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Old 12-19-2013, 12:45 PM  
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2014 Royals Repository

With my 6,000th post on ChiefsPlanet (it only took me 12 years to get here), I bring you: The 2014 Kansas City Royals Repository.

To be discussed here: All things Royals, as they attempt to post another winning season and make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 1985.

25-man RosterAvailable HERE

AL Central Standings:

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Duncan's Top 20 Royals Prospects
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:57 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
I want to know how much production we get from 3b, SS, and 2b. It has to get better, right? Right?
Can't get much worse at any of those spots.

Infante at 2B is an upgrade over a full season from what they get a year ago. I'm not sure he hits .300 for KC, but I'd feel good about his ability to hit .280 and OPS .725. Considering KC got a .243/.296/.304 line from its 2B in 2013, that's a HUGE upgrade.

At SS, I think/hope we've seen Escobar's floor. His line doesn't kill you if he's hitting 9th. In fact, he was pretty solid while hitting 9th in the lineup .282/.297/.352. Those aren't all-star numbers, but paired with his defense, they're just fine. He's a career .282/.298/.369 hitter out of the 9th spot. That would be about an 80 point boost over what you got out him in 2013.

And as for 3B... Moustakas also really can't be much worse, and they have significant insurance for him should he falter again. They have avoided the situation they started 2013 with, where they had no viable alternatives to Moustakas in the organization.

Danny Valencia is a strong option against LHP at 3B, which is one of Moustakas's biggest weaknesses. He also could play everyday if needed.

Bonifacio also provides nice flexibility at 3B, now that he isn't pigeon-holed at 2B.

I really think they get better production out of all three spots.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:00 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by duncan_idaho View Post
The starting pitching also is improved at the 4 and 5 spots, with one of the young pitchers (Duffy, Ventura or Zimmer) providing a major upgrade over what was received out of those spots in 2013.

Overall: I'll call 91-71. It's aggressive, but I think the offense has improved more than many think and I think the starting pitching takes a smaller step back than many think.
Yeah, if 1 or 2 of the young guys blow up, they can easily carry us up to at least 91 wins, and that could be enough to possibly win the division if the Tigers take a step back as expected (hoped).
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:00 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by bsp4444 View Post
Two positive predictions from two of my favorite Royals posters. I, too, think the offense will rebound and the pitching will not suffer too badly. I wonder how much better the Indians will be, though...
I don't know that Cleveland will really be improved. I think they're a little worse.

I expect Asdrubal Cabrera to bounce back and be better than he was in 2013, when he was terrible. But Bourn and Swisher are both older guys and carry no guarantee of a return to form.

The pitching staff is noticeably worse without Jimenez, who was their ace down the stretch, and Kazmir, who was a solid back-end guy.

Unless Cleveland does something unexpected - like signing Masahiro Tanaka - that team takes a step back, IMO.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:13 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
Yeah, if 1 or 2 of the young guys blow up, they can easily carry us up to at least 91 wins, and that could be enough to possibly win the division if the Tigers take a step back as expected (hoped).
Yeah. People forget that last year's rotation carried 204 1/3 shitty innings from Wade Davis and Luis Mendoza in the 4/5 spots (or about 2/3 of the IP you expect from your 4/5 starters).

Collectively, the Royals got this line from the 4/5 starters (includes Davis, Mendoza, Chen - who was good but not great - Duffy, Ventura and Will Smith):

335 1/3 IP
173 ER
4.64 ERA
496 BB/H allowed
1.48 WHIP

Worst offenders - by far - were Davis and Mendoza. 5.42 ERA and 1.66 WHIP from those guys in 204 1/3 IP as starters.

Rest of the guys combined for a 3.44 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.

There were several weights around the teams neck in 2013. Most have been eliminated (Francoeur, Getz, Mendoza) moved into less impactful/hurtful roles (Davis) or insured against (Moustakas).

SIDE NOTE: This is a great example of WHY Wade Davis should have an extremely short leash if he opens the season in the rotation, and why I'd still look at bringing in one more back-end veteran pitcher.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:20 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by duncan_idaho View Post
Yeah. People forget that last year's rotation carried 204 1/3 shitty innings from Wade Davis and Luis Mendoza in the 4/5 spots (or about 2/3 of the IP you expect from your 4/5 starters).

Collectively, the Royals got this line from the 4/5 starters (includes Davis, Mendoza, Chen - who was good but not great - Duffy, Ventura and Will Smith):

335 1/3 IP
173 ER
4.64 ERA
496 BB/H allowed
1.48 WHIP

Worst offenders - by far - were Davis and Mendoza. 5.42 ERA and 1.66 WHIP from those guys in 204 1/3 IP as starters.

Rest of the guys combined for a 3.44 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.

There were several weights around the teams neck in 2013. Most have been eliminated (Francoeur, Getz, Mendoza) moved into less impactful/hurtful roles (Davis) or insured against (Moustakas).

SIDE NOTE: This is a great example of WHY Wade Davis should have an extremely short leash if he opens the season in the rotation, and why I'd still look at bringing in one more back-end veteran pitcher.
Good Lord. If ever there has been a case of addition by subtraction, you've just spelled it out. Looking at those names and their associated numbers, it's amazing we were as good as we ended up being.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:24 PM   #201
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It shows you why they paid a king's ransom for James Shields. Getting a guy to lead the AL in innings with a 3.15 ERA. Those guys are impossible to find, certainly they're impossible for our franchise to sign on the open market. Oh and this is the part where I theorize once again that Hochevar could probably out-do those numbers from our back end.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:09 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
It shows you why they paid a king's ransom for James Shields. Getting a guy to lead the AL in innings with a 3.15 ERA. Those guys are impossible to find, certainly they're impossible for our franchise to sign on the open market. Oh and this is the part where I theorize once again that Hochevar could probably out-do those numbers from our back end.
Luke Hochevar's career line as a starting pitcher:
5.44 ERA
1.41 WHIP
758 1/3 IP.
812 Hits allowed
254 BB

Luke Hochevar is what he is as a starting pitcher: Not good. Terrible, in fact. Flirting with being the worst SP in major league history to throw as many innings as he was allowed to throw.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #203
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We've already discussed FIP data and the writeup from the Boston blogger who noted his pitch selection changes..... and you said it doesn't apply to him. That's where we left it, agree to disagree style.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:05 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by duncan_idaho View Post
Luke Hochevar's career line as a starting pitcher:
5.44 ERA
1.41 WHIP
758 1/3 IP.
812 Hits allowed
254 BB

Luke Hochevar is what he is as a starting pitcher: Not good. Terrible, in fact. Flirting with being the worst SP in major league history to throw as many innings as he was allowed to throw.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:07 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
We've already discussed FIP data and the writeup from the Boston blogger who noted his pitch selection changes..... and you said it doesn't apply to him. That's where we left it, agree to disagree style.
Yeah, history suggests Hoch would revert ala Wade Davis.

However, I do hope a rival executive shares your optimism.

(Note: I'd love it for Hoch to prove me wrong here, but I highly doubt that occurs)
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:22 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
We've already discussed FIP data and the writeup from the Boston blogger who noted his pitch selection changes..... and you said it doesn't apply to him. That's where we left it, agree to disagree style.
I bought the "pitch selection" changes argument once before on Hochevar, and that was with a pitch mix much more aligned with success as a starting pitcher (fastball-slider is much more commonly successful than fastball-cutter, what he went to this season).

I said some guys can't be looked at with FIP. Some guys constantly outperform it, and some guys constantly underperform it.

FIP is a great way to explain outlier seasons. If a guy who has been good over the course of his career has a really bad year and his FIP is more in line with his traditional numbers, it helps explain the outlier. If a guy who has been bad over the course of his career has a really great year and his FIP is way higher than his traditional numbers, FIP help explains the outlier.

But when your sample size is as big as Hochevar's is at this point, it's unlikely that him UNDERPERFORMING compared to FIP is ever going to change.

I'd love for the guy to turn into Chris Carpenter and figure things out around age 30 after adding a cut fastball, but the odds against that are just incredibly low.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:49 PM   #207
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Anyone want to put up their super-early predictions? We all can reserve the right to change our minds up to the end of spring training.

Last year I said they were roughly an 85-86 win team and would barely miss the 2nd wild card. I do not believe the Royals over or underachieved (though they were unusually healthy), a few players did well and a few did poorly but overall it was pretty much as expected. (Though if you want to be glass half-full, throw away May and look how good the record is then)

I believe that on paper, if there are no other significant moves, then the Royals have improved by about 3 games even with the Loss of Santana. Replacing our 2B black hole with a credible hitter makes an enormous difference, and we also won't have to watch a few months of Frenchy. Vargas probably helps mitigate some of the loss in the rotation. Those moves are probably worth about 4 wins, and I knock one win back off by assuming we won't be as lucky with the DL this season; someone important will miss some time.

So, 88-89 wins. I also think the Tigers got worse on paper, but it won't be quite enough. (though this season we won't need to be quite as lucky to catch them as we needed in 2013) The division race will not be lost until September, the Royals will grab the last wild card and play for the right to face whoever the best team in the AL ends up being in the ALDS, probably Texas.
90-72 - DONE!
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:42 PM   #208
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Jim Duquette ‏@Jim_Duquette 5h

A sleeper team interested in Morales, as confirmed by a source, are the Royals - love that lineup with him in the middle of it !!
Umm....Interesting.

Everyone knows this happens if Butler is traded...for what pitching?
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:07 PM   #209
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Morales isn't an upgrade from Butler. He has only had 3 seasons out of 8 where he's played 130+ games. He's more injury prone than LoCain and plays DH for pete's sake. It's not like he's throwing his body around against the CF Wall. He just rejected a 14 mil - 1 year deal so he won't be cheap.. AND would cost a draft pick.

I guess if we want to get older, more expensive, take a huge dive in OBP, and lose a draft pick to acquire a guy that we basically already have at a position that we don't need. Then sure...

to me... He makes little sense.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:09 PM   #210
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Morales isn't an upgrade from Butler. He has only had 3 seasons out of 8 where he's played 130+ games. He's more injury prone than LoCain and plays DH for pete's sake. It's not like he's throwing his body around against the CF Wall. He just rejected a 14 mil - 1 year deal so he won't be cheap.. AND would cost a draft pick.

I guess if we want to get older, more expensive, take a huge dive in OBP, and lose a draft pick to acquire a guy that we basically already have at a position that we don't need. Then sure...

to me... He makes little sense.
If we are getting Morales and also trading Butler for a (unnamed) player then I'd take it.
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