Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Royals should focus on offense, not pitching, for 2009

You may think I'm smoking crack when I say this, but the Royals shouldn't feel the urge to pursue a high priced starting pitcher this winter. Nah. If I'm Dayton Moore, I'm spending all of my allowance money on signing/trading for established big-league bats. Not that I'm saying I think the Royals pitching staff is without the need for improvement. But for the first time in a long time the staff isn't the most pressing need on this club right now.

You know what you are going to get from Gil Meche. Zack Greinke is only going to get better. Luke Hochevar is still young and learning how to pitch. When he gets it over his stuff can be filthy. He is only going to improve next year. Kyle Davies has been solid to end the year. He's had spurts of greatness and mediocrity so far. He's definitely in the rotation next year. Who knows about Brian Bannister, but I can't help but think he's closer to the 2007 version than 2008.

If the team can pick up a free agent (not named Brett Tomko or Kip Wells) that can win you 10 games (Tomko and Wells don't fit into that category anyways) then you have depth. This team can afford to wait a few months and avoid a bidding war to sign a pitcher.

The bullpen is going to be in good shape. Barring a trade, Ron Mahay will still be in the mix along with John Bale (who has been great since returning from the DL), Leo Nunez, Ramon Ramirez, Joakim Soria, etc. Here's hoping Jimmy Gobble* will revert back to his 2007 ways.

*I wasn't joking about the 'Gobbler'. I seriously think he was pitching injured longer than we all know. Injuries also exposed him to a larger work load - in a shorter time frame - than he had in '07. If guys can stay healthy and fill those roles he could go back to being a solid situational lefty in '09.

The bottom line is that we can't blame the pitching staff for the woes this season. Not when the offense is still statistically one of the worst in the league. They have been much, much, better than they have been in a long, long, time. They were still aweful in stretches, but, for the most part, they were the reason for what little success there was. Oh yeah, GREINKE SHOULD BE SIGNED NOW...

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