Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cool Hand....Nuke?

Hochevar had a lovely Tuesday evening in Colorado Springs. Granted, Colorado, at its elevation, is a launching pad. But Hoch gave up three home runs, eight hits, and NINE earned runs in Omaha's 11-6 loss. That's not exactly going to keep your team in the game. He struck out three and walked three, throwing 4 1/3 innings. His AAA ERA is now a lovely 7.08. Hochevar hurled 97 pitches, 58 of which were strikes. I'm becoming more and more convinced that Hochevar has changed his delivery after seeing a number of Scott Boras coaches. I can dig up the article if anyone would like.

I've had plenty of sample size - over one year to judge Luke Hochevar. My opinions on him have changed drastically in that time span. I believe he's well on his way to becoming another pitcher in a long line of Royals busts. At this increasingly critical time for the Royals - a time where they must develop young prospects - Hochevar has disappointed to all avail.

Moore has himself stated that Hoch has "underachieved" this season. That's quite an understatement.

Hochevar must turn it around - and soon.


Minor Leagues Combined:

W-L Record: 4-8
ERA: 5.12
GS/G: 20/21
IP: 114.1
H: 132
ER: 65
R: 78
HR: 19
BB: 37
K: 112
WHIP: 1.48

AAA Omaha Royals:
W-L Record: 1-2
ERA: 7.08
GS/G: 4/4
IP: 18.1
H: 22
ER: 16
R: 16
HR: 6
BB: 11
K: 18
WHIP: 1.80

AA Wichita Wranglers:
W-L Record: 3-6
ERA: 4.69
GS/G: 16/17
IP: 94
H: 110
ER: 49
R: 62
HR: 13
BB: 26
K: 94
WHIP: 1.47

That's not going to get it done, folks.

Trade Deadline Thoughts

When you see what the Padres and Rangers received for their respective relievers, one can't help but be gravely disappointed at what we received in return. Sure, he's 23, but he's all but proven himself as a AAAA player to this point. Maybe he was rushed, but he had a 1.90 WHIP and 8.38 ERA last year. He's going to have to turn it around and fast for Moore to even consider calling this a good trade.

The more I think about the ramifications surrounding this deal, the more disappointed I am in it. Dayton Moore had better give one hell of a spin in his 5:00 interview on WHB.

And I shouldn't have compared Davies to Pittsley. Comparing the two is out of line. Pittsley at least had a 90-mph. fastball, ha. In the case of Davies, he's a projectable #5 starter. We already have Matt Wright and Billy Buckner stashed at Omaha. A middle reliever.

Meanwhile, Reggie Sanders and Emil Brown are still on the roster. And Joey Gathright is still in AAA. I'm beginning to question the direction of this organization.

Reggie Sanders, Mark Grudzielanek, and Emil Brown are all still on the roster after the July 31 trade deadline, meaning young players like Shane Costa and Joey Gathright still have to be stuck in Omaha, and the young Esteban German is still riding the pine 60% of the time.

We trade a possible top-tier closer, and definite top-tier setup man, for a might-be #5 pitcher posting mediocre numbers - at best - in the National League. He's 23, sure, but the fact is that he has had six years to develop into an MLB-ready pitcher and that clearly has not happened.

Does anyone else see a lack of organizational plan? To me, it's obvious that Moore should have found any way to trade Brown or Sanders, or at least D.F.A. them and trade them, when he had the chance, so the organization can go with what the organization *should* go for.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Grading Moore's Trades

These grades are only temporary and could change in the future. My reviews aren't very scientifically based and are based more on my firsthand opinion. Thanks to the poster sammy17 over at http://royals.scout.com for inspiring me on this topic.

Gotay for Keppinger: F (definite loss)
Gotay is a young player with some upside left. He's hitting .342 and getting on base at an OK clip - considering his batting average. Weak on "D", but an excellent temporary stopgap and permanent backup 2B option. Keppinger hit one three-run slam in Boston, but 99% of the time sucked on ice. Definite "F".

Burgos for Bannister: A- (definite win)
No doubt Bannister has the WHIP and ERA of a #1, while having the "stuff" - and K/9 - of a #3 or #4. Bannister, at 25, could be a longterm solution in the #4 slot. Burgos is still 23, so time is on his side, but he is out the entire season. He's the very definition of a project - shaky at best in the big-league level thus far, but a little more upside than Bannister.

Sisco for Gload: C (even thus far)
Sisco has an overwhelming, but flat, fastball and struggles with control. At 24, he has miles more upside than Gload. Still plenty of time to turn it around. Gload has been overexposed by a veteran-loving manager, and has blocked the development of Shealy and Gathright. If Gload were kept on the bench, he would likely be at .290/.350/.450 instead of .270/.300/.420. Very little power. Still even, since both have produced slightly below replacement value with their respective teams.

MacDougal for Lumsden-Cortes: C- (slight loss)
MacDougal was extremely solid down the stretch last year for the White Sox. That has not continued this year. The definition of inconsistency. Cortes is doing well in A-ball, but Lumsden has struggled mightily playing up a level. We have more upside. They have "good"ness but wobbly and oft-injured "good"ness. Still, thus far, they definitely have the better end of the deal.

Howell for Gathright: C- (slight loss)
Howell was merely "ok" last year and has stunk this year, but the K:BB and K:9 numbers aren't bad. At least not bad enough to suggest he doesn't have lightning good stuff. Still, at age 24, he's only slightly older than Hochevar, and Hochevar likely would have the same success as Howell in the bigs this year. That's scary. Gathright has less upside, and provides an extreme lack of power at a corner-outfield position. Still, Howell has given up far too many hits. It's a slight loss, thus far.

Graffinino for De La Rosa: B- (slight win)
De La Rosa is a stopgap solution, and Graffanino is a backup infielder at best. De La Rosa still has some upside - it makes sense for a team like the Royals giving him a mile in the #4 slot. Just a few too many walks and hits to compensate for it. Anytime you can get a potential big-league #4 starter for a 30-something bench infielder, you go for it. Plain and simple.

Dessens for Odalis, et al: C- (slight loss)
L.A. dumped salary, which ultimately enabled them to nab Schmidt off the free agent wire. They are a much better team after having dumped Odalis. However, we are probably a better team with Odalis, because we are only paying him $3 mil. Odalis has been borderline tolerable as a big-league starter, but is really a AAAA starter best suited in middle relief at the big-league level. Dessens had a 7th inning-set-up-guy-caliber 3.56 ERA for the Dodgers down the stretch last year. Again, with Odalis' slight success in the early decade, and the fact that he was barely 30 at the time, it made sense at the time. Ultimately, it didn't pan out quite as hoped.

Bautistia for Affeldt and Shealy: D (definite loss)
Although it looked like a rip-off at the time. That's baseball for ya. Shealy has disappointed to all avail this season, while only posting slightly below average results last year for a first baseman. Bautista was wobbly at the very best, and likely won't amount to anything other than a 7th guy out of the 'pen in the bigs, but Affeldt has performed as a top setup man in 2007. Definite loss.

Cordier for Pena, Jr.: C+ (slight win)
I'm being friendly to Pena here, since he single-handedly exiled "The Shortstop Who Shall Remain Unnamed" from the starting shortstop position. However, his .280/.300/.350 line equals a negative VORP this season. He was the best alternative within our organization (I'm still not entirely unconvinced German couldn't have manned shortstop fulltime and committed less than 35 errors this season - which, oh by the way, Pena is on pace for over 30 errors this year). Still, errors alone don't tell the whole story on defense (range, arm, and ability to turn the D.P. must be included). I'm giving Pena the temporary pass.

Weighing all the trades evenly:
F 0
A- 10
C 5
C- 4
C- 4
B- 7
C- 4
D 2
C+ 6

A 4.67. So, overall, a "C" if you round up.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Ballad of Scottie

Man, everybody in the Royals' fanbase desperately wants to see Elarton released. Fans are wishing that he would struggle in Omaha, just so Royals' management won't use that one decent start as an excuse to use him in Kansas City this season (*as trade bait*). As for "should Elly stay or should Elly go", it's pretty. darn. unanimous. I almost feel sorry for Scottie.

Here are his combined numbers in K.C., Omaha, and Wichita this season:

88.1 IP (OK, in 18 starts...maybe a little low)
107 H (yikes)
72 ER (wow)
25 HR (that's right, folks......25)
38 BB (hey, that's actually not horrible)
36 K (wait a minute.....it is)
1.64 WHIP (yowza)

For the record, I'm pretty convinced Glass has meddled into the affairs and won't allow for Elarton's release.

But here's Buddy on his boy:

"We'll be watching (tonight)...to see how Scottie pitches". "He can stay down there for another one or two starts". (that was before his July 18 start in Omaha)

Oh, no. I'd rather have LaRue hitting fifth 70% of the time than see Home Run Elarton in K.C. for one more start. Do they actually think they have trade value? And if so, should we schedule Dayton a meeting with Dr. Phil or a meeting with Maury Povich?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Royals Throughout Baseball: An Update

Here is (more or less) a mid-season update on how our Royals are faring throughout Major League Baseball.

Major League Baseball:

Jeremy Affeldt - Colorado Rockies - 4-1, 2.65 ERA, 34 IP, 40 G(who woulda thunk they'd have been on the better end of the Affeldt/Bautista-for-Shealy trade one year later?)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=346793

Gabor "Paul" Bako - Baltimore Orioles - .211 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 109 AB's (2006 Royals Part Deux).

Miguel Batista - Seattle Mariners - 8-7, 4.54 ERA, 103 IP, 18 G, 17 GS (pitching better of late)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=110683

Jose Bautista - Pittsburgh Pirates - .258 BA, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 299 AB's (not bad)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=430832

Carlos Beltran - New York Mets - .267 BA, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 13 SB, 315 AB's (day-to-day most of the year with a nagging quad)

Ryan Bukvich - Chicago White Sox - 1-0, 5.06 ERA, 10.2 IP, 15 G (watch out, Chicago)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=424426

Paul Byrd - Cleveland Indians - 7-3, 4.71 ERA, 93.2 IP, 15 GS (6:51 K:BB....Byrd's "Walk No One" campaign rolls on...)

Shawn Camp - Tampa Bay Devil Rays - 0-2, 5.67 ERA, 33.1 IP, 44 G (struggling a bit after fair start).

Endy Chavez - New York Mets - .292 BA, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 3 SB, 113 AB's (only 3 steals?)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=346795

Johnny Damon - New York Yankees - .249 BA, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 13 SB (Miss this guy, too)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=113028

Matt Diaz - Atlanta Braves - .348 BA, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 181 AB's (bad move letting him slip away).

Chad Durbin - Detroit Tigers - 6-3, 4.25 ERA, 84.2 IP, 17 G, 14 GS (serviceable...it's weird how we despise this guy. For his ineptitude in K.C....how much fault was it his, and how much was it ours?)

Jermaine Dye - Chicago White Sox - .220 BA, 12 HR, 38 RBI, 259 AB's (the beginning of the senior slide?)

Sal Fasano - AAA Syracuse Chiefs - .338 BA, 6 HR, 11 RBI, 71 AB's (.178-1-4-45 with Toronto)http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Sal%2520Fasano&pos=C&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=114031

Ruben Gotay - New York Mets - .317 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 63 AB's (.256-2-13-82 in AAA New Orleans...Gotay-for-Keppinger not looking good thus far)

Tony Graffanino - Milwaukee Brewers - .249 BA, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 169 AB's (borderline replacement-value production from the vet middle infielder).

J.P. Howell - Tampa Bay Devil Rays - 1-3, 6.62 ERA, 35.1 IP, 7 GS (one of only two quality starts a dominating performance against KC...rather embarrassing)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=434442

Raul Ibanez - Seattle Mariners - .270 BA, 6 HR, 49 RBI, 278 AB's (producing well, but the .321 OBP/23 BB are a little low)

Mike MacDougal - Chicago White Sox - 1-3, 6.23 ERA, 21.2 IP, 31 G (starting to come around a bit)

Neifi Perez - Detroit Tigers - .172 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 64 AB's (ahhh...the memories. Thanks, Dave and Dan!)

Desi Relaford - Texas Rangers - 2-for-10 since return from AAA Oklahoma (way to go, Desi! .257-5-44-230 in minors)

Rudy Seanez - Los Angeles Dodgers - 5-1, 3.15 ERA, 40.0 IP, 38 G, 12 BB, 40 K (pitching well in a pitcher's park)

Brian Shouse - Milwaukee Brewers - 1-1, 3.20 ERA, 33 G, 19.2 IP (not bad)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=122195

Kyle Snyder - Boston Red Sox - 1-1, 2.61 ERA, 31.0 IP, 27 G (Despite the pedestrian 24:16 K:BB ratio, it looks like he's found his niche in limited duty. Props to the Red Sox for using him wisely.)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=216897

Matt Stairs - Toronto Blue Jays - .297 BA, 13 HR, 33 RBI, 185 AB's(Who would you rather have manning LF at Kauffman? Him or Emil Brown? Looks like the Stairs-for-Diaz trade was quite a clunker for Moore).

Jeff Suppan - Milwaukee Brewers - 8-7, 4.90 ERA, 112 IP, 18 GS (innings eater)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=122987

Jamie Walker - Baltimore Orioles - 1-1, 3.16 ERA, 31.1 IP, 43 G (wonder if he teaches sidewinder-style out at Mac-N-Seitz)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=123828

Todd Wellemeyer - St. Louis Cardinals - 2-2, 6.37 ERA, 53.2 IP, 23 G, 7 GS (not good once again for the burly righty).http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=425487

Jay Witasick - Oakland Athletics - 1-0, 3.75 ERA, 24 IP, 26 G (21:14 K:BB a little ugly...released by A's on 6/7 and signed with D-Rays on 6/12)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=124482

Jamey Wright - Texas Rangers - 2-2, 5.55 ERA, 24.1 IP, 5 GS (AAAA pitcher)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=124604

Gregg Zaun - Toronto Blue Jays - .226 BA, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 115 AB's (miss this guy)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=124748


*Elmer Dessens - Milwaukee Brewers - 1-1, 6.60 ERA, 15.0 IP, 12 G (Still on 15-Day D.L. with strained shoulder. Expected to return in mid-August)

*Tom Gordon - Philadelphia Phillies - 1-1, 4.82 ERA, 9.1 IP, 9 G, 5 SV, 8 SVO (60-Day D.L. - out with inflammation in rotator cuff...on MiLB rehab assignment)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=114971

*Doug Mientkiewicz - New York Yankees - .226 BA, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 124 AB's (15-Day D.L. with fractured bone in right wrist)

*Dennys Reyes - Minnesota Twins - 1-1, 4.12 ERA, 19.2 IP, 30 G (El Gordo!)http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=121096

*Rondell White - Minnesota Twins - .111 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 9 AB's (15-Day D.L. - left game at Class A rehab assignment because of tightness in injured right calf. Originally scheduled to return after AS Break).


Joe Mays - FREE AGENT - 1-2, 5.16 ERA, 45.1 IP, 8 G with AAA Las Vegas (LAD) (how could Allard sign this guy even for a million? Glad those days are over)

Kerry Robinson - FREE AGENT - .250 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 28 AB's (Released by Boston, hasn't been picked up yet)

Kelly Stinnett - FREE AGENT - (.182 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 44 AB's with St. Louis. .196 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 102 AB's with AAA Las Vegas - LAD)


Brent Abernathy - AAA Columbus Clippers (WAS) - .261 BA, 2 HR, 24 RBI, 8 SB's, 226 AB's combined in minors)

Chip Ambres - AAA New Orleans Zephyrs (NYM) - .283 BA, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 276 AB's (he's a producer!)

Steve Andrade - AAA Durham Bulls (TB) - 2-2, 4.22 ERA, 42.2 IP, 25 G

Miguel Asencio - AAA Round Rock Express (HOU) - 1-3, 7.61 ERA, 36.2 IP, 26 G

Denny Bautista - AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox (COL) - 0-1, 3.72 ERA, 36.1 IP, 28 G (2-1, 19.06 ERA, 7 G, 5.2 IP with parent club)http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Denny%2520Bautista&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=429714

Jonah Bayliss - AAA Indianapolis Indians (PIT) - 1-0, 8.44 ERA, 4 G, 5.1 IP (4-3, 7.53 ERA, 34.2 IP, 38 G with big club...struggling mightily)http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Jonah%2520Bayliss&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=435058

Chris Booker - AAA Columbus Clippers (WAS) - 1-3, 3.96 ERA, 36.1 IP, 36 G (always remember him getting shellacked in Baltimore in 2006. Pretty much my only memory of him).

Juan Brito - AAA Columbus Clippers (WAS) - .187 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 91 AB in part-time duty with Columbus)

Dee Brown - Oakland Athletics - 0-for-1 thus far (9 HR, 50 RBI, .283 BA, 247 AB's combined for AAA Tucson [ARI] and AAA Sacramento [OAK])

Ambiorix Burgos - AAA New Orleans Zephyrs (NYM) - 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 4 G (on Minor League D.L. with elbow soreness...could be out for the year if he opts for surgery)http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Ambiorix%2520Burgos&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=434586

D.J. Carrasco - AAA Tuscon Sidewinders (ARI) 3-7, 5.22 ERA, 15 GS, 18 G, 88.0 IP (getting knocked around a little...decent BB:K)http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=D.J.%2520Carrasco&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=425647

Alberto Castillo - AAA Norfolk Tides (BAL) - .253 BA, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 87 AB's (.174 BA, 0 HR, 1 RBI in 23 AB's with Baltimore)

Travis "Gookie" Dawkins - AAA Tacoma Rainiers (SEA) - .253, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 269 AB's

Mike DiFelice - AAA New Orleans Zephyrs (NYM) - .261 BA, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 203 AB's (wasn't he Runelvys' personal catcher in his brief tenure in K.C.?)http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Mike%2520DiFelice&pos=C&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=113358

Scott Dohmann - AAA Durham Bulls (TB) - 4-1, 2.40 ERA, 41.1 IP, 31 G (D'oh! Starting to become a AAAA)

Nate Field - AAA Albuquerque Isotopes (FLA) - 6-3, 1.97 ERA, 32.0 IP, 30 G, 10 SV

Alexis Gomez - AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox (COL) - .280 BA, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 150 AB's

Roberto Hernandez - AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees (NYY) - 0-4, 3.29 ERA, 65.2 IP, 13 GS combined with Pawtucket and S-WB

Bob Keppel - AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox (COL) - 5-5, 5.99 ERA, 67.2 IP, 12 GS, 14 G (32:23 K:BB not good)

Jeff Keppinger - AAA Louisville Bats (CIN) - .373 BA, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 237 AB's combined with AA Sarasota and AAA Louisville (2-for-8 in brief stint with Cincinnati)http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Jeff%2520Keppinger&pos=2B&sid=t416&t=p_pbp&pid=433898

Matt Kinney - AAA Fresno Grizzlies (SF) - 4-8, 5.04 ERA, 96.1 IP, 17 GS (Great K:BB ratio - 86:23)

Joe McEwing - AAA Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS) - .253, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 273 AB's (Allard's boy doing OK in everyday role, but not warranting a call-up)http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Joe%2520McEwing&pos=2B&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=136607

Donnie Murphy - Oakland Athletics - 0-for-6 with Oakland thus far (.327-3-19-159 in AAA Sacramento)

Luis Ordaz - AAA Indianapolis Indians (PIT) - .299 BA, 1 HR, 24 RBI, 251 AB's

Mark Redman - AAA Oklahoma RedHawks (TEX) - 3-4, 4.72 ERA, 55.1 IP, 9 GS combined with AAA Richmond (ATL) and new team. (0-4, 11.63 ERA, 21.2 IP, 6 G, 5 GS with Atlanta....not good)

Andrew Sisco - AAA Charlotte Knights (CHW) - 0-3, 4.30 ERA, 3 GS, 11 G with Charlotte (0-1, 8.36 ERA, 14 IP, 19 G...humble pie for the cocky lefty? I hope so)http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Andrew%2520Sisco&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=434878

Rich Thompson - AAA Tucson Sidewinders (ARI) - .285 BA, 1 HR, 23 RBI, 5 SB, 179 AB's (fleetfooted outfielder doing OK...right at home in AAA)http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Rich%2520Thompson&pos=OF&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=430829

Donnie Sadler - AAA Tucson Sidewinders (ARI) - .216 BA, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 97 AB's (0-for-1 with Arizona)

Jorge Vasquez - AA Frisco RoughRiders (TEX) - 1-1, 3.92 ERA, 20.2 IP for Frisco (1-1, 3.41, 29 IP combined in minors)

Dusty Wathan - AAA Ottawa Lynx (PHI) - .279 BA, 0 HR, 6 RBI combined for Reading and Ottawa

Mike Wood - AAA Oklahoma Redhawks (TEX) - 7-1, 2.44 ERA, 10 GS, 11 G, 66.1 IP (kicking butt in AAA)

Mexican League

Jose Lima - Mexican League - Saraperos de Saltillo - 11-3, 3.57 ERA, 131 IP, 18 GS (it's Lima Time all over again in Saltillo)

Mendy Lopez - Mex. League Monterrey Sultans - .291 BA, 18 HR, 53 RBI, 244 AB's (meet Mendy Lopez, Mexican League HR champ)http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Mendy%2520Lopez&pos=3B&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=133741