Saturday, April 01, 2006

2006 Dreams

Hello Royals fans. Daily Lancer here. Its been a long while, but I thought I should at least check in at the start of the season to offer a few thoughts and hopes for 2006.

Overall, I think we're looking at a 95-loss team at least, and quite likely into the triple digits once again. The Royals will have one of the worst starting pitching staffs, worst lineups and a below average defensive squad (though not as historically awful as last year). It would take far, far too many things that break the right way for the Royals to be anything close to competitive this season. So we're looking at another long one, I'm afraid.

2007 and beyond look more promsing, but oh, man, that starting pitching. Without a major infusion of pitching (and defensive) talent, we're looking at 70 to 80 win teams when the Gordon-Huber-Butler-Bianchi quartet make their onto the major league scene. There's still time, but Allard Baird is not the man to make it happen (more on that in a moment).

Anyway, here's hoping that...

Jeremy Affeldt remains a starter and develops at least a modicum of mental toughness to complement that golden (but fading) arm. Jeremy, if a batter gets on base, take a deep breath. Then another. Then forget about it. Never seen a head case quite like Jeremy Affeldt.

Jimmy Gobble is eventually released so he can pitch in an organization that understands what he is - a young, potentially decent starting pitcher who needs time and patience to figure out how to be successful in the major leagues. Look, the kid is only 24 years old and has the potential to contribute at the back end a rotation. He's not going to be a star pitcher with his weak strikeout ability, but he CAN be successful. The Royals have completely screwed up putting him in the bullpen and trying to turn him into something he's not. He is emblematic of all of the problems the Royals have developing pitchers. Jimmy, pray you're DFA'd sometime soon.

David DeJesus plays at least 150 games and lasts the entire season without a significant injury.

By June, Mark Teahen develops into a .275/.360/.440 baseball player and makes it difficult for the Royals to bring up Alex Gordon this season.

Mike Sweeney is traded by the deadline to make way for Justin Huber (who despite his poor showing in late 2005 and sluggish spring is ready) to replace him.

The Royals draft Andrew Miller with the first pick in the amateur draft, assuming he isn't injured.

Zack Greinke finds the proper mix of anti-depressants and gets himself back on the mound again. Without the incessant tinkering of Guy Hansen, I think Greinke will return to 2004 form.

If the Royals are going to be bad, just be really bad and get the #1 pick again. Its so much more valuable than any other pick that its actually worth it for the Royals to completely tank to get it. Seriously.

Burgos and Sisco accomplish two things - achieve a modest improvement in their BB/K ratio and avoid serious injury. I expect these two to mature into pitchers (instead of fireballers who occasionally find the plate) by 2007.

The April 4th ballot initiative passes. I'd prefer a downtown stadium, but I'm weary of the stadium cloud hanging over the head of the franchise. I'd rather just see the issue settled so we can all stop worrying about it. A downtown stadium isn't going to be an elixir for this franchise anyway; it won't improve the product on the field and it won't draw any more fans (past the novelty of the first season anyway) as long as the baseball team keeps losing 95 games.

Any one of Scott Elarton, Joe Mays or Mark Redman at least MEETS expectations. Forget exceeds - just meets. If so, hallelujah Allard Baird - finally.

The Royals finish well below .5o0, so the Baird regime ends thankfully (as promised by David Glass) and the Royals undertake a complete overhaul of their organizational management and baseball philosophy.

That said...

Go Royals.


At 10:43 AM, Blogger SoonerRoyal said...

The new season is finally upon us. The season doesn't look very promising, especially looking at the rotation. The Royals seem to have plenty of young offensive talent near the major league level, so there's hope for an above-average offense in the future.

The Royals also have a pretty good collection of pitching talent as well. Greinke, Bautista, Burgos, Sisco, Nunez, Cedeno and Howell are all talented, young pitchers that a lot of organizations would love to have. So, I don't see talent as a major issue. The issue is developing pitching and it's been the issue for the past 10 years. Hopefully, the next General Manager and staff will do a much better job of it.

The Royals main issue is developing pitching. The Royals had a pretty talented group of pitchers in 2003: Affeldt, MacDougal, Hernandez, Snyder, Gobble, etc. But, none of them have become consistently good pitchers and that's what it takes to build a good baseball team.


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