Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Weatherman Is Back

I'm finally back to UK after a great, but exhausting trip from Barcelona to Budapest. After living off box scores for 5 weeks, it's great to see baseball again (even if it's the tiny, pixelated feed that MLBTV provides). First, here are my thoughts on the season so far:

Pretty much business as usual for the Royals: An 11-game losing streak, lengthy disabled list, Glass saying he still supports Allard, Berroa blunders, and no pitching. The Royals 3-13 record shows how overmatched the Royals are in every aspect of the game. The Royals' bullpen, expected to be the bright spot this season, has failed to live up to expectations.

First, a few positive thoughts about the season. Baird's most important offseason signings have been a success so far. Scott Elarton has pitched well in 3 of his first 4 starts (16 walks in 22 innings is a big concern though). Mark Redman has also pitched well since coming off the disabled list. Joe Mays has been terrible, but that was expected. The success of the Joe Mays signing will be determined by how quickly the Royals can replace him. Overall, those signings has lived up to expectations and that has to be considered a success. Mark Grudzielanek and Reggie Sanders have also performed as expected. Sanders leads the team in HRs and RBIs.

Much of the offensive struggles have been due to the disappearance of Sweeney, DeJesus and Brown. DeJesus has already landed on the disabled list and Sweeney and Brown have OPSs just above .600. If those three can produce offensively as expected, the Royals offense will improve tremendously.

The Royals' rotation continues to be a major problem, even with two veterans pitching reasonably well thus far. Affeldt has not done much with his opportunity to start again. The remnants of the failed 2003 youth movement (Affeldt, MacDougal, Hernandez) are quickly fading. The Royals' small infusion of youth in the rotation hasn't fared much better. I have a feeling Bautista will never stay healthy long enough to contribute much. The rotation will get a much needed boost as Greinke, Bautista, and Madritsch come back. The Royals' top pitching prospects are also off to a good start (more on the farm system later). So, perhaps there is some hope, especially if a new regime takes off quickly. The return of Greinke can't come soon enough.


At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any chance that Bud Selig could enforce the "best interests of baseball" clause and ban Allard Baird for life?

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Your Majesty said...

No way Elarton keeps this up. He has a BABIP of just .208 and still has an ERA over 4. Greg Maddux, for example, has a BABIP of .198 and an ERA of 0.99.

Just take heed, Royals fans.

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Elarton's 16 walks and 9 strikeouts are proof enough that his ERA is a mirage. I don't think he's THAT bad, but he's certainly lucky to have a ERA as low as it is. He came in with a reputation as a finesse pitcher with excellent control...but he's shown little control in his first several starts.


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