Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bell is Safe for Now

The Royals report that Buddy's job is safe, for now at least. Moore says that Bell is "the least of our problems right now", which isn't entirely untrue. The Royals can't hit, pitch, or play defense and a new manager isn't going to change that. The difference between a great manager and a monkey running a baseball team is probably about 10 to 15 wins. It can be the difference between a good team and a great team. But, as far as the Royals are concerned, it really doesn't matter. The Royals' primary focus must be improving the talent, everything else is secondary. However, the manager issue should be addressed. If Buddy Bell isn't the best manager for the long-term, then he should be replaced at the end of the season. If Moore thinks Bell is the long-term solution at manager, then I'll be a bit worried.

In other news, Reggie Sanders doesn't have a tear in his knee, so he should be ready to go for next season. Also, Ryan Braun will be joining the Royals. Braun has 3 saves and a 2.16 ERA for Omaha.

The Royals have played well of late, winning 4 of their last 7 games. Mark Teahen continues his surprising sophomore surge, hitting his 18th HR of the season and driving in 3 runs. DeJesus and Shealy both had 2-hit games for the Royals. Shealy has been alright offensively since joining the Royals. His overall line is pretty good (.305/.354/.424), although he hasn't shown as much power as I thought he would.

Hernandez had another very good start yesterday, going 6 innings and allowing just 1 run. He's allowed just 1 run in his last 15 innings. Hernandez will need a strong September to build a case for him returning next year. He figures to make $1.5 to 2 million next season with arbitration. I don't think Hernandez is worth that money and he will become a non-tender candidate or trade bait.

Luke Hudson is a good bet to return as a starter for the Royals next season. Hudson has made quality starts in 7 of his last 9 starts. So, aside from his disastrous start against Cleveland, he's been a very good starter for the Royals. The rest of the Royals' rotation for next year is a mystery. Zack Greinke will most likely rejoin the big league club next year. Odalis Perez, who starts tonight, is also under contract for next year. So, Hudson, Perez, and Greinke are the 3 most likely starters for next year.