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Old 07-14-2013, 09:41 AM  
gblowfish gblowfish is offline
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Grading the Royals at the Halfway Mark

I was thinking about this after last night's game. The Royals are about where I figured they would be, under .500 but slightly improved from last year. Here's my mid term grades on the players and manager, feel free to flame away:

Position Players:

Hosmer C-: Horrible opening stretch, didn't start to hit at all until Brett got ahold of him. Defense is a little above average, but lack of power is a major problem. Still tends to have a big looping swing and strikes out way too much.

Johnson D+: Only hits against Tampa Bay. Too bad we only play them one more time this year. Good baserunner, adequate defensively. OK as a utility guy, too weak on offense to be a legit starter.

Escobar C-: Offense has regressed this year. Very streaky hitter. Will hit in clutch sometimes, but has trouble moving runners when in the #2 spot. Has had defensive lapses, makes a hard play then boots an easy one. May be he needs more days off, grind may be getting to him.

Moose F: Except for Francoeur, biggest liability in the lineup in first half. Mind numbing how bad this guy has been on offense. King of stranding runners. Sultan of swish, Prince of the Pop Up. Once we start the fire sale, send his ass to Omaha and let him think about it. Needs to come to camp in better condition. He looks doughy, and it's hurt his defense this year. Not getting to balls that he used to reach, slow on the bases, when he manages to get on. All in all a horrific season from a guy GMDM was counting on.

Gordon: A-: Great start, has tailed off over the last month. I would say Alex is the best defensive left fielder in baseball. He is really that good. Offensively, he has not been the kind of all star go to guy that he should be. He has his moments, like the grand slam in Detroit, and he has his moments, like striking out on a slider in the dirt with the tying runs on in the eighth and nobody out. He is one of the few starters we have that you can say is a legitimate big time major league player, and he's still growing and maturing. All in all, he's had a good first half.

Cain C: He has stayed healthy. That's good. He strikes out a lot. A really lot. That's bad. He is a very streaky hitter. He can go weeks doing nothing, then he can tear the cover off the ball for a couple days. Outfield defense has been pretty good, except for the ball he booted in the last Oakland series that cost us the game. If he can walk more, cut down on the strikeouts, he'll be a good reliable center fielder.

Lough B: Should have broke camp as our starting RF if it wasn't for GMDM's boner for Frenchy. Very good defensive player, good contact guy, doesn't strike out a lot. Hustles. Needs work on his base running skills. For a late call up, he has played very well and improved our outfield.

Dyson B-: Before he got hurt, he was leading the team in slugging. Great base runner, when he can get on. Bit of a defensive liability, less than average arm and takes weird routes to the ball. Has trouble in pressure situations moving runners or making contact. Stood and looked at strike three Friday night to end the Cleveland game. Ankle injury slowed his progress. Good fourth outfielder, and a premier pinch runner for Fat Boy.

Perez A-: Salvy would get an "A" as our first All-Star Catcher in ions except for a couple of things. One, he has not hit for as much power as we should get from a guy his size. Second, he lollygagged when grandma kicked off. Thought he took way too much time away, and while he was gone, the team floundered. He calls a great game, has one of the best throwing arms in baseball, and is a great quarterback for the pitching staff. You can tell the pitchers love his blocking ability behind the plate. Dude should be an all star for years to come if he can stay healthy. Ned may need to give him some days off during the dog days. Very well deserved All Star pick.

Butler B-: A down year compared to last year in power and average. Butler needs to get in better condition. He looks out of shape, worse than Moose. Slower than he should be, he's bordering on Harmon Killibrew at age 40 slow. Walks a lot, but has been pressing here over the past couple weeks and has had some killing oh fer days. He also needs to cut down on the K's, and work in the off season to drop about 15 lbs and muscle up. He could be a young Jim Thome if he really worked at it.

Reserves:

Tejada B: Has played very well for a 39 year old. Has given the Royals everything they expected and then some. Flexible, can play second and third, and never looks confused at the plate. Wish he was ten years younger.

Getz D-: Played pretty well in April, actually hit a home run in Atlanta, then did his typical swirl down the toilet bowl, and finished by not executing bunts before being sent down for Gio. We should probably trade him out of the organization, because he's never going to get any better. Move on to the next contestant.

Gio D+: I want to like this guy, I really do. He hustles, reminds me of a young Chuck Knoblach. But every time he rips in up in Omaha, we call him up, and he just shits the bed. He killed it his first day up in Minnesota, and has gone oh for every game since. When you get your chance you have to make something out of it (see David Lough). If he doesn't come around in the second half, I say get him out of the organization and look elsewhere.

Kottaras C-: The good stuff: He walks a lot and will hit you a homer every once in awhile. Very calm at the plate, hard to rattle. Bad Stuff: Can't hit over .200, weaker defense than Salvy -that would be true for whoever Salvy's back up was- and tends to allow pass balls or wild pitches at very inopportune times. Still, he's better than Bryan Pena. If he could just add about 40 points to his average….

Frenchy F: Seven Million Dollars down the dumper. Guy has a great smile, should be popular with the fellahs in San Francisco.

Starting Pitching:

Shields B+: Guy has been everything advertised. Not his fault we don't score any runs for him. Sometimes starts slow and gets behind early, but he is a battler. Reminds me of Dennis Leonard in his heyday. Dude hates to lose, wish we could transfuse his character into the rest of the ball club.

Santana B: Innings eater, still gets bit by the long ball. Over the past couple weeks seems to have lost his focus, maybe because of all the trade talk. Has been great at times, certainly better than anybody else behind him in this list of starters. Wouldn't be surprised to see him traded to the National League by the deadline.

Guthrie B: Has been a reliable decent starter, last night grooved a meatball for a cheap grand salami, but usually does a good job pitching out of trouble. Has been more good than bad, and with better offense, could have three or four more wins. He's our only opening season rotation starter with a winning record.

Davis C: Started out pretty well, but this guy is a long reliever posing as a starter. He's a lot like Chen or Mendoza, not consistent enough to be a reliable starter, but pitches good enough to hang around on the roster, as his ERA is now pushing six. Hopefully his spot in the rotation will be taken by Duffy soon.

Mendoza C-: I think he's tired. He pitched in the World Competition before spring training, so he hasn't had a long rest for awhile. When he's on, he's very good. When he's off he gets his ass handed to him in a hurry. A month rest in the bullpen might be exactly what the doc ordered.

Chen C: Goes to show you if you're left handed, you can hang around in the bigs for a long time. Pitched well against Cleveland on Friday, but was lucky he didn't get pounded. You can't throw letter high middle in 85 mph fastballs for long and survive in the bigs. He's getting near the end of his run, we should probably trade him before the deadline. Can't see him in next years plans.

Relief:

Crow C: This guy is under achieving for where he was picked. We're paying him a shitload of money for 1/3rd of an inning in the seventh. Too unpredictable, has the stuff to win, but can't seem to harness his control.

Hoch C-: Same thing as Crow, way under achieving for where he was picked. This guy soils himself at the first sign of pressure. Pitches great if you're ahead or behind by four runs. But bring him in when you need a stop or a hold, and you're ****ed. I'd try to trade him by the deadline, he's never going to be anything but what he is now, which is a big chuck of chicken shit and dead payroll.

Collins C-: Good start, but the midget has been getting pounded lately. Same drill as last year. Sometimes he looks great, sometimes he can't get anybody out. Tends to overthrow and walk guys at critical junctures. Needs to focus and command his stuff. He's got great attitude for a reliever, he just can't back up the attitude often enough to be reliable.

Gutierrez D+: When he comes in, Ned has raised the white flag. Looks like CC Sebathia's little brother, except he can be hit with ease. He's just a warm body holding down a spot.

Coleman C+: Should have broke camp, but Herrera took his spot. Has pitched well when given the opportunity, but last year got rocked in the second half. We'll see how he does in August.

Herrera D: Guy has the stuff to be a big time closer. Can throw the ball through a brick wall. But when a major league hitter times his fastball, it tends to leave the park. Often. He's still young, needs to harness his control and pitch smarter. He'll be OK, just needs more time to mature.

Joseph and Smith Incomplete: Not enough time up yet to evaluate fairly.

Holland A: Should have made the All Star Team. Had a couple of rocky outings in April, but has been lights out since. Everything you could ask for in a closer. Number of K's is outstanding, one of the best hard sliders in the American League. Give this guy a raise.

Manager:

Ned C-: Well, Ned has personally cost us about four or five games this year with stupid managing, but all managers have a few clunkers. He has kept us within the tail lights of Detroit up till now, but we'll probably fade to double digits after the break. Ned is pretty much Buddy Bell. He's not going to ever be a top drawer manager. DMGM will probably give him one more year, because DMGM has one more year on his contract. They'll either both survive together or jump off the cliff together, depending on what happens in the second half.

Last edited by gblowfish; 07-14-2013 at 09:59 AM..
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:53 AM   #91
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Hos and Gordon have adequate speed on the bags. Put your best OBP guy number one and your best hitter number two. Gordon/Hos does that.
Lough hasn't been a slouch for getting on base.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:15 PM   #92
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Lough hasn't been a slouch for getting on base.
So you are going to totally marginalize your best hitter by stacking three lefties in a row at the top of the order?
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:21 PM   #93
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So you are going to totally marginalize your best hitter by stacking three lefties in a row at the top of the order?
WTF do I care about lefties? Seriously. WTF? No one is getting marginalized. I am putting the best 3 hitters at the top that have the best chance of getting on base. Right now, Gordon, Lough, Hosmer is my 1-3 with Perez, Butler, Cain 4-6, Moose, Gia, Escobar 7-9.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:24 PM   #94
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I have no problem with Hosmer in the 2 hole and would far prefer that to ever seeing Alcides Escobar there again.

A lot of teams have moved to that approach, putting a premium hitter in the 2-spot. It has worked quite well for Minnesota with Joe Mauer.

I think freaking out about Hosmer at 2 vs. Hosmer at 3 is just moving deck chairs.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:24 PM   #95
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So you are going to totally marginalize your best hitter by stacking three lefties in a row at the top of the order?
Don't set a lineup worrying about innings 7-9. Cross that bridge when you get there.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:27 PM   #96
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I have no problem with Hosmer in the 2 hole and would far prefer that to ever seeing Alcides Escobar there again.

A lot of teams have moved to that approach, putting a premium hitter in the 2-spot. It has worked quite well for Minnesota with Joe Mauer.

I think freaking out about Hosmer at 2 vs. Hosmer at 3 is just moving deck chairs.
It's not freaking out. It's pointing out that it is being done at the expense of a better option, imo. Right now I think Lough is the man at #2. Good contact hitter, good speed, helps set the table for Hosmer's power. Mauer is also not a HR hitter where Hosmer is or can be and that's a big difference. I would rather my power guy be hitting with 1 or 2 guys on more than empty bases.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:29 PM   #97
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Don't set a lineup worrying about innings 7-9. Cross that bridge when you get there.
So you're going to ignore a third+ of a players at-bats, and arguably the most important at-bats since you have now knocked out the starter. There is no way to cross that bridge if you have no one you can effectively sub in for Gordon/Lough/Hos.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:29 PM   #98
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Hosmer has 9 HRs on the season, so let's not crown him a "power guy" just yet. And if you're OK with him hitting with 1 or 2 guys on, you should be cool with him hitting in the 2 hole, since Gordon's OBP is strong.

Lough's OBP is too driven by batting average, so we're going to see this go down during the second half.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:30 PM   #99
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So you're going to ignore a third+ of a players at-bats, and arguably the most important at-bats since you have now knocked out the starter. There is no way to cross that bridge if you have no one you can effectively sub in for Gordon/Lough/Hos.
I'm not batting Lough second, but if he were indeed one of our best hitters, I would not hesitate to set this lineup.

Get your best batters the most ABs. Period.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:31 PM   #100
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Hosmer has 9 HRs on the season, so let's not crown him a "power guy" just yet. And if you're OK with him hitting with 1 or 2 guys on, you should be cool with him hitting in the 2 hole, since Gordon's OBP is strong.

Lough's OBP is too driven by batting average, so we're going to see this go down during the second half.
I am saying Hosmer should be more of a power hitter than Mauer. That being said, Lough is all of .003 behind Hosmer in OPS so why not stick him in the #2 and let the more powerful guy hit behind him?
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:31 PM   #101
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Pitching splits are real, Deez. Lineup construction does matter as a result of this fact. I have no idea how either one of us is going to convince the other that one philosophy is correct, but damn!
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:33 PM   #102
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Comping for a difference in AB's, the best Slugging on our team sits with Butler, Gordon, Hosmer, Lough and Perez. There is your 1-5 in some order and I would stick Lough at #2. That's just me.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:35 PM   #103
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So as it stands right now, anyway, Lough is among the 4 best on the team in OBP, SLG and OPS....so why is it bad to put him at #2 between Gordon and Hosmer?

Plus the intangible is Lough can stretch hits into a double where Hosmer can't thus making Hosmer even more valuable hitting behind him.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:37 PM   #104
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Pitching splits are real, Deez. Lineup construction does matter as a result of this fact. I have no idea how either one of us is going to convince the other that one philosophy is correct, but damn!
Splits are very real, so this is why I support your theory of going L-R-L-R as much as possible, Ned.

Get your best hitters the most ABs. I stand by this philosophy above everything else.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:38 PM   #105
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Gordon: Bats Left
Lough: Bats Left
Hosmer: Bats Left

A LOOGY can come in and wipe out the top (ie best run producing portion) of your order with the effectiveness of a closer.
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Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Nightfyre has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.
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