Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More Frustration: Royals' Road Problems Continue

The Royals' road futility continues, as they drop their 6th straight road game to the Indians. The Royals got an early 3-0 lead for Elarton, who pitched fairly well and got the game into the 6th with a 4-3 lead. Dessens held the lead and got the game into the ninth inning. In the ninth, Sizemore destroyed a 96-mph Burgos' fastball into the Indians' bullpen, tying the game at 4-4. Burgos has really struggled in May, blowing his last 3 saves and watching his ERA rise from 2.19 to 6.23. Last night's game was probably the last opportunity Burgos will have to close for a while, as Bell is pretty frustrated with the bullpen:

"We've got to make some changes," Bell said adamantly.

So, who will be the new closer? The two most likely candidates: Elmer Dessens and Joel Peralta. Both have pitched well in middle relief for the Royals and both are over age 30 (Bell likes older players). Sisco continues to struggle, so he isn't likely to be an option. I suppose the Royals could try Jimmy Gobble, but he hasn't been great either. MacDougal can't get back fast enough, although he isn't too consistent either.

Now on to Buddy Bell. I've been willing to give Buddy Bell a chance, but I think he has to go with Allard. The Royals need to completely redo the organization and the new general manager needs to be able to hire a manager that fits their system (if Bell fits, then that's fine). But, in almost a year, I haven't seen anything from Buddy Bell that makes me believe he's a good manager.

1. Bell's insistence on playing veterans over the future: I just want to start by saying hi to Justin Huber, who might be getting lonely on the bench. In over two weeks, Huber has had a total of 7 ABs and hasn't played first base at all. I'm all for protecting young players, but not to the extent that it hinders their development. Huber is ready to face big league pitching. His bat is more ready than Mark Teahen's and Teahen has over 500 career ABs. What is Buddy Bell hiding Justin Huber for? Matt Stairs has pretty well so far, but Huber can match his production (good plate discipline and modest power). Hubie can easily outproduce Mientkiewicz's .645 OPS, which is absolutely pathetic for a first basemen. Neither of those players factor into the Royals' future. Huber needs to see some big league pitching. If he wants to watch big league games, he can just buy a ticket and watch from the stands (I doubt Mr. Glass would give away a free ticket).

Another example is Tony Graffanino playing over Esteban German. Graffanino has played reasonably well, but German has played better and might be able to contribute in the future at least in a utility role. German has a .828 OPS and has shown good plate discipline. He should be leading off, where his on-base skills and speed can help the team. Which leads to the next point...

Why is Kerry Robinson leading off? He has a .288 OBP and no track record of being able to get on-base. Hopefully Robinson is sent down when Costa is healthy, as Guiel has more to offer with at least some power.

I suppose none of these things really matter considering that the team isn't going anywhere this season. But, I think it just verifies that Buddy Bell isn't a good manager. It seems he's already lost this team, so I think it would be in the Royals' best interest if he and Allard go as quickly as possible.


At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How should Buddy and Allard go? Should it be via hemlock, cyanide or a gunshot to the temple? Or, if they refuse suicide, is burning them at the stake an alternative?


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