Wednesday, October 05, 2005

End of Year Review: Royals' Report Card Part I

The Royals' record shows another disappointing year of futility. After a 104-loss season a year ago, it would seem as though the Royals are continuing to get worse. To some degree, that was true. However, the Royals will have a shot to redeem themselves of some bad contracts this offseason. Hopefully the addition of some new talent and the improvements of the young players will result in a much improved team next year.


Zack Greinke: Greinke regressed this year, struggling for most of the season. He had a good September, so hopefully that means he's figured out what caused his midseason troubles. Without a dominant pitch, it's hard to envision Greinke as more than a No. 2 or 3 starter, but I think he has a good chance at becoming that.
Grade: D

Runelvys Hernandez: Hernandez pitched 159 innings coming off TJ surgery and pitched reasonably well for most of the season. So, overall I consider his season a success, even though a 5.52 ERA is pretty bad. Next year, I expect a league-average season from Hernandez as his endurance and control should improve.
Grade: B-

Jose Lima: Lima Time was terrible as expected. Lima Time did exactly what he was supposed to, eat innings. The fault lies on Baird, not on Lima. But, I gave him an F anyway.
Grade: F

DJ Carrasco: Carrasco pitched well for the most part, especially considering he wasn't supposed to be a part of the rotation. Carrasco filled in a spot nicely. Whether or not he can be an effective No. 5 starter remains to be foreseen.
Grade: B+

Mike Wood: Mike Wood wasn't great, but he was pretty good in a lot of roles for the Royals. His versality as a long man/5th starter is certainly valuable for depth purposes.
Grade: A-

JP Howell: Howell probably shouldn't have spent anytime on the major-league roster, but the Royals dictated otherwise. Whether Howell's development has been hurt or not is unknown. His command of his mid-80s fastball must improve. His fastball has some sinking movement which should help him. But, I have to suspect there's a reason why few pitchers who top out in the upper 80s survive in the majors.
Grade: C

Brian Anderson: Injuries ended Anderson's season early.
Grade: Inc

Denny Bautista: Injuries ended Bautista's season quickly as well, but he showed flashes of potential.
Grade: Inc


Mike MacDougal: MacDougal had a good season and would be deserving of the Royals' Comeback Player of the Year award. MacDougal finished the season with 21 saves in 25 save opportunities. MacDougal was much more consistent this year and his command was much better (24 BBs in 70 IP). MacDougal will probably never be a great closer, but he looks to be at least average to above-average.
Grade: A

Jeremy Affeldt: After 4 years of service time, what is Affeldt's role on this team? Who knows at this point. Whatever it is, Affeldt hasn't been able to turn his abilities into performance. The Royals are largely responsible for Affeldt's demise, but Affeldt's attitude hasn't helped either.
Grade: D-

Ambiorix Burgos: Burgos had a great season considering he should have been in AA. Burgos has tremendous talent and is probably the closer of the future.
Grade: A

Andrew Sisco: Sisco also had a great season as a Rule V Pick. Instead of being relegated to mop-up duty, Sisco became the Royals' best lefty setup man. Sisco posted a team-best 3.11 ERA. He could challenge Burgos as the closer of the future.
Grade: A

Leo Nunez: Like Burgos, Nunez probably should have been in AA. Nunez struggled badly at times, inflating his ERA. Nunez pitched well at times and showed promise with his mid-90s fastball.
Grade: C

Jimmy Gobble: After finishing last season as the club's leader in wins, Gobble started out in AAA. Gobble pitched well as a starter this year, posting a 4.67 ERA in 4 starts. But, he's looking more and more like another Royals' pitching prospect gone bad.
Grade: D

Jonah Bayliss: Bayliss looked good when he was given a chance, as rare as that was.
Grade: Inc

Guy Hansen: Hansen didn't do much with the rotation, but none of the other pitching coaches have either. He seems like he'd be an good bullpen coach given the progress of Burgos, Sisco, and MacDougal under him.
Grade: D

Position Players Tomorrow


At 6:36 PM, Blogger DL said...

I think you've graded on a curve.

Greinke: F. Don't see how his season could be labeled as anything but an abject failure. He may bounce back, but 2005 was unbelievably awful.

Carrasco and Wood: These guys, esp. Carrasco, don't belong in the major leagues. They're only here because the Royals have such a pathetic staff.

Anderson: F-. $6.5 million for a 1/2 season of the worst starting pitching in baseball, a 1/2 season of mediocrity and an entire season lost to injury.

Hernandez: Bad control, not a strikeout pitcher, already 28 next season. Can recovery from injury explain why he can't find the plate? I don't see much hope for this guy, frankly.

I basically agree with your assessment of the bullpen, though.


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