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Old 12-11-2012, 08:59 AM  
duncan_idaho duncan_idaho is online now
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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, 09:55 AM   #3061
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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.
Wasn't the popular rumor last season that Hoz wouldn't accept coaching on his swing?
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:56 AM   #3062
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What was Hosmer's at bat like in the 10th yesterday? (I was following online)
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:58 AM   #3063
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
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.
Hosmer has actually been at his best this season when more in the top of the lineup. Batting 3rd and 4th he is 8 for 21 for a .380 average. Tells me that when batting lower, after he takes his initial fastball right down the middle of the plate (), he doesn't get nearly as many hittable pitches.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:59 AM   #3064
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Originally Posted by tomahawk kid View Post
Wasn't the popular rumor last season that Hoz wouldn't accept coaching on his swing?
I am pretty certain that it was the exact opposite. They changed things every day it seemed.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:01 AM   #3065
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TL;DR
Pop a Ritalin or just read the bolded parts.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:03 AM   #3066
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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.
Royals fans, like a lot of fans, are often stupid. Some of the posts on Royals Corner/Curve were ridiculous regarding Holland and Herrera.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:07 AM   #3067
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
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.
They don't have alternatives. That's the issue.

You know who gets the playing time if both Hosmer and Moustakas are demoted?

Jarrod Dyson, Jeff Francoeur, Miguel Tejada and Elliott Johnson.

I have no problem with Dyson getting more playing time. With Hosmer down, Butler becomes the full-time 1B. The DH likely is used to rotate guys through and keep them fresh. And Elliott Johnson and Miguel Tejada split time at 3B.

The Royals become significantly worse at 1B and worse at 3B defensively. And the offensive upside of guys like Tejada and Johnson just isn't there.

If the Royals had an alternative or were still in developmental state of mind, sure, you send one or both of those guys down (sending down a struggling stud prospect when you're going to lose 95-100 regardless is much different than when you're trying to win 90 games).

I disagree on Hosmer. He has not been terrible. He isn't hitting the ball with much authority, but there are some positive signs if you dig deep. The obvious one is that he is still getting on base at a good clip. If you watch his stance, he's got a lot more balance and his load is much cleaner (see the opposite field hit vs. Dempster in the big inning of game 1 yesterday for an example of this). He's walking at an above-average clip and he's swinging af fewer pitches outside the strike zone (check out this breakdown from Kings of Kaufman for details on that). He's also seeing a lot of pitches per at-bat and making pitchers work.

I wouldn't argue if they sent Moose down to find himself for a week or 2, though he was raking in Spring Training, so who knows what good that does. Sending both guys down just doesn't work.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #3068
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While I'm no expert in player development (I'm much more like a casual baseball fan), we need to remind ourselves that Moose and Hos are very young major league players. I'm confident that at least one of the two will live up to their prospect hype within the next 1-3 seasons.

I just hope to gawd they "figure it out" quicker than Gordon did.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #3069
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Originally Posted by duncan_idaho View Post
They don't have alternatives. That's the issue.
.
Don't care. The alternatives cannot possibly hit any worse than the two mutts have, so your loss is zero. The only argument you can make is that the mutts might pick it back up. This is certainly possible, but the problems are not confined to 2013. That's the whole point: they were abysmal the entire 2nd half of last year too. It's a clear trend. They're not ready for this level, or they aren't putting in the time & effort. Not sure which. You know Butler will hit because he's proven. But these two are not.


I see no reason why we can't put in reserves and expect them to produce the same, at least for 3 weeks or so. You really disagree?
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:18 AM   #3070
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
Don't care. The alternatives cannot possibly hit any worse than the two mutts have, so your loss is zero. The only argument you can make is that the mutts might pick it back up. This is certainly possible, but the problems are not confined to 2013. That's the whole point: they were abysmal the entire 2nd half of last year too. It's a clear trend. They're not ready for this level, or they aren't putting in the time & effort. Not sure which. You know Butler will hit because he's proven. But these two are not.


I see no reason why we can't put in reserves and expect them to produce the same, at least for 3 weeks or so. You really disagree?
Defense say "hi." If we are going to not get hitting we might as well have a really good defensive infield. And I completely agree with Duncan's assessment of Hosmer. Hopefully in the next few weeks he can pick it up by batting higher in the order. Moose has had his chance in the four hole and it hasn't worked. As I posted earlier, Hosmer has actually done really well higher in the lineup. Granted, it is a small sample size.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:18 AM   #3071
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
Don't care. The alternatives cannot possibly hit any worse than the two mutts have, so your loss is zero.
The alternatives have no upside. By sending them down, you are locked into "crap" at those positions. Hosmer and Moose at least have the possibility of putting things together.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:19 AM   #3072
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Don't care. The alternatives cannot possibly hit any worse than the two mutts have, so your loss is zero. The only argument you can make is that the mutts might pick it back up. This is certainly possible, but the problems are not confined to 2013. That's the whole point: they were abysmal the entire 2nd half of last year too. It's a clear trend. They're not ready for this level, or they aren't putting in the time & effort. Not sure which. You know Butler will hit because he's proven. But these two are not.


I see no reason why we can't put in reserves and expect them to produce the same, at least for 3 weeks or so. You really disagree?
I suppose they could bench Moose for a few games.....i believe they have done this already?
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:20 AM   #3073
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All that said, we obviously can't put up with ~500-600 OPS for all 6 months.

Teams begin to give up in June. If I'm DM, I give Moose and Hosmer two more months. If we're out of it, then it doesn't matter, but if we're still in the playoff picture in early to mid-June and one or both of those guys still suck, then its time to trade something off and find a bat.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:21 AM   #3074
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Originally Posted by Deberg_1990 View Post
I suppose they could bench Moose for a few games.....i believe they have done this already?
They need to absolutely sit his worthless ass vs LH. He looks like a clown vs them. Complete clown. I just FF the dvr whenever he's up and there's a LH pitcher. Pointless to watch. You definitely want both of them getting as many AB as they can against live pitching. I just want it to be in Omaha and Okie City, not Kansas City and Dallas.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:26 AM   #3075
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
Don't care. The alternatives cannot possibly hit any worse than the two mutts have, so your loss is zero. The only argument you can make is that the mutts might pick it back up. This is certainly possible, but the problems are not confined to 2013. That's the whole point: they were abysmal the entire 2nd half of last year too. It's a clear trend. They're not ready for this level, or they aren't putting in the time & effort. Not sure which. You know Butler will hit because he's proven. But these two are not.


I see no reason why we can't put in reserves and expect them to produce the same, at least for 3 weeks or so. You really disagree?
Yes, I disagree that ancient Miguel Tejada and utility guy Elliott Johnson could even do what Hosmer currently is if playing every day.

Plus, if one of those guys is replacing Hosmer in the lineup, you're likely playing Butler every day at 1B, which is a BIG defensive downgrade.

Moustakas looks completely lost right now. Like I said, I wouldn't argue as much with sending him down if he doesn't turn it around in the next 10 days. But I still don't know what that does for him other than serve as a wake-up call. If he's not putting in the time and not working (something I have a hard time believing, based on every report EVER about the guy), sure, maybe that helps. Maybe he can rebuild some confidence, and that helps, too. But it's not guaranteed to get him out of this funk any faster than normal, and it's not guaranteed to make him better able to succeed when he gets back.

He's a notorious slow starter. Last year was an anomaly for him in that regard.
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