Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is it a coincidence the Royals are playing better the past two weeks?

Watching Tuesday night's win - the fifth in the past six games - I couldn't help but think about how funny it is all these players are all of a sudden hitting the cover off the ball.

The thing about all of this is ... it makes me wonder if Dayton Moore's decisions to "make changes" this offseason will be influenced by the final 20 games of the 2008 year. I mean, put yourself in his shoes. I know that you can't judge a player by a short hot streak in mop up time against other September callups. Or can you?

I did't even have to see Ryan Shealy hit his first homer of the year before I knew he would fall into favor with Trey Hillman. You know what convinced me of this? It was Shealy's first game with the team when he saved two throwing errors (almost back-to-back) by coming off the bag, making a nice grab, and applying the tag while twirling through the air doing his Jason Taylor on 'Dancing With the Stars' immitation.

At that point I remember telling the fellow sitting right beside me, "Hillman just sprung a man crush right there." Wouldn't you know it, Shealy nearly banged a homer in his first at-bat, he did homer later in the game, and has now hit four in his past five games.

The dude is white-hot right now. He's looking like the power slugging first baseman Dayton Moore thought he was trading Jeremy Affeldt and Denny Bautista to get. I hope to God he is evolving into that guy. This lineup needs it.

This organization needs his attitude in that clubouse. Shealy is one of the good guys in baseball - a perfect contrast to Jose Guillen and his wonderous attitude.

More interestingly, Mark Teahen has began to hit. His average is UP to .253 before Tuesday's game and he now has hit 14 homers. His fate with the organization is going to come down to a matter of how long the Royals are willing to wait on the mold to finish taking shape.

It's going to be interesting to see whether Moore sticks to his guns and cleans house, or if he will be willing to potentially throw away another season trying to figure out who the players on this roster really are.

These little hot streaks are enough to drive a GM and skipper crazy. One second they look like world beaters, the next it appears they couldn't win a game with a genie and 1,000 wishes.

I don't think the bulk of the moves will happen until spring training in March. Shealy has earned a chance to make the 2009 club. Ka'aihue too. Davies, Hochevar, Aviles, Butler, Gordon, Callaspo, Guillen's membrane ...

... ahh ... so many questions left unanswered.

1 comment:

Mark LaFlamme said...

It's just baffling. All the things we prayed for in summer's infancy -- good defense, hot bats from those who are supposed to have hot bats, Kila getting some playing time, suddenly come to fruition in mid-September. These Royals are more bewildering and unpredictable than any in recent memory. They are the collective Sybil of Major League baseball.