sure how that would work. But yeah, he's a very good hitter and would be a HUGE upgrade at 2B. HUGE.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:52 AM   #3057
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Prior to the Sunday games, I saw a few posts critical of the bullpen, which I think were mostly reactions to Herrera's homerlicious week.

This is a good piece that puts it in perspective:

http://www.royalsreview.com/2013/4/2...erfect-bullpen

What does any fan expect from their team's bullpen? Perfection.

After Greg Holland polished off his second save of the day last night, tell me a little part of you didn't say: 'If he only could have done that in Philadelphia, the Royals would be 11-6'. Right now, when you think if Kelvin Herrera, I would wager most of us remember four home runs surrendered as opposed to the 15 strikeouts in 9 innings of work.

That's life as a reliever: be perfect or move on.

The Royals' bullpen has been tagged with three losses so far this season and those hurt, but it hardly is a sign that this group is struggling. They have saved eight games and won three more. None of those wins were the bogus 'entered with a lead, gave it up and the offense saved us' type that relievers sometimes acquire. Only one of the wins and saves overlap. Thus, the relievers can squarely take credit for doing their jobs in all 10 of the Kansas City victories. If your bullpen comes through in 10 out of every 13 opportunities (not save opportunities, per se), I don't think you can complain.

While we rightfully scoff at pitcher wins and pitcher losses as a meaningful stat, there is no way for a bullpen to get tagged with the loss without, well, being less than perfect. The Cardinals' pen has four losses, the Reds' six and, in fact, ten teams' pens have accounted for more losses than the relievers for Kansas City. Only the Giants have more saves than the Royals. Losses and saves are crude stats, but in the pursuit of perfection, they have some relevance.

Now, let's dig deeper.

Dayton Moore is smirking at all of us right now and with good reason. Thanks to a revamped starting rotation that is, so far, pitching extremely well, Kansas City relievers have logged the fewest innings of any group in the majors. Some of that is due, obviously, to the fact that many teams have played a couple more games than Kansas City and the Royals have had more than their share of off-days. Still, the Royals pen has thrown three less innings than any other team in the majors. Five less than Tampa and 11 less than Boston, the next two low totals in the American League and two teams that have played just one more game than the Royals.

Strikeouts per nine innings? Second in baseball and tenth in strikeout to walk ratio. Kansas City relievers have struck out 30% of the batters they have faced (best in the game) and allowed opponents to bat just .199 against them (4th overall). They have made opposing batters swing and miss 14% of the time, which is easily the best in baseball.

In pitching the fewest innings, the Royals' bullpen has thrown just 691 pitches: 45 less than any other team. By contrast, the Detroit bullpen has thrown 1,078 pitches already this season.

Sure, the relievers four walks per nine innings is a rate that needs to come down. Especially since Herrera and Holland have accounted for 10 of the 18 free passes. They have allowed the fifth highest home run rate in the majors thus far with Herrera allowing two-thirds of all the dingers given up. Those numbers need to improve, because, well....perfection.

Yes, we would all like to have three games back that the bullpen lost. We can rationalize bad starts and clearly see that hitting a baseball is really, really hard for the guys on offense (and humans in general). Yet, when the bullpen blows a late lead, it is painful and memorable. We expect perfection.

The Royals' bullpen is not perfect, but that doesn't mean they are not getting the job done. In a perfect baseball world, the best pitching staffs have good bullpens that don't throw very much and when they do, it is the better pitchers throwing. So far, thanks to outstanding starting pitching, that exact recipe has propelled the Royals to a 10-7 start.

Not exactly perfection, but close enough.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:53 AM   #3058
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I also wonder if part of Hosmer/Moose's issues have come from our irregular schedule. Lots of days off, interruptions in the schedule, and NL Games (particularly with Hosmer and Butler coming in.)

Probably not, but I'm grasping.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:54 AM   #3059
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I'm just not ok with leaving guys up at the MLB level when they're playing so bad. (Hos has been terrible, let's not pretend otherwise). We stayed too long with Alex back in the day, but we did send Butler down and it helped a lot. Dayton sticks with guys too long and stunts their development. If he was concerned about them long term, sending them to Omaha right now won't hurt that. It might help. In fact I'm sure it would. But either way I'd tell them both that if they don't perform they don't stay. That's what loser small markets do: allow loser youngsters to keep playing no matter what.
This isn't a "loser small market" thing, it is the reality of our situation.

The alternatives suck. It is too early to trade for someone else. (We have to wait until other teams realize its not their year and raise the white flag)

Its not like "if only Hosmer and Moose weren't in the lineup, we'd be raking", the guys who would start in their place would be very bad everyday players.

If we were NOT trying to win this year, then we could be all old-school hardass like you are suggesting, punish them with a trip to Omaha until they hit their way back up.

However, since we are trying to win this year, and since we CAN NOT WIN if neither of them turn it around, we gotta stick with them right now.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:54 AM   #3060
Strongside Strongside is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siberian khatru View Post
Prior to the Sunday games, I saw a few posts critical of the bullpen, which I think were mostly reactions to Herrera's homerlicious week.

This is a good piece that puts it in perspective:

http://www.royalsreview.com/2013/4/2...erfect-bullpen

What does any fan expect from their team's bullpen? Perfection.

After Greg Holland polished off his second save of the day last night, tell me a little part of you didn't say: 'If he only could have done that in Philadelphia, the Royals would be 11-6'. Right now, when you think if Kelvin Herrera, I would wager most of us remember four home runs surrendered as opposed to the 15 strikeouts in 9 innings of work.

That's life as a reliever: be perfect or move on.

The Royals' bullpen has been tagged with three losses so far this season and those hurt, but it hardly is a sign that this group is struggling. They have saved eight games and won three more. None of those wins were the bogus 'entered with a lead, gave it up and the offense saved us' type that relievers sometimes acquire. Only one of the wins and saves overlap. Thus, the relievers can squarely take credit for doing their jobs in all 10 of the Kansas City victories. If your bullpen comes through in 10 out of every 13 opportunities (not save opportunities, per se), I don't think you can complain.

While we rightfully scoff at pitcher wins and pitcher losses as a meaningful stat, there is no way for a bullpen to get tagged with the loss without, well, being less than perfect. The Cardinals' pen has four losses, the Reds' six and, in fact, ten teams' pens have accounted for more losses than the relievers for Kansas City. Only the Giants have more saves than the Royals. Losses and saves are crude stats, but in the pursuit of perfection, they have some relevance.

Now, let's dig deeper.

Dayton Moore is smirking at all of us right now and with good reason. Thanks to a revamped starting rotation that is, so far, pitching extremely well, Kansas City relievers have logged the fewest innings of any group in the majors. Some of that is due, obviously, to the fact that many teams have played a couple more games than Kansas City and the Royals have had more than their share of off-days. Still, the Royals pen has thrown three less innings than any other team in the majors. Five less than Tampa and 11 less than Boston, the next two low totals in the American League and two teams that have played just one more game than the Royals.

Strikeouts per nine innings? Second in baseball and tenth in strikeout to walk ratio. Kansas City relievers have struck out 30% of the batters they have faced (best in the game) and allowed opponents to bat just .199 against them (4th overall). They have made opposing batters swing and miss 14% of the time, which is easily the best in baseball.

In pitching the fewest innings, the Royals' bullpen has thrown just 691 pitches: 45 less than any other team. By contrast, the Detroit bullpen has thrown 1,078 pitches already this season.

Sure, the relievers four walks per nine innings is a rate that needs to come down. Especially since Herrera and Holland have accounted for 10 of the 18 free passes. They have allowed the fifth highest home run rate in the majors thus far with Herrera allowing two-thirds of all the dingers given up. Those numbers need to improve, because, well....perfection.

Yes, we would all like to have three games back that the bullpen lost. We can rationalize bad starts and clearly see that hitting a baseball is really, really hard for the guys on offense (and humans in general). Yet, when the bullpen blows a late lead, it is painful and memorable. We expect perfection.

The Royals' bullpen is not perfect, but that doesn't mean they are not getting the job done. In a perfect baseball world, the best pitching staffs have good bullpens that don't throw very much and when they do, it is the better pitchers throwing. So far, thanks to outstanding starting pitching, that exact recipe has propelled the Royals to a 10-7 start.

Not exactly perfection, but close enough.
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