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Old 04-06-2003, 10:47 AM  
redbrian redbrian is offline
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Team philosophy…I like it.

"Pentland wants the Royals to run deep counts and create offense, not just through batting average and power, but with a pesky overall approach that will make a pitcher squirm. By moving runners and not being afraid to hit with two strikes, the Royals hope to compensate for not having a bevy of home run hitters.

"It's very early, but the signs of what we're trying to accomplish are there," Pentland said. "We just have to maintain our focus and not get outside of what we can do."

The Royals certainly didn't pound the ball in three of their first four games. But they did enough offensively against Mark Buehrle, Bartolo Colon and Jason Davis to give starters Runelvys Hernandez, Jeremy Affeldt and Chris George some margin for error.

Through four games, the Royals were hitting .287 with three home runs. The big offensive sequence was a seven-run rally in the eighth inning Thursday. All the runs were scored with two out and came after Joe Randa, Mike Sweeney and Desi Relaford had reached base with a tenacious approach at the plate, which symbolized what Kansas City is trying to do offensively. "

I was never a big fan of the home run game, and felt it was a big mistake to make the park smaller.

During the glory years the Royals were built for speed, and played an aggressive style of ball both at the plate and on the bases.

It was not until George learned to hit for the gaps that he really started to become a hitter.

I would love to see this type of ball return to mlb.

Home runs are way over rated (unless they are in the park).
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Old 04-06-2003, 11:31 AM   #2
keg in kc keg in kc is offline
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Re: Team philosophy…I like it.

It's been a great approach so far. I wouldn't agree so much with the comment about how they "didn't pound the ball in three of their first four games". I'm more concerned with total base runners than simple hit totals, and through 5 games, they have averaged at least one baserunner per inning each and every day: 11 in the first game (7 hits/4 BB), 9 in the second ( 6 hits/3 BB), 23 in the third (16 hits/7 BB), 13 in the fourth (8 hits/5 BB) and 16 yesterday (12 hits/4 BB).

One of the most startling numbers IMO is the ratio of walks to strikeouts. Through five, they have walked 23 times against just 17 Ks.

As for making pitchers 'squirm,' they've done that and then some. They've faced three elite-level starters so far, and only one has gotten into the 7th inning, that being Sabathia yesterday, and his pitch count was over 100. Buehrle and Colon both approached 100 in just six innings.

One of the most impressive things to me is that we've now beaten both Buehrle and Sabathia, pitchers who traditionally give the Royals FITS, with a capital 'F'.

Team batting average, according to ESPN, is .308, the team on base percentage is .405 and the team's slugging precentage is .447. Almost unbelievable IMO.

(and those numbers pale in comparison to what our pitchers have done through 5 games -- that's the most encouraging thing)
Quote:
I was never a big fan of the home run game, and felt it was a big mistake to make the park smaller.
I heard an interview with Baird a couple of weeks ago, and apparently they're planning on moving the fences back out.
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Old 04-06-2003, 11:40 AM   #3
redbrian redbrian is offline
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I heard an interview with Baird a couple of weeks ago, and apparently they're planning on moving the fences back out.
That would be a great thing......I hope they stop there and don't bring back turf. Although turf makes a faster game I like the aesthetics of grass much better. I can't remember an opening day when the park looked better.
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Old 04-06-2003, 12:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by redbrian


That would be a great thing......I hope they stop there and don't bring back turf. Although turf makes a faster game I like the aesthetics of grass much better. I can't remember an opening day when the park looked better.
I haven't heard anything indicating they plan to put turf back in.
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Old 04-06-2003, 03:03 PM   #5
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Old 04-06-2003, 08:36 PM   #6
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By the end of April, we'll know about our young staff. That will be 4 times through the rotation and the scouts will have their strengths/weaknesses pinpointed.

The "deep counts" strategy is something I have screamed about for years (got so tired of 6 pitch innings when the Royals were batting last year). It wears the starter out faster and gets into the pen. In a 4 game series, it sets up the other team for a bullpen meltdown.
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Old 04-07-2003, 02:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oxford
By the end of April, we'll know about our young staff. That will be 4 times through the rotation and the scouts will have their strengths/weaknesses pinpointed.
We talk about them as "young" -- and they are age-wise -- but they all had substantial major league experience before this year. Runelvys Hernandez had a dozen starts last season, pitching 74 innings. Asencio appeared in 31 games last year, starting 21, and pitched 123 innings. Affeldt pitched in 34 games last year, starting 7, and threw 77 innings. And George had 19 starts between '01 and '02, going for 102 innings. These guys have all thrown more than enough in the majors to be well-scouted.

That's not to say they won't have some rough outtings, they definitely will, but we're not talking about guys coming up from AA or AAA that nobody on the major league level has seen yet. The only real mysteries are in the bullpen, and that's a little different. And with that, MacDougal and Bukvich both have the kind of nasty stuff that can shut down lineups if they're throwing strikes. There aren't a lot of hitters who can regularly hit upper 90s fastballs with movement, and they both have some wicked breaking stuff on top of that. MacDougal, particularly, looks like the real deal, but Bukvich isn't far behind. They could end up being a devastating setup/closer combination, given time.
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Old 04-07-2003, 01:50 PM   #8
Chris Meck Chris Meck is offline
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Absolutely.

It appears that the Royals' philosophy of the last decade of draft pitching, pitching, and more pitching is FINALLY working out. I guess it was a matter of the law of averages. The Rosado's and Pittsleys derailed it for awhile, but here we are.

These guys have good stuff and throw strikes. As long as they continue to throw strikes, I don't see any reason for a big swoon.

Hernandez is 2-0 with a .69 freaking ERA. Macdougal has 3 saves in 3 opps. and throws 99 MPH. That ain't smoke and mirrors.

Stay healthy. Throw strikes. That's all they've done and all they have to continue to do.

It should also be mentioned that Pena, being a former catcher, appears to be an excellent handler of his pitching staff. He was absolutely the RIGHT guy to hire to oversee this young staff. Kudos there.

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