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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?

Last edited by duncan_idaho; 07-15-2013 at 10:01 AM..
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:45 AM   #31
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:45 AM   #32
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I used to joke about this, now it has finally happened:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/1...y-taveras.html

Don't we already have Willy Taveras on the roster -- Jarrod Dyson?

Dayton loves him some 1970s-style CFs. I bet he's tried to coax Omar Moreno out of retirement (although as Bill James once wrote, guys like Moreno don't "retire").

How about find the money to sign Michael Bourn? Put Bourn in center, Cain in RF.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:49 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by CaliforniaChief View Post
Awesome, dude! Welcome to our crew.
Always been a fan, just secondary to the Mariners. I live in MO again, there is no reason for me not to align my sporting interests with KC. And yes, I did say sporting.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:02 AM   #34
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by duncan_idaho View Post

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?
2) When will Luke Hochevar be shown the door?
3) Does Hosmer bounce back?
4) Can Moustakas hit for a whole season like he did in the first half of 2012?
5) Who regresses?
6) Who plays 2B?
7) Can Jeff Francoeur be at least replacement level, rather than epic horrible level?
8) Will Dayton Moore survive to see 2014?
9) Will Danny Duffy come back healthy? And if he does, is he the same, better or worse?
10) And the big one: Has KC added enough to run down the big-money Detroit Tigers?
my "answers" to the questions as of 12/11/2012. can't wait until july, so i can look back and laugh at how optimistic i am right now.

1. i hope so. it will be better than 2012, but i'm not going to act like i know enough about any of the new guys to say they will be good enough to make a run at the division.

2. hoch will lose his spot in the rotation before opening day. i think if he pitches well enough in relief, he's gone at the deadline.

3. i think hosmer bounces back, and starts playing consistently better baseball all the way around. he's too good of a player to have not worked his ass off this offseason.

4. moose tacos falls in the same category as hosmer. these guys want to win, and have the talent to win, so it all comes down to drive and desire. anybody questioning that about either of these two?

5. i'm not sure who will regress, but i find it hard to believe cain and perez continue to rip the ball the way they did when healthy in 2012. that being said, i'm still excited about them. i think that even with a drop off in production they are still pretty exciting to watch.

6. i think a better question is can getz stay healthy. could we upgrade? sure, but we could do a lot worse.

7. i don't think frenchy bounces back. there i said it. i think he'll continue to hit at that just below .250 mark. for a right fielder who isn't a power guy, that will not do.

8. i'm a homer, and optimistic. yes. i think moore is here well beyond 2014, especially if this shields gamble pays off.

9. i sure hope duffy comes back to form. i like his attitude, and his personality. really impressed me when he was tweeting like a fan after his injury last season. i like his "want to be in kc" attitude, even though i don't get why anyone would have it.

10. dayton has addressed the biggest hole on this team from last year. he's done enough to get me excited for royals baseball, again. its december, the chiefs suck, and i want to put my homer glasses on now, so hell yes they've done enough to compete. who wants tiger meat for dinner?
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:29 AM   #36
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:30 AM   #37
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:39 AM   #38
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:48 AM   #39
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:56 AM   #40
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#Royals sign LHP George Sherrill and RHP Dan Wheeler to minor-league deals in addition to OF Willy Taveras.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:57 AM   #41
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I was just told by a top major league exec that The #Tigers were heavily involved in discussions for Shields before #Royals landed him.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:02 AM   #42
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I am excited for this season. Like many the anger from the trade has settled and I have come to accept it and dare I say approve of it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:04 AM   #43
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Side note on Shields:

I was looking at his PitchFx data to try and quantify the claims that he changed his approach after 2010. The difference was pretty astounding. He has always been a fastball/change heavy pitcher, but...

From 2010 to 2011/12, Shields drastically reduces the use of his two-seam fastball and cutter by about 60 percent while ramping up his curve and slider. As a result, his harder offerings - which got blistered in 2010 - become more effective.

It's not unusual for a guy around 30 to change his approach, but that's pretty drastic.

Oh, and his average fastball velocity has actually ticked up since he changed this approach. So even though he just turned 31, that's trending positively (unusual for pitchers this age).
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:09 AM   #44
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This guy thinks the trade was crap, here's his take .........

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...de-aint-pretty


A Royal Blunder
Why it made no sense for the Kansas City Royals to trade star prospect Wil Myers
By Rany Jazayerli on December 10, 2012

Dayton Moore, the general manager of the Kansas City Royals, has been far from perfect at his job. He has made bad trades (Melky Cabrera for Jonathan Sanchez), he has made terrible free-agent signings ($36 million for Jose Guillen), and he has signed Jeff Francoeur not once, but twice.

But two years ago, he was able to deliver something to Royals fans that they hadn't felt for a quarter-century: hope. After the 2010 season, the Royals had fashioned the greatest farm system in baseball, the greatest anyone had seen in years. People were talking about the Royals, and not as a punchline. After 25 years without so much as a pennant race, fans of the team could realistically dream about the playoffs — not just a fluky, 2012-Orioles-style appearance, but a legitimate mini-dynasty atop the weak AL Central.

Last night, that dream was ripped apart like a cheap piņata. Frustrated by the inability to develop a starting rotation to pair with the team's young, talented offense, Moore traded Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year, right fielder Wil Myers, and three other solid prospects to the Tampa Bay Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis.

The Royals got a terrific starting pitcher in Shields, and Davis was a solid back-end starter for the Rays in 2010 and 2011 before they moved him to the bullpen in 2012, where he excelled. But Kansas City gave up an astonishing amount of talent, rivaling the Atlanta Braves' regrettable payment for Mark Teixeira1 in 2007 as the largest collection of prospects traded in the past decade.

This is a terrible trade for the Royals, deeply flawed in both its theory and execution, and while it might make the Royals marginally more likely to make the playoffs in 2013, it does irreparable damage to their chances of building a perennial winner.

Let's start here: Wil Myers is not a good prospect. He is not a very good prospect. He is one of the best prospects in baseball, almost certain to be among the top five of every prospect list that is published this offseason. Good prospects fail all the time. Very good prospects fail more often than not. But the very best prospects — especially hitting prospects, whose risk of injury is dramatically lower than their counterparts on the mound — turn into above-average regulars, if not stars, well over 50 percent of the time.

Myers, as mentioned, was named Minor League Player of the Year. In the past 20 years, 14 position players won the same award. Here are their names:

1992: Tim Salmon
1993: Manny Ramirez
1994: Derek Jeter
1995: Andruw Jones
1996: Andruw Jones
1997: Paul Konerko
1998: Eric Chavez
2002: Rocco Baldelli
2003: Joe Mauer
2005: Delmon Young
2006: Alex Gordon
2007: Jay Bruce
2008: Matt Wieters
2009: Jason Heyward
2011: Mike Trout

Yes, Delmon Young was once the Minor League Player of the Year, and if you want to spin this trade for the Royals, you can bring up Young's name as a cautionary tale. And after a promising start to his career, Rocco Baldelli was ravaged by injuries and his career ended at age 28. But every other player on that list has gone on to become a well-above-average player at his position. Most of them became stars. At least a few will go into the Hall of Fame.

Based on the list above, Wil Myers has about an 86 percent chance of becoming a true impact player in the major leagues. Yes, that's based on a small sample size, but that's just the point: Myers is a special player, and there are precious few players that you can compare him to. In 2012, he hit .314/.387/.600 between Double-A and Triple-A while playing the entire season at age 21. He hit 37 home runs, the most by any 21-year-old in the high minors (Double-A and Triple-A) since 1963.

Myers wasn't just one of the best prospects in baseball. He also perfectly fit the one glaring hole in the Royals lineup. The fantastic farm system from two years ago has already supplied the Royals with young talent at first base (Eric Hosmer), third base (Mike Moustakas), and catcher (Salvador Perez) to go along with earlier farm system products in left field (Alex Gordon) and at DH (Billy Butler). The Zack Greinke trade brought in starters at shortstop (Alcides Escobar) and center field (Lorenzo Cain).

But in right field, the Royals committed to Jeff Francoeur, who in 2012 was arguably the worst everyday player in the major leagues. (This continues a long tradition of a Commitment to Execrableness in Kansas City. Yuniesky Betancourt would have once again contended for the worst everyday player honor had he played more.) Francoeur hit .235/.287/.378, which would be atrocious for a shortstop, and despite his cannon arm in right field, he had such poor range that defensive metrics estimate he cost the Royals about 10 runs on defense.

Instead of replacing Francoeur with Myers in 2013, a switch that would be worth around four wins, they're stuck with the game's worst right fielder for another season. The downgrade from Myers to Francoeur is almost enough to cancel out the benefit from acquiring Shields.

Shields is an excellent pitcher who has thrown more innings over the past two seasons than anyone except Justin Verlander. But he's not an ace, and if you're going to give up a prospect as good as Wil Myers, you need to get an ace.

Shields has a 3.89 career ERA, and a 3.15 ERA over the past two years. (Mind you, three years ago he had a 5.18 ERA and led the AL in hits, earned runs, and home runs allowed.) But here's the thing: In Tampa Bay, he played in one of the best pitchers' parks in baseball, in front of one of the best defenses in baseball, for one of the best managers in baseball. He brings none of those things with him to Kansas City.

Ballpark? For his career, Shields has a 3.33 ERA when pitching at Tropicana Field. When pitching anywhere else, he has a 4.54 ERA.

Defense? By defensive efficiency — a measure of what percentage of the time a defense turns a ball in play into an out — the Rays have had the best or second-best defense in the major leagues for each of the past three years. By comparison, over the past three seasons the Royals have ranked 28th, 24th, and 26th in defensive efficiency.

Manager? Joe Maddon's record speaks for itself.

These factors are intertwined to some extent; one thing that makes Maddon great is that he's so aggressive about using defensive shifts, which improves the team's defensive efficiency, as does the ballpark. Overall, it's fair to say that Shields is a good pitcher who was put in position to look like a very good pitcher.

In terms of pure baseball value, Shields has the edge in 2013. But of course, the Royals and Rays didn't trade players — they traded contracts, and the difference between the two is staggering. The Rays have control of Myers for at least the next six years — and given their knack for signing star players to long-term deals as soon as they reach the majors (Evan Longoria, Matt Moore), it wouldn't be a surprise if they soon have Myers under club control into the next decade. The Royals have control of James Shields for two years.

Myers will be making the major league minimum, more or less, for the next three years. Shields will get paid $10.5 million in 2013, and the Royals have an option for him at $12 million in 2014.

That's the most inexplicable part of this trade — that a team that plays in a tiny market, whose owner has a history of (to be kind) penuriousness, and who has already indicated that they've reached their payroll cap, would trade a potential star making minimum wage for a pitcher who earns eight figures in each of the next two seasons. You can't simply evaluate this trade by comparing Myers to Shields — you have to compare what the Royals could have done with Myers and all that money they're going to spend on Shields. For $22 million over the next two seasons, the Royals could sign Shaun Marcum. They could come close to signing Edwin Jackson. Hell, Brandon McCarthy, who can't stay healthy but who has a 3.29 ERA over the past two years, just signed with the Diamondbacks for two years and $15.5 million.

James Shields makes the Royals' rotation much better in 2013. But so would a lot of pitchers who would have signed for the money Kansas City is committing to him. The difference between Shields and any of those pitchers amounts to one more win in 2013, two at the most. And all they would have cost is money — not one of the best prospects in baseball.

Wade Davis, the other pitcher the Royals acquired, may also help their rotation in 2013, which says more about the state of their rotation than about him. Davis was a marginal starter for Tampa Bay in 2010 and 2011, primarily because he couldn't put batters away. He struck out only 5.6 batters per nine innings, well below average. The Rays had the depth in their rotation to move Davis to the bullpen for 2012, and there he improved dramatically — his fastball velocity jumped from 91.8 mph to 93.7 mph, his slider was sharper, and his strikeout rate literally doubled to 11.1 per nine innings.

Davis can be a dominant reliever, but the Royals have a stacked bullpen, and they have announced that Davis will go into spring training with a chance to reestablish himself in the rotation. Given that their bullpen is stacked, this is a rare glimpse of wisdom in the insanity that is this deal. If Davis can maintain his extra juice, he would be a very valuable no. 3 starter — particularly since Davis is signed to a contract that gives the Royals club options to keep him at a reasonable salary through 2017.

It's unlikely that this trade will work out for the Royals, but if it does, Davis — not Shields — will be the key to the trade. And if the Royals traded six-plus years of Wil Myers for seven combined years of control of Shields and Davis, this would almost be a fair deal. It would still favor the Rays, given that Myers is years away from making serious money, while Shields and Davis are already making it. But at least it wouldn't be Grand Theft Farm System.

Ah, but the Royals also threw in three other prospects!

Jake Odorizzi, whom the Royals acquired when they traded Zack Greinke two years ago, is a major league–ready starter with four average to above-average pitches. In 145 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, he struck out 135, walked 50, and had a 3.03 ERA. He's probably not more than a no. 3 starter in the end, but he's already a finished prospect — you don't have to dream on him. He was ranked the no. 69 prospect by Baseball America two years ago, the no. 68 prospect last year, and will probably be in that range again. Basically, he's Wade Davis, only four years younger and with three years' less service time.

Mike Montgomery was one of the best left-handed pitchers in the minors two years ago, back when everything was coming up 7's for the Royals. Even a year ago, he was ranked above Myers as the Royals' best prospect, thanks to a fastball in the mid-90s and an excellent changeup. He has mysteriously lost the ability to get hitters out, however, with an ERA over 5 in the minors in each of the past two seasons. He's a lottery ticket for Tampa Bay, but one that could pay off very, very big.

Patrick Leonard just turned 20 years old, and he hit 14 homers in 62 games in rookie ball this year. He could be just about anything. He's not a top prospect, and probably never will be, but he's just the safety-deposit box the Rays snatched up on their way out of the bank vault.

So if you want to read this trade as charitably as possible from the Royals' perspective, you can say that they almost got fair value for Wil Myers … and then flushed Odorizzi, Montgomery, and Leonard down the toilet.

It's a terrible trade, and for it to work out at all for the Royals, they have to go to the playoffs next season. If they do, then the tradeoff might be worth it, the way it was for the Milwaukee Brewers two years ago when they traded Brett Lawrie for Shaun Marcum, and four young players for Zack Greinke.

But as they're presently constructed, the Royals still aren't good enough to win the AL Central. Their top four starters, none of whom were with the team as recently as July, are Shields, Jeremy Guthrie, Ervin Santana, and Davis. Aside from Shields, that's a lot of league-average talent. If they're going to the playoffs, their offense will have to carry them there.

Only here's the thing: The Royals' offense was worse than their pitching staff last season. Thanks to their fine bullpen, the Royals ranked 10th in the AL in runs allowed in 2012. They ranked 12th in runs scored.

If the Royals do make the playoffs in 2013, it will be because their offense took a huge step forward. It will be because Eric Hosmer, who struggled to hit .232/.304/.359 as a sophomore, returns to being the Will Clark clone that everyone expects him to be. It will be because Salvador Perez doesn't get hurt and miss half the season, and because Mike Moustakas improves his batting average, and — most of all — because the Royals get production out of right field.

By making this trade, the Royals gave away the most obvious source of an offensive upgrade. There is no better example of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

There is also no better example of moral hazard, the term that applies to the dangers of having a decision maker (like, say, a GM) whose self-interests are not aligned with those he's making decisions for (like, say, a baseball team). Prior to this trade, the Royals were well set up to win 85-90 games in 2014, when a wave of pitching talent in their farm system was expected to catch up with the hitters who have already arrived. They seemed poised to be competitive through the rest of the decade. Wil Myers would have been in the middle of their lineup the entire time.

But winning 90 games in 2014 does Dayton Moore no good if the Royals struggle again in 2013, because after six consecutive losing seasons to start Moore's tenure, a seventh in 2013 would probably mean he'd be out of a job. This trade hurts the Royals significantly in the long term, but it might help Moore keep his job in the short term.

If the Royals reach the postseason in 2013, ending the longest playoff drought in American sports, Moore will keep his job, and he might even deserve to. It was the work of his front office that led the Royals to draft players like Myers2 in the first place. Even if Moore gutted his farm system for a playoff appearance, by Kansas City standards that qualifies as an unbridled success.

And if they don't win, well, at least there won't be any doubt about whom to blame. It's not owner David Glass, not with the Royals poised to have a payroll north of $80 million. Moore didn't just push all his chips into the pot — he pushed in his job security as well. If his gamble fails, and if it turns out that Moore sacrificed the Royals' future for an illusory present, Royals fans can only hope that someone else will be able to pick up the pieces.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:09 AM   #45
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Tavaras looks God-awful and should have virtually no chance to make the team. He might be a 4th OF in Omaha.
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