Friday, August 29, 2008

MLB orders Hosmer to sit

Bad news Royals fans. Major League Baseball has ordered the Royals to keep Eric Hosmer off the field and out of the lineup until the grievance followed by the Players Association regarding Pedro Alvarez's deal with the Pirates is resolved. According to the Pirates, Hosmer and the Royals reached an agreement AFTER Alvarez agreed to a deal. The Players Association is saying the deal was reached after the deadline and therefore is not a valid contract. An arbitrator is scheduled to rule on the matter Sept. 10 and until then Hosmer cannot play. Basically, he is done for the year if that's the case. In a worst case scenario Hosmer can be taken from the Royals if it is found that he agreed after the deadline. Dayton Moore says everything is fine. Gee, I wish that were so.

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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Scott Boras: America's #1 Prick

Scott Boras is a greedy, two-faced, jerk wad. There, I said it. It's out there in the public eye. I've bitten the bullett and now I can take the heat. Except, I don't think there will be any once you read what I'm about to write.
Boras and his client (No. 2 overall pick Pedro Alvarez) are refusing to sign the $6MM deal they agreed to with the Pittsburgh Pirates at the signing deadline this year. Boras, like the jackass he is, is advising Alvarez to hold out for more money (according to Baseball America) and is now claiming that he and his client didn't agree to the deal until AFTER the deadline had already passed.
There's just one little problem with that. The Pirates released a statement today saying that if the agreement with Alvarez came after the deadline so did the the one Boras worked out between the Royals and Eric Hosmer. As they should, the Pirates are basically saying "If we don't get our guy then they shouldn't either."
Look, I don't blame the Pirates. If I were them I'd be pissed too. This is another rediculous Boras tactic to get his man more money. The Pirates, on the other hand, aren't biting and are taking a stand against him. Boras has done this before (1993 with Alex Rodriguez) only this time Major League Baseball is standing firm with the Pirates.
Pittsburgh has called out Alvarez as well. After all, he's the one who is employing this clown and allowing it all to go down. Let's just hope that Alvarez clears this up and signs the deal before his name gets dragged through the mud and this whole event gets magnified any more.
Apparently, mulitple sources have confirmed that the Royals did, in fact, work out a deal after the deadline had passed. Let's cross our fingers and hope the Royals aren't forced to give Hosmer up.

Hawaiian Punch named TL P.O.Y.

Just wanted to throw this out there real quick. Kila Ka'aihue has been named the Texas League Player of the Year despite spending the past month tearing up the Pacific Coast League.
It's quite impressive though. Despite being called up to AAA, Ka'aihue's 26 homers still leads the TL.

Royals lose again; will heads roll this offseason?

Dayton Moore sat down with some things to say. What was on his mind was sort of a "state of the Royals address" and was a little uncharacteristic of the man who normally has little to say or give away. Dayton seems to be sort of a read between the lines type of guy. One who, if you pay attention to what he says, can tell you a complete story without saying a word.
Moore said today that Trey Hillman and his staff are sticking around for next year and I agree they should (with the exception of hitting coach Mike Barnett who should be fired). Trey is still a rookie to Major League baseball and should be given a longer leash to work with what he's got.
Dayton placed a great deal of the blame on his own shoulders for how this season has gone. Especially, he says, for the lack of depth the team has in the minors. Look, I agree completely with Moore that the lack of depth has hurt this entire organization immensely for years. I just don't believe this is Moore's fault.
When he arrived in Kansas City this organization was in shambles. Players who didn't deserve to be in AA were at the big league level and there was no depth in the minors. These days, there is certainly more legitimate talent in the minors than there was when he arrived. That's saying something though because it is still a VERY depleted farm system.
It is still going to take several years to build this organization to serious contention, but it is starting to get there in a hurry with Moore and his staff on board. But what I heard from him today sounded like a man who maybe has had his fill of losing already.
Dayton talked numerous times about how the players were also at fault. About how they need to be accountable for the losses and even challenged Hosey to step it up and do better. He said he is determined to build depth in the minors. I believe him, and I think it will start this winter.
He seems to be completely worn out with some of unproductive lumps on the roster. He knows as well as all of Royals nation that there is players on this team that are sinking the ship. There are guys that do not deserve to play major league baseball right now. Guys that aren't strong enough to overcome failure and make their team and teammates better.
That's why I feel we may see some surprise trades over the winter.
Could they possibly deal away a Billy Butler or Jose Guillen? Sure. David DeJesus, despite his productivity, is certainly a hot commodity and highly respected around the league. Maybe even we see a shake up in the rotation? It all could happen. Free agent signings will obviously occur, and while that can help the club a great deal, the biggest improvements would have to come through the draft and through trades.
When Dayton wants to change something he usually seems to get the job done. One good offseason could really help retool the farm system. By all means - let the games begin.

Hosmer has good start to pro career

Eric Hosmer has started off pretty well in his first couple of games at Idaho Falls. He was beaned with a pitch in his first pro at-bat Monday and finished the game 1-for-3 with a double. On Tuesday Hosmer went 2-for-3 with another double and two walks. I know it's just two games, but it does appear the kid is familiar with wood. Hopefully it's the start of something good.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Omaha-East Royals lose again

Okay, okay. I'm starting to feel like a broken record here. Nothing new really, just another Royals loss. Just more of the pitching staff being up and down, Jose Guillen proving his leadership qualities (and lack thereof) and losses piling up in the 'L' column.
During my long trek home yesterday I was listening to the game on radio and thinking about how bad this team is right now. Yeah, they were doing well in Brandon Duckworth's return and ended up winning the game. Still, I couldn't help but think about how upside down this roster has become in the past couple of months.
Jason Smith, Duckworth, Joey Gathright, Jeff Fulchino, Kyle Davies, Mitch Maier, Alberto Callaspo and scores of other guys have been summoned from Omaha the past few weeks. Yeah, some have been on "rehab" work and such, but in my opinion most of those dudes are AAA players anyways. It just goes to show the work Dayton Moore has in front of him.
Maier could be a pretty decent player but the jury has just begun to get a glimpse of what his trial is about. I'm not convinced Davies will ever figure out how the hell to pitch. Hey, haven't the Royals been weeding out pitchers with glaring inconsistencies the past couple of years? MacDougal, Burgos, Sisco, Fat Elvys and others of such effect are the pitchers I'm talking about. Dayton has shook those types of guys for the most part since he arrived on the scene. So it was strange when he made the move for Davies in the first place.
I have to give Hochevar a mulligan here. Yes, he's been very inconsistent but he wasn't twice a first round pick for nothing. Davies, well he's been inconsistent for several years now and I can't see him on the long side of Moore's patience much longer. Remember, Davies wasn't the popular choice for the rotation coming out of Spring Training. That should say something about the organizations feelings for the guy. They're just not sure he's right for the job.
For some reason I see Davies as a great bullpen guy down the road. I just don't think he'll ever figure things out as a starter. Gathright doesn't hit enough to fit into regular duty, though he could be a solid bench option late in games. Fulchino is not going to log a great deal of big league time in his career. MacDougal and Burgos are rarely heard from anymore. Ditto for Sisco. Fat Elvys, who?
Anyways, I hope your getting my point. The Royals are literally toting half a 25-man roster full of AAA baseball players. It's no wonder they've lost 999 out of the past 1,001 games or whatever it's gotten to in the day's since I've been away.
The losses keep mounting and so do my frustrations. I know you guys are feeling the same way I am. Heck, I'm sure the Major League portion of the roster is pretty pissed right now too. (Discout Guillen since that's always his outlook on life.)
Injuries account for most of the mess that has been the month of August. Because the entire organization is banged up right now it's hard to see things getting better before they get worse.
Hitters can't hit. Pitchers can't pitch. Fielders can't field. Pop ups get dropped. Soria blows saves.
I see September in the sights and it doesn't look pretty.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Road trips are not good for blog hosts

Sorry for the posting delays y'all. I've been on the road the last couple of days. I will be home tonight though and there will be a fresh batch of posts! Keep your eye out ... the internet is in sight!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Vittek, Moustakas are hitting

Burlington Royals first baseman Josh Vittek (an undrafted rookie out of Mount St. Mary's) clubbed a pair of homers and had 7 RBI last night to raise his season average to .291 with 8 homers and 33RBI. The 6-foot-4 240 lb. Vittek has been very good thus far at Burlington and could prove to be quite the pick up by the Royals scouting department.
Moose watch
Mike Moustakas went 2-for-4 with a double Saturday night to raise his season average to .271. That's the highest average the Moose has toted thus far and adds to his impressive run as of late to raise his average from .248 a few months ago.
He now has 24 doubles, 3 triples, 21 homers, and 67 RBI in 2008. So far, the kid is proving he can swing it. Should be exciting to see him grow.

Brandon Duckworth to start Sunday

The Royals are expected to recall right handed pitcher Brandon Duckworth from AAA Omaha to make the 1 p.m. start Sunday against the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium.
Duckworth, who pitched last season for the Royals, has spent the entire season at Omaha after failing to make the club out of spring training. The Royals will need to make a corresponding roster move to clear someone from the team's 25 and 40 man rosters to fit Duckworth. It is not known at this time who that player will be.
Personally, I'm happy to see Duck back in the bigs. He's a good guy and someone you root for. Always a great interview and a real intellegent guy. He has the stuff, hopefully he can do more good than bad this time up.

Callaspo returns to K.C.

Alberto Callaspo has been recalled after a stint so sober up, err, a rehab stint at Omaha. Yeah, that's what it was. For "unspecified medical reasons".
I guess that's not had anything to do with his DUI arrest the day before. Maybe he banged up a knee on the pavement or the cops beat him up.
Anyways, he's back in K.C. after Gordon was officially placed on the DL today. Callaspo started against the Tigers at second base.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hosmer to make Pro Debut Monday

Royals 2008 first rounder Eric Hosmer (third overall) will make his pro debut on Monday as a designated hitter for the Idaho Falls Chukars. Hosmer took BP and worked out with the team at Kauffman before Friday's game against Detroit.
The highlight of his BP session was a splash landing homer in the fountains in right. Hopefully that won't be the last time he does it.
Hosmer should have no problem with Pioneer League pitching. He's already acclimated to wood bats and even said he is "more comfortable" using wood because he doesn't put as much pressure on himself to "see how far you can hit it" as you would with an aluminum bat.
There's no word on Tim Melville's start date yet.
I'll keep you updated on Hosmer throughout the remainder of the season. (Aflac)


Kila Ka'aihue is up to his old tricks again. On Friday night the lefty slugger cranked his 9th homer of the season and finished 3-for-4 with two RBI. The performance raised his season average at Omaha to .341. I agree with everyone who voted in my previous poll. September sounds like a good time for some Hawaiian Punch.
By the way
Chris Lubanski also popped his 14th dinger of the year and Omaha defeated Memphis 4-2 at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Gordon likely done for year; Mahay to DL as well

Alex Gordon's injury was found to be worse than originally thought late Friday evening. Upon further review Gordon has a torn muscle in his leg (near his hip area) that has landed him on the Disabled List. Before Friday's game against the Tigers, manager Trey Hillman said it was "not a matter of days, but a matter of weeks" before Gordon is set to return. It appears highly unlikely they would rush him back and risk further injury at the end of a lost season.
In my opinion, we should consider him done for the year.
Mark Teahen will step back in at third base (a position he hasn't played since Sept. 2006) while Gordon is out.
Ron Mahay also was placed on the DL thanks to a lingering foot injury that has kept him inactive for nearly all of August. The injury reportedly occurred Aug. 6 and he has logged little time throwing a baseball since then.
Kyle Davies has been recalled to take Mahay's roster spot and Joey Gathright has made it back from his rehab stint at Omaha and started in CF.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Robinson coming on strong at Burlington

Former 25th-round pick Clint Robinson is starting to heat up at Class A Burlington. The 23 year old first baseman has been knocking the cover off the ball as of late as he clubbed two more round trippers in Thursday's win pushing him to 16 for the season.
The Jefferson City, MO native now has five homers in the last 6 games. He also clubbed a pair of shots on Aug. 16 at Quad Cities. His average has risen to .261 after the 3-for-4 performance Thursday. That's not too shabby considering the Midwest League is regarded as a "pitcher friendly" league.
Last season's Pioneer League MVP, Topps Pioneer Player of the Year and Pioneer All-Star, Robinson hit .336 with 15 HR and 66 RBI for Idaho Falls in '07.
He played collegiately at Troy University.

Tyler Lumsden update (WARNING: May make you puke)

Tyler Lumsden is at it again. I know, I know, you just read about how horrible he has been in my previous post. The thing is, I can't get off my soap box with this guy. Here's his line from tonight's game against Memphis.
0.2 IP 2H 4R 4ER 4BB 1K
OH MY GOD that is horrid. To top it all off he fell to 3-12 overall this year and his ERA jumps back up to 7.24.
I'm left handed. I can get shelled and walk twice as many hitters as I strike out in AAA. Can I play for Omaha and get paid??? Seriously, this guy has to have something wrong. He sucks real, real bad and has no right being in AAA right now. There are more deserving pitchers than this clown.

Royals stomped; Maier has facial fractures

Mitch Maier's gruesome encounter with a baseball to the face while attempting to bunt yesterday has landed him with multiple facial fractures and some serious time on the disabled list. Maier was hit in the right eye and was severely bleeding from the face, however he can see from the eye and should not have any long-term ramifications from the accident.

In other news, the Royals got killed again today 10-4.

Grady Sizemore racked up 7 RBI.

I'm beside myself. I'm leaving it up to you guys to come up with material to describe this one.

I can't speak (let alone type) right now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Slide continues, Royals blow it in 8th

Have I mentioned recently that the Royals went into tonight's game losers of 10 of their last 12? Well, take a wild guess what happened? Yep, they wasted another solid Gil Meche outing and robbed the ace of another win as Ramon Ramirez and (of all people) Joakim Soria were effed up in the 8th for five runs as the Tribe won it 8-5.

K.C. led 5-3 going into the inning. Hillman (despite claiming pitch counts wouldn't affect his decisions to yank pitchers this season) pulled Meche after he allowed just two hits (both homers) in seven innings of solid effort on the hill. In came Ramirez for the 57th time this season and he immediately gave up a Kelly Shoppach solo shot.

After walking a batter and giving up a sac bunt, Hillman summoned the Mexicutioner and he promptly walked another hitter before getting Mexicuted by Franklin Gutierrez on a 91 MPH fastball to make it 7-5 Cleveland. Soria followed that by allowing another run before Hillman finally brought Jeff Fulchino in to record the final out.

It just keeps getting worse as the season goes along. Last year the Royals finished strong. This year they are going south.

Soria blew just his third save of the season. He is now 33 for 36 in save opportunities this year.

As expected, Hochevar hits DL

Luke Hochevar has been placed on the 15 day DL after straining his ribcage before the 6th inning of Tuesday's game against the Indians. Lefty Josh Newman was recalled from Omaha to fill the hole Hochevar's absense creates.
It appears Kyle Davies is preparing to return from Omaha to take back his spot in the rotation, but that still leaves one spot open. One theory is Brandon Duckworth, or possibly right hander Carlos Rosa, who made his major league debut this season against Arizona, would fill the void. It is not believed Kip Wells will fill the void due to a very light work load over the past couple months.
Bob Dutton tossed out the idea of a bullpen-by-committee approach, but that wouldn't make sense as the bullpen is already depleted from injuries and heavy workloads.
Trey Hillmans has a lot to sort out between now and Sunday.

Money well spent? Royals have same record as '07 club

Here we go again. With Tuesday's horrendous 9-4 drubbing by the Indians the Royals are again lost in a losing streak.
This time they have dropped 10-of-12 and have disimproved their overall record to 55-70 - the same exact total as this time last season. So I guess all those millions we used to lure clubhouse favorite Jose Guillen to town has really gone to use. Not only has "Sweet Jose" made friends in the clubhouse and with Royals fans, but he has also "put the team on (his) back" the way he guaranteed he would do earlier in the season.
It's obviously been a great move considering how much better this team is and all. Look, I commend the Royals for at least making moves to get better, but at some point we've got to cut loose of the extra baggage (Gload, German, Smith, Pena Jr. etc) and put real major league talent on the field. Yeah, those are all good guys and all, but they don't help you win games. PERIOD.
Also, I'm not blaming Jose Guillen for all of this either. Instead, the point here is that he shouldn't have been expected to be the "leader" of this team. Guillen is no leader. He cries and whines more than any of the young guys "Butler, Gordon, etc." It's not like his comments are challenging teammates to get better. He's crying and whining about how bad people are to him. If that's what he thinks Dayton Moore and Trey Hillman expected of him when he signed, the guy is more looney than I previously thought.
He's a good player when he wants to be. Right now, he is hitting .251 and talking a lot. Point made.
Mark Teahen is nothing more than a fourth outfielder (which wouldn't be a bad option by the way). He would be solid in that role. At this point, he is in no way a guy deserving of a starting corner outfield position in the Major Leagues. I love Mark by the way. The dude shows up, keeps his mouth shut and plays the game the right way. He's been jerked around by the organization and has yet to get caught crying and whining about it. Right now, he's just not up to par with other starters around the league.
Changes need to happen and soon. Another big bat - a player with real "leadership" if you will - needs to be added to take the pressure off Josey.
I'm looking forward to this offseason.

Hochevar hurt; Wells may move into rotation

Luke Hochevar looked like his normal self Tuesday night- inconsistent. After starting the game with promise he followed it up the remainder of the outing with crappy pitches that yielded home runs to a powerful Indians lineup.

As if it weren't bad enough Leo Nunez stepped in and relieved him by allowing a 3-run jack to Grady Sizemore (no doubt arousing the "Grady's Ladies" section) and the Royals lost AGAIN 9-4.

Oh yeah, Hochevar got hurt too.

A ribcage injury left him nearly speechless in the locker room after the game. He could barely breathe after exiting while throwing warm up pitches before the start of the sixth. According to Trey Hillman, the injury is above his right ribcage and doesn't look good.

Looks like the Kip Wells signing will work for (but probably against) the Royals as he will likely be inserted into Hochevar's spot in the rotation - assuming Luke misses a start which appears highly likely.

Lumsden, Lubanski haven't worked out

Somehow, some way, Tyler Lumsden and Chris Lubanski are still playing AAA baseball. Don't ask me what they've done to deserve the honor. It must be a blessing from the baseball gods.

It never fails, each time I look at Lumsden's stats I sit right there and vomit in my mouth. Not once has it tasted good and, quite frankly, I wish the Royals would do something about it so it doesn't happen again.

Oh, what the hell, let's do it again!

In 2008, Lumsden has gone 3-11 6.92 ERA. In 95 IP he has allowed 123 hits, given up 80 runs, 73 earned, and (here it comes again) walked 51 with just 36 strikeouts.

Oh, God, I need some acid reflux medicine.

The Royals aren't that confident in Rowdy Hardy making it work as he climbs the organizational ladder. Believe me, he couldn't be much worse than this guy. Since coming over from the White Sox in the Mike MacDougal trade, Lumsden has been banged up (both physically and statistically) and thus has sucked more than a Hoover.

Lubanski - you can quit laughing too, son.

Since the Royals took him in the first round he has done nothing but regress. Once a speedy outfield prospect who projected to hit a lot has lost SEVERAL steps and has hit very little.

I have no clue what happened to him, but it kind of makes you wonder what was going on during his wonderful high school days that didn't go on after signing that pro deal. Don't get me wrong, I'm not convicting him of 'roiding or anything like that. I'm just questioning if he still wants it as bad as he did then.

Maybe the Royals just completely whiffed. Maybe it isn't Lubanski's fault at all. Maybe he just wasn't that good to begin with. First rounders fail all the time, but usually 19 year old kids don't start going backwards once they reach pro ball. Most of those who fail just never seem to get any better. In Lubanski's case he went south. Odd.

In 2008, he's hitting .226 with 13 home runs and just swiped his fifth base of the season Tuesday night against Oklahoma. That's not good enough. The Royals are looking to add outfield bats during the offseason. That could push him out of any opportunity to EVER stick in Kansas City.

A change in scenery would probably do both of these guys some good. Right now they are doing the organization none.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Have we gotten off David's, um, Glass?

I was kicked back on the couch this morning watching ESPN replay the same stories like 5,678,986 times in a row when a thought finally hit my mind (no, it wasn't to turn the friggin channel). Have we Royals fans sort-of backed off David Glass over the past year?

It sure seems to be the case. I would appreciate your input on the state-of-the-Royals-ownership status.

Did the Meche signing kind of curtail our anger? Since then he's dropped cash on Guillen and Soria (thank God!) and has paid $$$ for draftees Butler, Gordon, Moustakas, Hosmer and Melville.

Suddenly, I don't seem so irate with the guy? What's the vibe?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Duffy lights out at Burlington

Dan Duffy, rated the No. 5 prospect in the Royals organization by BA, has been nothing short of stellar at Class A Burlington this season. And while it appears unlikely he will earn a promotion this late in the season, there should be no doubt last year's third round pick out of Cabrillo (Calif.) High will be pitching his last few games with the Bees in the coming days.

On Monday the southpaw earned a 1-0 victory over Quad Cities (Cardinals) thanks in part to five innings of two hit ball with seven strikeouts and a walk. Teammate Zach Peterson earned the save with four innings of one hit ball with three K's and a walk.

Duffy improves to 8-4 overall with a solid 2.20 ERA. He did hit a batter and uncorked a wild pitch. However, control hasn't been an issue this season. In 81.2 IP he has struck out 102 while walking just 25. Even more impressive is the fact he's allowed just four home runs.

In his last 10 appearances he's 5-1 1.14 ERA. Not bad for an 18 year old kid even if it is in low A ball.

The Royals organization is sort of resembling an apple tree right now. Slowly it is growing and starting to produce some pretty good fruit - the sweet sort of ripe variety. Over the past several years a great deal of those apples have fallen from the tree and rotted away. Hopefully the fertilizer is working a little better this time around, thus making the harvest a much better one.

Right now Duffy looks really really good. He's still a long ways from the big leagues, so I'll try not to get too far ahead of myself and keep a realistic approach.

Our drought could still use a little more rain.

Wells reaches agreement with Royals

Kip Wells has reportedly reached a tentative agreement to pitch the remainder of the season with the Royals. The former Pirates, Cardinals and Colorado Rockies right hander will bring his 10 years of major league experience to the Kansas City bullpen thus relieving pressure on a heavily worked staff.
The trade of Horacio Ramirez, coupled with Ron Mahay's foot injury, Leo Nunez's health issues and Ramon Ramirez's apparent ailments have Trey Hillman reeling for help beyond the outfield wall. Wells, a starter for most of his career, had logged time in the Rockies pen this year before his release. A career 65-93 4.64 ERA is nothing that brings excitement to anyone, but he shouldn't be much worse than Fulchino or Peralta are right now.
The deal should be a prorated salary that should fall between $90-100,00.

Case in point: You can never have too much pitching

Does anyone remember that Brian Bannister guy who out-smarted hitters, picked up victories and stole the hearts of Royals fans last season? Some of us even made cases to push him to the top of the rotation this year - ahead of Greinke and Meche after going 12-9 3.87 ERA 44BB 77K in 165 IP in 2007.
OK, so maybe not THAT many fans wanted to push him above Greinke, but you get my point.
Well, it seems that same Bannister fellow is on the cusp of hitching a ride to Omaha - or as I call it a "get-your-head-out-of-your -butt" move alas Billy Butler and Mark Teahen have rightfully experienced over the past couple of seasons. After the debacle that took place at Yankee Stadium last night, Bannister probably should have at least a few shirts and dress slacks hanging neatly in the back seat of the car, just in case.

In his last 10 games Bannister is 1-6 8.14 ERA 48 IP 67 H 44 ER.
His strikeouts this year are up (91K's in 25 games in 2008 compared to 77K's in 27 games in '07) but that's the only thing that has improved over last season. He is getting hit hard - really hard.
In 2007 Banny went 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA over 27 appearances. So far in '08 he has went 7-12 5.96 ERA in 25 games with 140.1 innings logged. Now, the wins and losses portion can easily be distorted. Instead let's look at a few other comparables that tell a more telling tale.
2007: 165 IP 156 Hits 76 Runs 71 Earned 15 HR 1.21 WHIP .409 SLG .303 OBA 8.51 Hits per 9
2008: 140.1 IP 166 Hits 99 Runs 93 Earned 22 HR 1.52 WHIP .472 SLG .352 OBA 10.65 Hits per 9
Looking at those numbers makes me wonder if this all is just "a confidence thing" as Trey Hillman has pondered, or else it's possible Banny was just real lucky last year. One thing I have ranted about all year is how many fastballs the Royals staff has thrown in two strike counts in which they are ahead in the count. Big leaguers can hit good fastballs, they don't always hit good breaking pitches.
Of course, guys like Greinke who are blessed with 97 MPH arms can get away with blowing one by a hitter in 0-2 counts - Bannister isn't so blessed. I just don't see him keeping hitters off balance and guessing the way he was last year. I would love to see the pitching charts on this one, I'm pretty sure I would be right on with my guesstimate that he's thrown many more FB's.
Maybe he just needs to see Zack's doctor, but this is my $.02 worth.
He better stock up on socks and underwear.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ka'aihue goes deep, Omaha gets thumped

Kila Ka'aihue has done it again. The Hawaiian sensation went 2-for-4 and crushed his eighth AAA homer of the season in Omaha's 7-3 loss at Oklahoma. That gives him 35 for the season.
Other news
The big league Royals fell to the Yankees 3-2 in extra innings.
Class A affiliate Burlington edged Quad Cities 6-4 on Saturday as well. Second rounder Johnny Giavotella finished 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Clint Robinson (1B) pounded his 13th and 14th homers of the season while Jason Taylor crushed his 17th in the tough Midwest League.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Royals get an A+ in this draft

Let me be the first to point out that geeks like myself probably spend waaay too much time worrying about the Major League Draft. I have spent hours and hours of my life in the past several years trying to study and figure out what teams will do as the draft rolls around.

I have been lucky enough to watch nearly all of the top prep prospects roll through town during the Junior Team USA trials over the past several summers. I remember watching Mike Moustakas spray balls all over the field here two years ago and play a pretty decent ss.

Each year I watch these games (as well as all of the Premier Baseball teams) trying to get a grasp on the types of players Royals scouts will be tracking leading up to the draft.

Let me just say I give Kansas City an A+ in this draft.

Take a look at what they picked up in the first 10 rounds this year and what they are currently doing.

1.) Eric Hosmer - Just signed. The kid is the real deal. Reminds me of Mark Teixiera, only more athletic.

1s.) Michael Montgomery - 2-1 1.76 ERA 7BB 24 K in nine Arizona League games. A 6-foot-5 southpaw, Montgomery is working to develop more pitches to his arsenal. Could be a top of the rotation arm.

2.) Johnny Giavotella - Hit his fourth homer of the season in last night's win. Solid second baseman who is expected to move fast through the farm system. (Pictured above)

3.) Tyler Sample - Big right hander has had a rough time so far in the Arizona League. He's sporting an 0-4 recored, 7.30 ERA with 34 K and 24BB. He also has given up 20 earned runs in 24 IP.

4.) Tim Melville - Just signed. A first-round talent. Regarded the best prep pitcher in the '08 draft.

5.) John Lamb - LHP just turned 18 with a 88-89 MPH fastball and knee buckling change up. Could be an exciting pitcher moving forward as all of his pitches bend and his arm is very lively. Probably will not make his pro debut this year as he sprained his Ulnar Collateral Ligament just before the draft this year. Has only been throwing a curve ball for two years.

6.) Alex Llanos - Switched from SS to OF and is hitting a very light .170 with 10 SB's in AZL.

7.) Jason Esposito - Third base prospect spurned K.C.'s $1.5MM offer to attent Vanderbilt.

8.) Malcom Culver - Has logged just two innings on the mound in the AZL. Also was projected as a power hitting third baseman, however it appears the Royals will pitch him instead.

9.) John Alfaro - Shortstop is hitting .251 with 6 HR in 40 games at Idaho Falls (R-Adv.). Known for defense but is coming around with the bat. Hit .366 17 HR 76 RBI last season at Grayson (TX) JUCO.

10.) Mauricio Matos - The catcher is hitting .250 in just 17 AZL games. Has a lot of projection, though his arm is average right now and he needs to add weight to his lanky 6' 185 lb. frame.


Just landing Hosmer and Melville made this a successful draft, however with the addition of LHP Montgomery (who is a very good prospect) and Giavotella the first four rounds of this draft were excellent for Dayton Moore and the rest of the scouting department. The only disappointment was Esposito. He appeared ready to sign, but then recanted that thought saying:

“I wanted to take it,” he told the New Haven Register.. “But then emotions settled down and you put things into perspective. Do I want to go off and play professional baseball at 17 years old? This is the best possible situation. It will benefit me in the long run.”

Still, the Royals did well.

Royals defeat New York: Minor league highlights

Esteban German scored the game winning run on a wild pitch in the 9th inning and the Royals dropped the Yanks 4-3 last night. The boys wasted a 3-1 lead but still won - strange huh?

Ron Mahay wasn't too sharp and The Mexicutioner made things interesting in the ninth by loading the bases with two outs before getting Jason Giambi to fly out to center to end it. The Royals are now 5-3 against the Yankees this season. Not bad.
Omaha's Chad Spann

Burlington's Alex Caldera picked up his 10th win of the season last night as the Burlington Bees dropped Clinton 7-4. In seven innings of work Caldera, a righty, allowed four hits, struck out eight, walked two and gave up two runs.

2008 second round pick Johnny Giavotella (4) and Clint Robinson (12) each went deep for the Bees. Mike Moustakas finished 3-for-5 to raise his season average to .269.

Wilmington split a doubleheader with Salem winning the opener (6-4) while dropping the night cap (8-6). Blue Rock Cody Strait drove in five runs in the win.

Omaha thumped Albuquerque 8-2 thanks to a three run first and four run third. Roman Colon (4-5) picked up the victory while Yasuhiko Yabuta earned his second save of the year.

Former Red Sox fifth-round pick 3B Chad Spann went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI for the Royals.

Hosmer gets rich

Eric Hosmer has to be a happy camper today as it has been learned the left handed slugging first baseman from American Heritage High was signed to a $6MM straight bonus. That's right, no major league deal, but that wasn't really expected anyways as most major league deals go to college players and not prep athletes.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Eric Hosmer has agreed to a last minute deal with the Kansas City Royals.
Hosmer received a straight bonus deal. The numbers are being sought as we speak and you can find the details here just as soon as they are known.

Hosmer update: No news

We are patiently awaiting the news on Hosmer as he and agent Scott Boras took negotiations right down to the deadline. Check back as we will update you with the news as soon as it goes down!

Guess all is well at NW Arkansas

KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Royals have extended their working agreement with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals through the 2012 season. The Class AA Naturals, owned and operated by Rich Baseball, are currently in their inaugural season at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark.
"We have a tremendous relationship with the Naturals and are excited to call Northwest Arkansas our home in the coming years," Royals Assistant General Manager/Scouting and Player Development J.J. Picollo said. "The ballpark is one of the best facilities in the minor leagues and our players are very fortunate to be playing in such a quality place."
Guess this means that cattle in Springdale can co-exist with baseball stadiums.

Signing deadline approaches

As the 11:59 p.m. signing deadline fast approaches there is nothing new coming out of Kansas City regarding the signing of 1st rounder Eric Hosmer. It has been widely expected that negotiations will go down to the last minute and now that seems what likely will happen.

One player who certainly seems set on bypassing the Royals is seventh round pick 3B Jason Esposito who has committed to Vanderbilt despite Kansas City's lucrative $1.5MM offer. Esposito is expected to replace Pedro Alvarez at the hot corner.

Dan Cortes makes BA prospect hot sheet

On a day when the Royals just bolstered their farm system signing top prep right hander Tim Melville another farm hand earned high praise from Baseball America.

Daniel Cortes, a righty at AA Northwest Arkansas, ranked No. 2 on the BA Prospect Hot sheet this week. The prized piece of the 2006 deal that sent Mike MacDougal to the White Sox in exchange for Cortes and southpaw Tyler Lumsden (thank god Cortes was included - Lumsden has been horrid) Cortes has been very good against very good Texas League hitting this year.

This past week Cortes posted a line of 0-0, 1.50 ERA, 12 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 BB, 17 SO. So it's not hard to see why the Royals were so adament on including him in the trade. It should be interesting to see whether Melville unseats Cortes as the organization's top pitching prospect according to BA next season.

Davies sent down

The well documented saga of ups and downs for Kyle Davies just went south again. The Royals optioned the struggling righty to AAA Omaha today and recalled RHP Jeff Fulchino.

Fulchino will shift to the bullpen, creating an opening in the starting rotation. It is possible Josh Newman will fill this role, though the Royals may instead opt to shorten the rotation and recall Davies in 10 days.
Fulchino is expected to take some innings off the rest of the 'pen with Mahay misssing time with his foot injury.
God knows the relievers need it. R. Ramirez has earned his pay this season with almost 60 appearances and keeping Peralta off the bump can't be a bad thing right now.
Hat tip: Cody Thorn

Matusz signs. Hosmer to follow?

The Oroiles just inked southpaw Brian Matusz from San Diego to a major league deal for $3.2MM.
The Royals are still in intense negotiations with Hosmer, the top high school power bat in the draft but he is not expected to get a ML deal and is believed to be asking for a far greater figure than Matusz's $3.2 mil. Some recent waves have Hosmer going to Arizona State. Hopefully, for Kansas City's sake, that doesn't happen.
Hat tip: Cody Thorn

Melville signed, sealed and ready to deliver?

The Royals just announced a deal with the 4th rounder from Wentzville, Mo. This is a huge signing for K.C. for many reasons. Not only does it bolster their pitching depth down on the farm, but it also makes the haul from the '08 Draft potentially one of the best of any team assuming first-rounder Eric Hosmer comes to terms.

It is being reported Melville, a right hander, agreed for $1.25MM. Not bad since he was widely considered a mid-1st rounder before the draft and slipped for signability issues. Most mid-1st rounders are averaging around $1.5-1.8MM this year.

Kaaihue: Fluke or find?

Throughout the season there have been rumblings throughout baseball that Kila Kaaihue's breakout season is nothing more than a fluke. While that's not entirely impossible I tend to be one who believes the hype.
I mean, the likelihood Kaaihue hits .300 30+hr and knocks in 120 at the big league level realistically is not what I expect him to do. However, after watching this guy hit the past two years at Wichita/Northwest Arkansas, I believe more in his abilities than either of the presedential candidates. Whatever that tells you.
His swing is short and quick, yet it stays in the zone for quite some time. He extends his hands well and really has some drive behind the ball. During the TL All-Star game at Hammons Field this year Kaaihue hit some shots in the Derby and the game that left both fans and players alike in awe.
I'm not talking those high booming shots that take 10 minutes to hit the ground. These were line drives traveling 400+ feet that were in the air all of about three seconds.
In a recent radio interview Royals Director of Player Development J.J. Piccolo called Kaaihue a "late bloomer" and said the 24 year old finally seems to have figured out professional pitching.
With a family full of professionals (Kila's father Kala Sr. and brother Kala Jr. both played in in the minors) the bloodlines point to Kila sticking around for a while.
It's just hard to figure what the Royals brass will do. I mean, there's nothing keeping him from staying in AAA this season with an invite to Spring Training. That seems to be the likely choice as Kaaihue would have to be added to the 40 man roster for a call up. That means someone is kicked off and I'm not sure the Royals are giddy about doing that, especially for a player who would figure to get little playing time down the stretch anyways.
Something has to happen though. If he keeps up with this pace (already 7 dingers at Omaha hitting .339) Dayton Moore will have no choice but to make room for him. Ryan Shealy seems to warrant another opportunity as well. Might that mean Ross Gload is history? I just don't think Hillman is ready to let go.

My first post: Hang in there!

Ok. As a member of the media allow me to bore you for a second.
Let me start off by saying that of all the countless blogs I've read probably the most entertaining to me is Sam Mellinger's Ball Star blog on the Royals. The dude is a great writer and certainly has a top notch blog in my opinion as well. Sorry, just had to get that out there.
I don't expect nor will I try to duplicate what he can do, so keep your expectations low.
The point in this blog is, well, there really is no point. I have forever wanted to reach out to all of those who love/hate the Kansas City Royals the way I do. Let's get this straight though, the hate occasionaly poured on the 'boys in blue' stems purely from frustration. You know what I mean, but I will try to keep the anger under wraps as much as I can.
Wish me luck!
I spend hours upon hours studying the Royals system. I get around to lots of Texas League games, so there will definitely be emphasis on the NWA Naturals (Royals AA) club as well as other prospects coming through the system.
There will be random ranting posts on a little bit of everything. Rumors, transactions, game day stuff. I want to touch on it all and hear what you have to say. Please let me know what I can do to improve this site. I want you to have fun with it!