Friday, April 07, 2006

Last Stand?

At the beginning of 2004, a season in which several prognosticators and plenty of fans thought the Royals held serious promise, I opined in this blog that one of the keys to a competitive season was the performance of Jeremy Affeldt. Affeldt promptly fell flat on his arse, burdened by both poor performance and injuries. He wasn't the only reason the team failed, but when measured against expectations he was one of the worst culprits. We got much the same from Affeldt in 2005, a mixture of tantalizingly effective performance, inconsistency and the periodic meltdown (on full display during his Yankee Stadium meltdown in July).

Jeremy Affeldt entered this season at a clear crossroads with this team - no defined role, no halo of potential stardom keeping his reputation afloat, and vastly reduced expectations that he could be a difference maker. He was the third option for closer behind MacDougal and Burgos, the second option for left-handed setup behind Sisco, and standing outside the small circle of penciled-in starters. Thanks to a rash of injuries, obesity and mental illness that have ravaged the incumbent starters, however, Affeldt is receiving another chance to prove himself as a starter.

It all begins tonight as Affeldt faces the defending champs. He has roughly 4 to 6 weeks to prove himself before Hernandez, Redman and eventually Greinke make their way back to Kansas City. If he performs well, the Royals will find it much easier to jettison Joe Mays to long relief and Denny Bautista back to AAA to work on his control and consistency. But if he flounders, he'll be stuck in the back of the bullpen with practically zero hope he'll ever make a meaningful contribution to the Kansas City Royals.



At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Affeldt is going to win 20 games this season, just wait and see. This is his breakout season. Just watch as he pitches and Emil Brown slugs the Royals to an amazing AL Central title!

At 2:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Affeldt was such a prospect, but he seems to have lost his way and something on his fastball. Why would someone as young as he is lose 3 to 5 miles per hour on his fastball?

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He can't take steroids anymore!

At 12:08 AM, Anonymous tfn said...

Well, that was the shortest "4 to 6 weeks to prove himself" that I've ever seen. Jeremy demoted to the bullpen after two starts. The Royals weren't quite as patient as the The Daily Lancer was prepared to be.

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Max said...

Fear not tfn! Affeldt is back in the rotation! This is your final, final warning Jeremy! Then you'll get your final, final, final warning, followed by double secret probation!


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