Friday, March 25, 2005

Not Again

I'm loathe to write yet another commentary on the first base situation. But how can I let David Boyce's slobbering article on Grimace today pass? Boyce has nothing but sympathy for Harvey; his characterization of Royal reporters' constant questions about his roster spot (questions that he's not asking, fer sure) is fawning:

"It's easy to understand why Harvey is bothered by the question", with Harvey a Default All-Star, y'know, with a respectable .276 lifetime batting average.

He actually claimed that Harvey was getting hot on Wednesday - because he went 1 for 4 - on an RBI single. Man dat hot.

No need to rehash Harvey's plentiful shortcomings here. Instead of lamenting about poor Ken Harvey's unfair fate, why not use your time constructively? Take a lede from the cogent analysis that Rob and Rany provided the other day. The problem is that Harvey and Pickering, by themselves, aren't good. The solution to this problem? Use 'em both. Don't carry 12 pitchers. A platoon situation projects (albeit with a small sample size) to:

Platoon 574 159 48 5 35 85 161 277/366/561

Carlos Delgado 'tis not, but its better than the .270/.330/.430 line Harvey would post in 120 games. So why waste column space defending a player who doesn't merit that strong a defense? Its all academic by 2007 (or maybe 2006), when Justin Huber rolls into town to claim the first base job. But let's make the best of it for now - Harvey might have a role on this team, but he should cherish that All-Star appearance forever, because he's never going to have one again.

I have sympathy for David Boyce. Its difficult to write anything positive about the Royals right now that focuses on the current crop of players, besides Greinke. Even if the Royals are starting to build teams the proper way, their new approach won't pay any dividends on the major league levels for a few years.

Interlude: Their major league roster acquisitions still puzzle me. One of the hardest things to see when player acquisitions occur is the roster ripple effect over the long term. Take the case of Jose Lima. You could make the argument that Lima didn't deserve to be signed anyway, and that's he's going to be a bust. But its more than that: Jose Lima is occupying a roster spot when the Royals have a surplus of young pitchers that need a chance to test their skills on the major league level, AND, even worse, pitchers like Tankersley could be lost on waivers simply because Lima has a guaranteed roster spot @ $2 million. Tankersley may not ever amount to much, but it seems insane for the Royals to never get the chance to find out because they have keep Lima. Same goes for Marrero, who will be a fine platoon player but might prevent the Royals from picking up a decent outfield prospect like Michael Restovich.

So please, David, pump up Ken Harvey if you'd like. The more I've read on the subject, the more I've come to believe Harvey could have a legitimate place on this team. But save your slobber for players that actually deserve it.

Note (singular):

All of my fears about MATT DIAZ have been realized. MATT DIAZ will be reassigned to minor league camp today. It doesn't seem like the Royals ever took MATT DIAZ seriously as an outfield prospect. The conventional wisdom these days has them going with Emil Brown, but I wouldn't bet against them keeping the worst of the lot, Abraham Nunez. The team fetishizes this guy for some reason.


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