Friday, August 29, 2008

Is Trey Hillman losing his players?

So now Miguel Olivo says there's NO WAY he'll be back in a Royals uniform next year. That really isn't a big surprise since Olivo came into the year feeling the Royals had lied to him during contract negotiations. Olivo felt the Royals had promised him an open competition for the starting job against John Buck. Instead, the Royals just gave Buck the job and he has since hit .224 with 8 homers and 41 RBI this year.
Olivo, well he's hit .264 with 11 homers and 36 RBI in almost 100 fewer AB's. This is where my breaking point lies. Hillman and the Royals are infatuated with Buck's game calling skills. That is the sole reason why John Buck remains the Royals catcher. That's it. That one thing. Because it sure as heck can't be anything else unless Buck is holding something over the organizations head that we all don't know about.
This isn't the first time we've heard a player say that they have no communication with Hillman or his staff. Jose Guillen apparently had the same gaffe with the guy. Funny thing is he denied it, and now another player goes on the record saying it's true. Makes you wonder if the clubhouse HAS lost confidence in Hillman. Of course, the players aren't going to say it publicly. That's a bad PR move for them and the organization. It's starting to look like there's truth to the theory though.
Buck is a putrid hitter. We all know that. Last year's 16 homer season was nothing more than a fluke. He is Tony Pena Jr. minus the goofy glasses, slider and plus a few more dingers. That's it. He's an eyesore to the lineup. He can't throw base stealers out. He calls a good game though.
Guess that says our pitching staff has no idea how to approach hitters and what pitches to throw in what counts. Olivo, well the dude hasn't had an opportunity to see this staff day in and day out to know what their strengths and weaknesses are.
Olivo has way more power. A potential 20+ HR guy. He also throws out around 50% of those who run on him. That's an impressive stat. The guy gives you a chance at the plate. Buck gives you nothing offensively. He calls a good game though.
John Buck, Ross Gload, Tony Pena Jr., Esteban German - all those players are infatuations of this organization. Those are guys they want to keep. That's why they get no better year in and year out.
The brass in charge better do something quick. I'm afraid of the scab this will create to future free agents.

1 comment:

Mark LaFlamme said...

I watch the Royals through the terrible MLB Extra Innings where they cut you off the moment the game is over. As a result, I never get to see the postgame interviews. That may explain why I never felt any sort of fan connection with Hillman, or maybe it's that he's not the kind of guy people connect with.
I like Olivo and constantly complain to my television set that he doesn't get played enough. I can surely appreciate his frustration there.
At the same time, there are a lot of people who insist the Royals don't have a starting catcher but instead, they have two backup catchers. Olivo's comments point to more than one problem within the organization, I guess I mean to say. Possibly a manager with piss poor communication skills as well as missing talent behind the plate.