Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Some things to keep your eye on throughout this season

For the true-blue Royals fans out there I decided to put together a list of things to watch for this upcoming season that could very well determine how this club shapes out in the coming years. Some of what I am about to point out isn't going to surprise you. The position battles are certainly something most all of us know about already, but here goes regardless.

  • How will Zack Greinke bounce back from last seasons performance?
  • Can Gil Meche continue to be well worth his salary?
  • Who wins the first base job?
  • Will Billy Butler and Alex Gordon step up and answer the call this season?
  • Where does Mark Teahen fit in on this club?
  • Is Mike Aviles the real deal?
  • Can Daniel Cortes break into the big leagues and contribute?
  • Will Luke Hochevar find consistency?
  • How much does the beer cost at Kauffman this year?
  • I wonder if they have a larger beer selection this year?
  • How will Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas progress?
  • Will anyone sign Mark Grudzielanek (thus giving the Royals a supplemental pick in the June Amateur draft)?
  • Can I take a leak at Kauffman (in the bathroom, fellas) between innings without missing half the game?
  • Who will Royals TV guy Ryan Lefebvre pick another fight with this year (i.e. Milton Bradley)?

This is just a short list that we will get to see answered this year. It's going to be interesting to see how things play out. If you guys have more questions that need to be answered feel free to post a comment on it.

4 comments:

Royals Nation said...

Just discovered your blog today. Keep up the good work! I'll answer some questions in one sentence each:

How will Zack Greinke bounce back from last seasons performance?

- He'll basically replicate what he did last year. The S.T. stats don't worry me; he'll post a 3.6 ERA or so.

Can Gil Meche continue to be well worth his salary?

- I worry about a slight regression, but even if he posted a 4-4.2 ERA, he will have been worth his salary, thus far.

Who wins the first base job?

- Jacobs, unfortunately. Hopefully, the job is Butler's by May.

Will Billy Butler and Alex Gordon step up and answer the call this season?

- Always holding out hope. If they do, it will alter the projections significantly. I'm not expecting a true breakout, but improvements upon last season.

Where does Mark Teahen fit in on this club?

- I've had a revelation, recently. He's probably worth starting in RF over Guillen, although that won't happen. Super-sub/utilityman/fill-in for injury is probably his role.

Is Mike Aviles the real deal?

- His 2008 was a bit of an abberation, but he could continue to post a .280/.320/.420 with good D in his sleep from here forth. So the short answer is 'yes' in that he's a quality everyday SS.

Can Daniel Cortes break into the big leagues and contribute?

- Not this year (though maybe in September). 2010, sure.

Will Luke Hochevar find consistency?

- His peripherals demonstrated that he was unlucky last year. I'll say an ERA around 4.8 for '09.

How much does the beer cost at Kauffman this year?

- Hopefully less, to compensate for the increased overall ticket prices. And because beer at the ballgame is SUPER!

I wonder if they have a larger beer selection this year?

Hopefully - how about a 3-in-1? Has anyone tried that?

How will Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas progress?

Schaum believes Moose will rake in Carolina League this year - I agree. Hosmer will join a talented Burlington crew. Both will rake. Although Hosmer might struggle initially as he hasn't played in cold weather, before.

Will anyone sign Mark Grudzielanek (thus giving the Royals a supplemental pick in the June Amateur draft)?

Highly doubtful. His out of zone rating is awful, but he could still hit .280 in his sleep. Hopefully, someone will step up.

Can I take a leak at Kauffman (in the bathroom, fellas) between innings without missing half the game?

Yes, as long as you use those convenient and horrifically personal urinal troughs! (Someone should create a song about these hilarious devices).

Who will Royals TV guy Ryan Lefebvre pick another fight with this year (i.e. Milton Bradley)?

I hope so!

Levi "Tug" Payton said...

Royals Nation...loved the post brother! Thanks for the kind comments and I appreciate you signing up to follow. Great comments by the way. Couldn't agree with you more. Glad to have you!

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I can't concur with Teahen starting anywhere on this roster. If you honestly believe he should start in RF over Guillen then that invalidates the rest of your post.

Teahen is raking in Spring Training but so what? Everyone is. Even as a full-time player he'd be lucky to post below-average offensive numbers this year. Just watch....if he starts at 2B he'll give up more runs than he'll generate.

He's a dynamic sub. Period.

Levi "Tug" Payton said...

Anonymous, were you referring to me or Royals Nation about Teahen?
Personally, I don't think Teahen is going to be a great defender at second base. He doesn't need to be. He just needs to be adequate. Nor do I think he would ever become a regular starter in right field over Guillen. The reason? Guillen makes too much money. Period.
That doesn't mean Guillen is a better defender. That means Guillen has been a more consistent hitter throughout his career. Let's not pass judgment on each other here. Guillen shows very little hustle and many scouts will agree that he's not a web gem waiting to happen out there.
Granted, Teahen isn't either, but he certainly gives your team a better effort than Guillen ever thought of. Plus, there is no way you can definitively judge Teahen's numbers over any established starter. He has moved from position to position throughout his major league career and has spent so much time focusing on defense that his hitting has lacked. Anyone at the major league level (for proof see Frank White interview, Zack Greinke, etc.) will tell you that Teahen isn't a bench player. He's a legitimate starter. The Royals know this. I can't remember Jose Guillen ever having to learn to play third base, right field, center field, first base and then second base in his big league career.
As for Teahen giving up more runs that he creates for the Royals this season? Well, that's a pretty bold prediction. Especially considering he will likely drive in at least 65-75 runs this year. Let me say this, if I were the manager I would ask you to show me some sort of proof to go against what I have seen this spring. Because that certainly hasn't been the case in big league games the past two months.
Teahen, despite one rocky game (his FIRST one this spring at the new position, mind you), has been a pleasant surprise at second base. Plus, he's drove in WAAAY more runs than he's allowed.
You very well could be right, and I'm not one to jump on anyone's back and tell him his opinion is wrong. I just say we wait and see. I'm not passing judgment. I guess we agree to disagree. :)