Thursday, May 20, 2004

I'm not sure if its the best idea, but I'm definitely curious to see how Zach Greinke performs in his major league debut on Saturday. In typical Royals fashion, he's opening his career on the road against a team the Royals cannot beat. But if he's everything the baseball literati say he is, he'll do just fine. His minor league stats this year have been every bit as impressive as last year's gaudy numbers (see Robert Dudek's look at AAA pitchers if you want more proof).

The New York Times has a feature piece on Carlos Beltran that doesn't have anything juicy ornew to offer, but at least he's getting good press in the city where he'll be playing next year (and maybe this year).

Two wins in a row with the help of some excellent bullpen work and some timely hitting. Conventional statistics don't seem to be capturing how well the Royals bullpen has performed this year -- in general. Baseball prospectus' latest bullpen Adjusted Runs Prevented bullpen stats (scroll down) have the Royals 'pen as the 3rd best AL/8th best ML at preventing runs from scoring. Our very own Nate Field is in the top 30 overall, and the 2nd best in the ML at preventing inherited runs from scoring (last year, Jason Grimsley was the worst in the majors in this category). Take away the dreadful performances of Leskanic and MacDougal, and the Royals would be even closer to the top -- even without a closer. The problem is that the relatively few times the Royals 'pen has failed to perform have been in save situations. So they fail at the biggest moments. These situational disparities have a way of evening themselves out over the long run, so I think we'll ultimately have a bullpen we be proud of this season.

On the other hand, the offense and starting pitching...stinky.


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