Thursday, April 2, 2009

Poll Results, Week 3: Royals Win Total

A record forty (40) people cast their (final) votes for the Royals win total in 2009, and the results were roughly what I expected. It's worth noting that PECOTA projected 75 wins (and a fourth place finish) for the Royals in 2009, while CHONE projected 71 wins for this year. How did The Royal Treatment readers and followers feel?

Less than 70: 0 (0%)
70-71: 0 (0%)
72-73: 1 (2%)
74-75: 1 (2%)
76-77: 1 (2%)
78-79: 7 (17%)
80-81: 6 (15%)
82-83: 8 (20%)
84-85: 10 (25%)
86-87: 0 (0%)
88-89: 2 (5%)
90 or more: 4 (10%)

How I calculated the average prediction was add the middle of each vote. For example, I counted each vote for 78-79 victories as a vote for "78.5" wins. As for "90 or more", I decided to simply project 90 wins. Bluntly, it's quite a stretch to predict the Royals are going to win much more than 90 games this year. I understand some fan bias (and homerism) is to be expected - among yours truly, included - but it's just a little far-fetched to predict we beat the odds by more than 20 or so games. I'm not trying to downplay anyone's (optimistic) votes, but it would certainly be well above and beyond initial expectations.

Nonetheless, here is how the scores stack up:

Average score = 82.45 wins. So rounding down, that's 82 wins. Their first over-.500 season since 2003.

Question: Will the recent pitching moves of Ponson and HoRam being placed in the rotation and Hochevar and Bannister being sent to AAA Omaha affect the season win total at all?

More questions:

  • How can Trey Hillman distribute playing time differently to overcome the (somewhat) disappointing CHONE and PECOTA projections for 2009?
  • Can we expect Mark Teahen to fulfill (possible) expectations and approach his 2006 level of hitting?
  • Will Olivo and Buck truly combine for over 500 plate appearances again, this season?
  • Will Ryan Shealy, Brayan Pena, and Tony Pena, Jr. make the club and receive significant playing time?
  • Will Kila Ka'aihue even come remotely close to replicating his monster Minor League numbers of 2008, earning a possible call-up sooner than expected?
  • Will Billy Butler get extended playing time at first base, displacing Mike Jacobs to a more valuable role in designated hitter?

All worthwhile questions worth pondering. Those questions might significantly affect our win total in 2009.

Here is some more recent news:

- Gload sent to the Fish for a Player to be Named. An obvious move. Too bad we owe a significant amount of his salary, although if we could trade Tyler Lumsden for a player even of Jordan Parraz' caliber, then I'm anxious to see what we can net in return for the gritty utilityplayer.

- Joel Peralta released. His HR/FB rate was flukish in 2008, and I expect him to fulfill an organization's need as an effective 5th or 6th middle reliever, soon. I think a 4.5-5 ERA certainly isn't out of the question, this season.

- Here is the complete list of Minor League players who have been released by the organization:

RHP Joe Augustine, RHP Casey Feickert, RHP Paul Raglione, LHP Anthony Bradley,
LHP Jesse Carver, LHP John Foster, LHP Steve Gilgenbach, LHP Tim Huber, LHP
Orlando Rada, LHP Josh Ruhlman, 1B Devery Van De Keere, OF Brett Bigler, OF
Steve Boggs, OF Brad Correll, OF Warren McFadden

Here is what I posted over on Royals Corner about the cuts:

A little surprised at the release of Raglione, who was the #50 ranked prospect on Royals Corner prior to the 2008 season. Some of these guys were obviously well older for the levels (such as Foster & Van De Keere). A little surprised at the Bradley release...the random Omaha promotion of '07 was a little bizarre. Bigler, I thought, held his own at an advanced level last year. Correll hit well, although he was old for the level. I read some snippets about Huber following last year's draft. Other than that, I remember reading little to none about these guys. This *has* to be difficult for them, though.

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