Thursday, June 09, 2005

Rollin' Along

Fact: The Royals are 6-2 under Buddy Bell.

Coincidence? Probably. Its extremely difficult to play historicaly bad baseball for long stretches. These players are young but are still talented, so they can't lose every game. But it sure seems like the Royals are playing much looser and more confidently since Bell arrived. I think for the most part Bell is just letting them play and isn't trying to get in the way of their natural talents, which was Pena's specialty. It also helps that they're pitching well at the end of games; MacDougal has been solid in the past couple of weeks, which we've seen before, but its a helluva lot more encouraging that biting your nails in ninth even with a 4 run lead.

I think the player who has benefited the most from Bell's arrival (and Pena's departure) has been David DeJesus. Since Schaefer put him in the #2 slot, he's been much more effective and his gap power has improved. He was floundering in the waning days of Pena's reign of terror. I think he'll eventually settle well in the leadoff spot, but at least for now he's doing much better at #2.

-- I was shocked to see that the Royals were able to trade Eli Marrero. Even if the Orioles only pay a few hundred thousand of his salary, the Royals made out, given that I thought he was just being released. The prospect they acquired doesn't seem like much of a prospect - he's very old for A ball - but if AB has a skill, its find diamonds in the rough, so I'm always hopeful. Eli could have been even more valuable if he'd be willing to catch (St. Louis and Colorado were interested, apparently), but he steadfastly refuses to catch.

-- Peter Gammons and Tim Kurkjian were reporting that Mike Sweeney stands a very good chance of being traded, and the Orioles are the top of the list right now (from ESPN television). Take their opinions for what they're worth, but to this point all signs point to Sweeney being in another uniform by the end of July. I'm sure the Royals are going to have to pay part of his salary, but if the Royals can get two solid prospects in return then that's a deal this team has to make. Come 2006 the payroll will be so low that they'll be in a position to be pretty serious players in the free agent market. How does Carlos Lee sound?

-- Do we dare hope for an unbelievably rare road sweep today? Not with Jose "Ultimate Buzzkill" Lima on the mound. Lima may yet have some value for a national league club in a pitcher's park (Dodgers?) but he's been so uniformly awful he just seems untradable. But I thought the same thing about Marrero...

-- Johan Santana is incredible. The Twins are very fortunate. Here's hoping we found our own Rule 5 wonder in Sisco.

Jose Lima, on the other hand, is Bizarro Johan Santana.


At 4:12 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Jose Lima is Bizarro Replacement Level Pitcher. You'd think he could just fail to be horrible, but that's asking too much.

Does Lima need extra baggage to carry around his 8+ ERA?


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