Monday, April 18, 2005

At least the weather's been nice...

The Royal blogerati and bulletin board loyalists are having a hard time swallowing this weekend's series loss to the Tigers, which left the Royals with the same record as the Yankees. Its one thing to look listless against Jeremy Bonderman, but Mike Maroth? The Royals just pounded him a few short days ago, and yesterday he's Tom Freakin' Glavine. Heads shall roll.

I guess that's what the team gets for raising hopes with some strong starting pitching performances. Now that the Royals aren't getting 7 innings of 5 hit, 1 run ball every night, and the blooping line drives aren't falling in for hits (that's Ken Harvey's department anyway), the losses are coming much more easily.

Yet again, I am sheltered by my expectations of nothing, so this sudden fall from grace means little to me. I was convinced the Royals were going to lose 95-100 games when they were 3-3 and on a "roll" (yes, the team hasn't been above .500 all season yet, if you'll remember), and nothing has changed. On balance, I'd evaluate the team's overall performance as a net positive compared to my expectations:

Offense - as bad as I (and everyone else) thought they would be. There have been some encouraging (DeJesus, Gotay, Berroa) and discouraging (Buck, Teahen) performances.

Defense - the team seems to be below average, but not the worst defensive team in the league. John Buck is a fine defensive catcher. Mark Teahen is scared to death, and Ruben Gotay, other than one embarrassing play, has handled himself quite nicely.

Starting pitching - how can you not be anything but pleased? Sure, there have been some stinkers, but what team doesn't have stinkers? Better than expected no doubt, but the bumps are coming.

Bullpen - this has been the major disappointment thus far. Aside from Sisco, everyone in the bullpen has been terrible. I thought this would be the strength of this team, and its been just the opposite. But there's depth in AAA, so the current crop can easily be rotated out if necessary.

So, offense and defense as expected, better than expected starting pitching, worse than expected bullpen. I care the most about starting pitching, simply because its been lacking for all of these years, so I'd have to say on balance the Royals have been a mild positive surprise. Their record might now show it, but I'll worry about that in 2007.


Post a Comment

<< Home