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One Week Away Thoughts

Today, I’ve just got some quick hit thoughts about things going on in camp and with the Royals. It’s a pretty darn boring time of the year for the Royals as their roster is fairly well set and the prospects are mostly gone. The fun of the early part of the spring is essentially gone and now we’re in a holding pattern until we can finally get to Opening Day so we can have the chance to see some real baseball. Man am I excited for that!

  • Congratulations to Kyle Davies and his wife as they had their first child, who was actually due on his scheduled start date of April 2. I maintain my thought that Royals’ wives are among the most fertile in all of baseball. Aside from the good news of having a child, the good news for Royals fans is that players who have children tend to have fantastic seasons. It dates back to when Johnny Damon was in Kansas City. He was struggling mightily until his twins were born. From that point on, he hit something like .375 over the course of the season. Since then, Royals players have had their best seasons following the births of their children. Hopefully that pattern holds true.
  • In somewhat related news, Sean O’Sullivan really screwed the pooch yesterday in giving up three runs and allowing the Indians to score a come from behind victory. The reason this is related is that I got the distinct impression that he was left on the roster in the bullpen because of the possibility that Kyle Davies may miss his first start to be there for the birth of his child. Now that the baby has been born, I’m not sure that Sean O’Sullivan really has a spot on this team, especially if it’s at the expense of someone who actually deserved the spot. We’ll see if the Royals change their mind now that they don’t need the insurance policy in their bullpen.
  • Nathan Adcock had his first struggle yesterday as well giving up a couple of runs in his two innings. It was bound to happen as his peripheral statistics just didn’t indicate that he would be able to keep up his 0.00 ERA. When you strike out only three in nine innings, you’re not exactly on track for future success to be predicted. Ultimately, I think he might be a nice piece out of a bullpen as the long man, a la D.J. Carrasco, but I just don’t see that the time for that is now.
  • The other guy the Royals have to keep on the roster all year is Robert Fish. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I don’t see the allure. He doesn’t throw strikes and he doesn’t get people out. It’s cool that he’s left-handed, but that doesn’t give you a license to suck and still be in the big leagues. Hopefully he doesn’t make it out of spring training. I’m totally fine with the Royals swinging a deal to keep him and try to fix him, but anything more than that attempt in the minors is a waste of time.
  • Ned Yost came out with a lineup a couple of days ago. I’m not much for lineup discussions because the lineup itself doesn’t mean much. Well that’s not entirely true. Lineups mean a lot over the course of the season, but not over the course of an individual game. For example, in Yost’s lineup he has Getz and Escobar platooning in the number two spot. It may work, and I may be proven wrong, but the problem here is that the Getzy/Escy platoon (yes, that’s right, those are the nicknames he used) will end up getting the second most at bats of anybody throughout the course of the season.

    I mentioned this on Royals Corner yesterday, but you want your best players getting the most at bats. This doesn’t do that. When the Royals had Beltran hitting second years ago in those very good lineups was possibly the most creative the Royals had ever been. They very easily could have put him third and dropped everyone down one while putting a speedy guy who could bunt, but they hit him second and it helped the Royals to have one of their best offenses in team history. I advocate hitting Gordon second for that very reason. He’ll benefit from having a runner on first with his pull tendencies and he has the requisite OBP to get on base for the big boys. Of course, in Yost’s lineup, one of the big boys is Melky Cabrera. Scary stuff here.

  • I sort of wonder if we’ve ever had as big a drop-off from number one starter to number one next year. I’m on record that I think Luke Hochevar will have a very good year, but he’s no Zack Greinke. The nice thing is that Greinke wasn’t great last season which makes him a little bit less of a loss from season to season, but he was still a legitimate ace. Hochevar is a legitimate three, right now, at best. He could ascend to the role of ace, but right now he’s just not there. This rotation is as scary as Melky hitting fifth. Luckily, there doesn’t appear to be the usual train wreck that appears in most Royals’ rotations. Just a lot of guys who range from below average to slightly above average.
  • In non-performance news, I know that the Royals have a huge drop-off in quote quality from their ace. Greinke gave some gems. Hochevar says, ‘you know’ a lot and uses a ton of clichés. Love Greinke or hate him, but he was fun to watch in an interview. Unless Hochevar tells us that he’s in a tree again, he’s a pretty boring interview, ya know?

That’s it for today. Just a few more spring games, including one on television tomorrow night! I complain about Frank White in the booth, but it’ll be nice to hear his voice since it means that the season is just around the corner. Now if we can just get that forecast to predict 70° and sunny and be right…

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