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Old 12-11-2012, 08:59 AM  
duncan_idaho duncan_idaho is offline
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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 05-29-2013, 04:52 PM   #4921
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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Ok, when you all say change the philosophy, change it to what? What kinds of players would you target in the draft and FA? What would be your hitting/pitching philosophy?
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:53 PM   #4922
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Dumb move. Perez is one of the 3 guys I make efforts to keep, Gordon, Perez, Escobar. Everyone else is on the block.

Those 3 however provide you with gold glove potential defensively and 2 of the 3 can be consistent double hitters with 15-20 HR's. I don't trade any of them.
When something is as broken as the Royals, no options are off the table. And I'm sure as hell not looking to move Escobar, who has shown plenty of worrisome signs thus far this season.

I'm not saying "give these players away," but I'm also listening to offers. With Mondesi on the horizon, Escobar is actively getting shopped.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:53 PM   #4923
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:00 PM   #4924
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1. DFA Francouer and Getz.
2. Send Moose down to get his head straight.
3. Dyson starts everyday, plays CF. Cain moves to RF.
4. Fire Yost and hitting coaches.
5. Hire Dave Righetti as manager.
6. Make nice with Frank White and bring him back as a hitting coach.
7. Call up Giavotella, send down/DFA Getz. If Gio can't play, make a move for a 2B via a trade.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:02 PM   #4925
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Originally Posted by CaliforniaChief View Post
1. DFA Francouer and Getz.
2. Send Moose down to get his head straight.
3. Dyson starts everyday, plays CF. Cain moves to RF.
4. Fire Yost and hitting coaches.
5. Hire Dave Righetti as manager.
6. Make nice with Frank White and bring him back as a hitting coach.
7. Call up Giavotella, send down/DFA Getz. If Gio can't play, make a move for a 2B via a trade.
Do you think this solves the team's hitting problems? Are you not concerned about the team's pitching?
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:07 PM   #4926
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Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
Do you think this solves the team's hitting problems? Are you not concerned about the team's pitching?
It doesn't solve the hitting problems. But it helps. And Righetti supposedly has a statistically proven effect on reducing the number of HR's hit against your pitchers.

Next year, once Francoeur is off the books, you can go out and get another bat.

Hoping that Moose can get his head cleared out in the minors, getting a good hitting coach to work with Hosmer, and letting Gordon and Butler's power come in would be a good start.

Dyson was emerging as a nice leadoff hitter and should get the opportunity to start every day.

And like Deez, I would trade young arms (Ventura, Lamb, Dwyer) for a bat.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:11 PM   #4927
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Longest-suffering MLB team crumbling again
Steve Wieberg, Special for USA TODAY Sports3:59 p.m. EDT May 29, 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO. -- Since he broke into the big leagues in 2007, Billy Butler has piled up more hits than Josh Hamilton. He has driven in more runs than another All-Star contemporary, Joey Votto. He has posted a higher batting average than Jacoby Ellsbury.

It's what Butler hasn't done — and the others have — that eats at the Kansas City Royals designated hitter.

MORE: Royals not getting results they coveted

"Where I'm at in my career … I'm saying, 'Am I ever going to get to the playoffs?'" he says, his voice almost plaintive. "'Am I ever going to be on a team like that?'

"I don't want to go somewhere else and do it there. I want to achieve it here. It's been so long. There are so many people putting in a lot of effort. I think everybody sees that the organization is pushing, doing the right things to get to that point."

So when is the payoff?

The question hangs over a club brimming with young talent but mired all too familiarly in a most-of-May funk as it enters the final two games of a four-day, home-and-home series against the St. Louis Cardinals today and Thursday. Butler and the Royals looked every bit the ascending team May 5, when they sat a half-game out of first place in the American League Central Division. Then, most everybody but left fielder Alex Gordon stopped hitting. The defense had some hiccups.

A newly strengthened pitching staff was good, but the losses nonetheless mounted: 17 in 21 games, eight of them by one run. Going into Tuesday's game vs. St. Louis, the Royals — once 17-10 — were six games below .500 and 7½ games behind the Central-leading Detroit Tigers.

Seven years into a meticulous and mostly lauded overhaul of the organization by general manager Dayton Moore, it remains a work in progress. The two most notable products of a once-well-stocked farm system, first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas, are anchored in the everyday lineup and assumed to be part of the solution. At the moment, however, they're a conspicuous part of the problem.

***

Struggles on offense

Moustakas was hitting .178, close to the lowest average for any full-time position player in the American League. Hosmer, 6-4, 220 pounds, has an acceptable .268 average but one home run and nine extra-base hits.

Even Butler, a career .298 hitter coming off his first All-Star selection a year ago, has scuffled.

"Offensively, we have a ton of talent that's untapped right now," he says.

The optimistic perspective is that it's mere growing pains. Hosmer is 23, Moustakas 24, and both former top-three draft picks are barely a quarter of the way through their second full seasons. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain is in his first. Alcides Escobar, a hidden gem acquired with Cain in the December 2010 trade of pitcher Zack Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers, is 26 and maturing at shortstop.

Moore and manager Ned Yost preach patience. "Before, when we struggled — and we've been through these types of periods — it was much bleaker because you didn't trust the talent on the field," Moore says. "I trust this talent."

Says Yost: "There's no consolation for anybody to say, 'We're competing.' But we're competing. We're in every single game.

"Right now, we've just got to continue to wait it out. And work it out."

Tugging in the other direction is some of the most painful recent history in professional sports.

***

28 years of futility

It has been almost 28 years since Darryl Motley squeezed the final fly-ball out of the 1985 season, securing a seventh-game win against the Cardinals in what remains the Royals' last World Series and last postseason appearance, period. Only once since the strike-shortened summer of 1994 have they managed so much as a winning record, finishing an average of almost 25 games out of first in their division and never higher than third.

The Royals' average record over the last nine seasons: 66-96.

As for the franchise that operates 250 miles across the state … well, Moore insists, "You've got to be completely consumed and focused on what you do. You can't concern yourself with other people and organizations."

Monday's series-opening win improved St. Louis' interleague record against the Royals to 43-30. Little less galling was the crowd of almost 35,000, tinged red as usual by the legions of Cardinals fans who claimed Kauffman Stadium for themselves as they reveled in the club with the best record in the majors.

There's little dispute that, top to bottom, the Royals are in better shape than they were when Moore arrived May 30, 2006. He built what widely became regarded as baseball's best farm system, owed in part to a succession of top-of-the-draft picks that came with Kansas City's won-lost records. He upgraded scouting and development in Latin America.

The Royals will never shed their small-market financial constraints, but owner David Glass more than doubled the opening-day payroll in two years to $79.5 million this season. Not New York Yankees money. But it's no longer the lowest in baseball.

It reflects the bold move Moore made in December, shipping some of his best minor league talent — including top prospect Wil Myers — to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a top-of-the-rotation pitcher in James Shields and a second starter, Wade Davis. Moore invested a new three-year contract in right-hander Jeremy Guthrie and acquired Ervin Santana for a year, shoring up a staff that too long had been a liability.

The early return is a starters' ERA of 4.06, down almost a full run from last season's 5.01. Shields, with nine quality starts and a 2.96 ERA, has been "everything that I thought he would be, hoped he would be," Yost says.

And yet the right-hander is 2-6, beaten up some by the Cardinals on Monday but mostly a victim of Kansas City's lack of offense.

"We understand the offense is struggling," Butler says. "And we understand that at some point in the future we're going to have to pick up the pitching staff. We're going to have to outscore a team."

On the whole, the Royals don't hit for power. Backup infielder Miguel Tejada, who turned 39 last weekend, has the only two home runs in their last 12 games, and seven AL teams have more than doubled their season total of 28.

Moustakas epitomizes the woes, with more strikeouts (12) than hits (11) in May and a season-long .091 batting average with runners in scoring position. Only two starting position players in the AL have a lower overall average.

He has remained outwardly unflustered, recalling a 1-for-42 slump he once endured in the minors. "I just trusted my abilities," Moustakas says. "I mean, I know I'm a good baseball player. I know I can hit. At some point, it'll all work out."

Absent that confidence, Yost says, Moustakas would be working things out with their Class AAA club in Omaha. Says Moore, "Mike Moustakas has to face major league pitching to begin to develop a database, to have a history (of facing) major league pitchers."

***

Patience is a virtue


Moore maintains faith in Moustakas, Hosmer and the bulk of his struggling lineup, and at least one rival advises not to treat him like the bandleader on the Titanic.

"The one thing people often don't realize is that the development of young players is not linear. It's a jagged edge," says Mark Shapiro, who spent nine successful years as the Cleveland Indians general manager and now serves as team president. "What you hope is that, over time, the overall line is a progression. But the greatest young players still go through ups and downs. That's part of the process of transitioning into a big-league player."

He likes Moore's work. "There's a clearly articulated vision of what he's trying to build and a consistent theme of talent and values that runs through all the decisions he's made," Shapiro says. "Along the way, as difficult as it can be sometimes to not make short-term decisions, he's stayed steadfast in that strategy and continued to execute that plan.

"In the end, the payoff is that he's building something with a much stronger foundation."

But the Royals' clock is ticking. Moore will soon be playing the roster-control game.

Shields, an anchor on the mound and in the locker room, is under contract through next season and figures to become a big-ticket free agent. Hosmer could qualify for salary arbitration this year, and both he and Moustakas will be eligible after the 2014 season.

Butler's contract, including a team option, runs out the following year, Gordon's the year after that.

"If we win, guys like me and James are going to have the ability to stay here. They aren't going to let us go," Butler says.

If they don't win? It has been a difficult three weeks, and a season of promise is teetering.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:19 PM   #4928
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaChief View Post
1. DFA Francouer and Getz.
2. Send Moose down to get his head straight.
3. Dyson starts everyday, plays CF. Cain moves to RF.
4. Fire Yost and hitting coaches.
5. Hire Dave Righetti as manager.
6. Make nice with Frank White and bring him back as a hitting coach.
7. Call up Giavotella, send down/DFA Getz. If Gio can't play, make a move for a 2B via a trade.

None of this stuff will happen with DM in charge. He might make a few minor changes, but thats about it. Dude is too stubborn and prideful to change his philosophy.


Heres hoping Glass will do the right thing and dump him at the end of season. Does someone need to fly a banner?
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:23 PM   #4929
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Originally Posted by Deberg_1990 View Post
None of this stuff will happen with DM in charge. He might make a few minor changes, but thats about it. Dude is too stubborn and prideful to change his philosophy.


Heres hoping Glass will do the right thing and dump him at the end of season. Does someone need to fly a banner?
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Right, which is why I was under Hamas' assumption that GMDM was gone.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:23 PM   #4930
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The thing that makes me so depressed is the fact that, as a small market team, it's gonna take forever to start over and get it turned around. Most experts agree that it takes around seven years to build a good farm system and to start seeing results in the majors. Are we really going to have to wait another seven years to find out anything? We can't go out and just buy a team. My dear lord this sucks!
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:27 PM   #4931
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What exactly is Moore's philosophy? I don't see much of one other than draft really high and hope the player pans out.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:32 PM   #4932
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What exactly is Moore's philosophy?
Deflection.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:34 PM   #4933
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That was criminal of Dayton Moore to keep guys like Chris Getz and Jeff Francouer in your line up. SMH
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:35 PM   #4934
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:43 PM   #4935
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
What exactly is Moore's philosophy? I don't see much of one other than draft really high and hope the player pans out.


This breaks down the problems pretty well.

http://www.royalsreview.com/2013/5/2...-working-right



However, those players are not actually the problem. Rather, they are a symptom of the problem. The problem is deeper, and it lies in the very way that you value and develop players.

Take for example any of the guys on your roster with an OBP (FYI - that means On Base Percentage) of around .250. It's an abomination that any one major league player is allowed to play for any length of time with that number, let alone multiple players. In fact, I would bet that you would agree that is bad. But that drives us to the deeper problem, a problem that I fear is deeply ingrained in how you think.

So, a random player has an OBP of .250. We'll call him say, Chreffides Mousmer. That means Chreffides gets on base 1 out of every 4 tries. However, nobody gets on base every game, so let's say that Mr. Mousmer has a game where he goes 0 - 4. The next night he goes 2 - 4. His OBP is .250. Most people would say that is terrible. But not you. You would say that Chreffides is turning the corner, that he is showing signs of improvement. If he continued to alternate between 0 - 4 and 2 - 4, you would keep him in the lineup indefinitely. When other organizations would have cut bait a long time ago, you look at that random 2 hit game and give the guy a few more months. That is an example of the "this" that isn't working.

The same goes for pitching. You know that graphic that gets displayed every so often in baseball games? The one that lists the 5 worst ERAs for pitchers with at least 50 starts? I'm sure it's a complete coincidence, but at least a couple of your guys are always on that list. I fear Wade Davis is about to join them. Any random 7 inning, 8 hit, 0 run performance will buy Wade a year or two of starts, nevermind his ERA continually hovering in the 5.5 range. After all, he has shown signs of improvement, of figuring it out.

Another example would be Jeff Francoeur. Here is his OPS (look it up) by year since 2008: .653, .732, .683, .805, .665, .561. Other GMs would look at the .805 in 2011 as the fluke. But not you. It is as if you think 2011 is the real Francoeur, and 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 are the flukes. This is fundamental to how you think about baseball.

You see, the very core of how you evaluate players is flawed. That flawed evaluation leads to flawed development, which leads to 5 black holes in the lineup in your 7th year. Go ahead, release Francoeur, or send Getz, or Moose, or even Hosmer down. Any of those would be welcome, but they are just symptoms, not the problem.

Take plate discipline. You say you value walks, and I'm sure you think you do. But I fear that plate discipline is just a check box in your mind, something that a random team meeting will fix, that if the guys would just be reminded of it, it will happen, but there are other things more important. I mean, it's just bad luck the Royals aren't scoring right now. They are doing pretty good in batting average. Just give it a little more time, and the hits will be bunched together, and things will improve.

That is another "this" that isn't working. You fail to understand the difference between the things that are innate abilities vs. the things that can be developed. Jeff Francoeur will never walk, no matter how much emphasis is put on it. The team that you have assembled is an out-making machine. But, if you could replace each player on the roster, who would you replace them with? It would be more black holes, because you are drawn to those types of players. You can't help yourself.
__________________
Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning:

Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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