Archive for May, 2011

Soria Out As Closer

After three blown saves in less than a week, I’m sure you’ve all turned here to get my expert opinion on Joakim Soria and what is wrong with him. What’s that? You all realize that I’m not an expert? Well this is embarrassing. Still, it’s something that has to be addressed, and after Ned Yost announced that he’d be pitching Soria in some lower leverage situations, we need to talk about exactly what is going to happen moving forward. In his post game press conference yesterday evening, Yost indicated that Aaron Crow would get the majority of save opportunities, which came as no surprise to anybody who has watched games this season. Crow has been fantastic with the exception of two hiccups. My guess is that he’ll perform very well in the closer’s role and might even hold on to it through the rest of the season, though my guess is that Soria takes it back around the All-Star break.

The struggles with Soria have been startling and slightly upsetting, which I know is a weird emotion to have when talking about a team’s closer, but it’s been tough to watch. Early in the season he was showing decreased velocity. That was explained by the use of a new cutter that he’d been working on, but his command with the cutter was not especially good. Then, after a rough outing against the White Sox in April when he gave up four runs in the ninth and blew what looked like an easy win, he really settled down. The next game he pitched he gave up a run, but from April 10 through May 22, he was 2-0 with five saves in six chances and a 2.13 ERA. He wasn’t vintage Soria, but he was getting the job done, striking out 10 in 12.2 innings. The interesting number was the number of walks he was allowing, and had been a topic of concern all season.

Questions were asked of Soria and the Royals were very forthcoming with the fact that he was having some mechanical issues that stemmed from adding that cutter to his repertoire. He was still effective, though, so it didn’t seem to make a huge difference to fans other than the fact that his ninth innings were bringing up memories of Jeff Montgomery and the Houdini act he often had to employ to get out of ninth innings unscathed. Then, a week ago today, the wheels came off in Baltimore and Soria blew a save to the Orioles costing Danny Duffy his first big league win. He pitched a scoreless 14th inning in Texas on Friday, but blew a save to the Rangers on Sunday and of course yesterday to the Angels. In his last four outings, Soria has pitched 3.1 innings allowing 11 hits, eight runs and most disturbingly three home runs. If you want to look for encouraging numbers, he did strike out seven and walk nobody in that stretch.

To that note, there has been a difference in Soria in his last four games compared to the few prior when he wasn’t allowing runs or hits at quite the alarming rate. The strikeouts are back. The lack of walks is back. But now he’s getting hit around. Without knowing anything about situation, I’d assume that he wasn’t entirely confident in his stuff prior to this run of games when he’s gotten destroyed, so he nibbled and he just didn’t quite have the command to get it exactly where he wanted, which was where he used to get his pitches. The problem is that while he appears to have confidence in his stuff back that he is still struggling with the command and leaving too many pitches over the plate. Hopefully being pushed back into middle relief will help him work on some of these issues that he’s been having and will get him back to being the Soria of old. I don’t think it was just manager speak when Yost indicated that Soria was not that far away, but it’s definitely the right decision to back off him for a bit while he works through his struggles.

For now, Aaron Crow is the closer of the Royals. Anyone who predicted that needs to hang out with me more and give me lottery numbers because this is about the most unlikely development of anything that has happened on the Royals this year. He was drafted as a starter and was touted as being ready to be a top of the rotation guy as soon as this year. Well, as you all know he struggled in the minors last season and surprisingly opened the year in the Royals bullpen. He’s been lights out, and here we are. I’d caution Royals fans about two things. The first is one that I don’t really think is a worry with Crow, but you never know. The closer’s role does some funky things to a guy’s head. Some pitchers just don’t have the mentality to finish games, and get scared off by the ninth inning. I don’t know why that is, but it just is. Crow does not strike me as the type of guy to have these issues, but they pop up at odd times and sometimes with players who you would never expect. The second is that Crow is due for a bit of a regression. His peripherals are excellent, but a 1.33 ERA is not often sustainable, no matter how many guys they strike out or how few they walk. I’m not saying he’s going to be terrible, but at some point he’s going to give up a few more runs, and now that he’s in the closer’s role, they’ll be magnified runs.

I mentioned before that I think Soria will be back in the closer’s role by mid-July, but there are a couple other things that could happen. One is that Soria has inexplicably lost it and will never return to the ninth inning. I don’t think that’s likely, but it’s certainly possible. The thing that scares me, and I almost hesitate to bring it up for fear of having to have the same argument, is that Soria excels in his middle relief role in two or three inning stints and Crow excels in the closer’s role. People begin to see Soria facing the same batters twice in a game and getting them out and get the idea that it might be time to revisit him to the rotation. Often, the argument against it has been that he’s such a shut down closer that you can’t take him out of that role as it’s so vital for the development of the team. At this point, that argument has pretty much been shot. My argument will remain the same and it’s that he’s simply not durable to start 30 games a year and pitch 200 innings. He hasn’t spent a lot of time on the disabled list in his career, but someone with his injury history is not a great candidate for the rotation. I don’t want to get too deep into this argument now, but it’s something that might be on the horizon.

Interestingly enough, this move gives the Royals two bona fide Rookie of the Year candidates, which doesn’t ultimately mean much, but it’s nice to get the publicity. It isn’t often that setup men get consideration for the award, and if Crow can run off 10 or 12 saves in his time as closer, then he’ll have some of the numbers that the voters like. My concern is that if Crow does well that he’ll be looked at as only a reliever. I understand that he might have to be a reliever to have a successful career, but I think he deserves at least one more shot at the rotation before he’s stuck in the bullpen for the rest of his baseball life. The difference between Crow and Soria is that Crow doesn’t have the injury history, and has started at higher levels of the minors. I just don’t want his future inclusion in the rotation to be entirely put to bed. Plus, the Royals have a plethora of closer candidates in their system if Soria never makes it back and they move Crow to the rotation next year. Collins would scare me, but I think he’d actually do pretty well in the role. Either way, there are always closers on the open market if they need to go out and get someone. Let’s hope they don’t, though. Best case scenario is that Soria pitches in middle relief for awhile and finds what he’s been missing and things go back to the way they were.  



Paul Splittorff, 1946-2011

Paul Splittorff was a Royal for his entire professional life, a life that was cut short at the age of 64. Drafted by the Royals in 1968 out of Morningside College in the 25th round, Splittorff had a somewhat fast rise through the Royals minor league system, throwing his last minor league pitch in 1971 at the age of 24. He was called up to the Royals for good that year and went 8-9 with a very good 2.68 ERA. From there Splitt became an integral part of the best Royals teams of all time. He was never an ace of the staff, but always one of the most reliable pitchers the Royals had. While wins are not the be all, end all they used to be, Splittorff is remembered for being the winningest pitcher in Royals history.

His last days were probably not as he intended them. Last Monday afternoon, a story broke that he was in the hospital and had been read his last rites. Reports indicated that he would not make it through the week, and those reports weren’t quite correct, but it wasn’t much longer. The malady that had caused his voice and speech to go after so many years as an excellent broadcaster had been made public. You all know the story of what happened, so I won’t go through that with you again.

My first experience of Paul Splittorff was as a broadcaster. Unfortunately, I’m not old enough to have seen him pitch and become the Royals all-time wins leader, so for the longest time I had no idea that he was ever a pitcher. I think it says a lot about his acumen as a broadcaster that he made a kid who loved baseball and had a thirst for baseball history unaware of his previous career. As an announcer, Splittorff had a smooth voice and a way of describing a game that very few could. As you’ve all read by now, he honed his craft the way a young journalist would, working high school games and getting any experience possible in order to become the best possible announcer. That’s an admirable trait.

The thing about an announcer is that they are a part of your life for six months out of the year. You let them into your home and into your car and you hear their voice all the time for the entirety of the season. While they don’t know you, you sort of feel like you know them. You learn the cadence of their voice and what might set them off and what makes them happy. Their voice permeates throughout your house during dinner and while you’re ironing and while you’re vacuuming and while you’re just sitting and playing with the dog. They become a part of your family unbeknownst to them. When that outfielder happens to be a former player for your team, well, they’re welcomed in even more so with open arms.

Some of my first memories of Royals baseball are from the days when they were on channel four in Kansas City and Splittorff teamed with Denny Trease. That was one of the best Royals television broadcast teams. Both were very smooth and both explained the game extremely well. I remember one particular game in Oakland. I can’t remember the year or what happened, but I remember that I realized that day that Paul Splittorff was a former Royals pitcher. This was before the internet, of course, so I couldn’t immerse myself in his statistics as I’d do today, but I just remember him saying something about when he struck out Reggie Jackson, and it absolutely floored me. I wouldn’t say that I had developed a new respect for him or anything because I already thought he was a great announcer, but even as a young boy I understood how odd it was that he was so good at broadcasting after being so good at pitching.

Of course the legacy Splittorff leaves is more important than his 166 wins or his 3,000 plus broadcasts. I never met the man, but everything I’ve ever heard about him is that he’s a fantastic human being. He was very private, but not withdrawn. His on air personality was as engaging as anyone I’ve seen broadcast a baseball game, and I assume that he was as engaging outside of the broadcast booth as well. Some people say that the Royals have had some bad luck with their greats such as Quisenberry, Howser and now Splittorff, but I disagree. I think we’ve had great luck to have such extraordinary people that we mourn in spite of never meeting.

I remember the day Dan Quisenberry passed away. He was taken too young, just like Paul Splittorff. I remember the devastation and the loss in the hearts of Royals fans and Kansas City residents in general, and I didn’t think it was possible for someone to be more beloved. Then over the past couple of weeks after learning of Splittorff’s health, I saw that this city has so much love for its people. The outcry of emotion is all you need to see to learn how big of an influence Paul Splittorff had on Kansas City. He was a great pitcher, a great announcer and a great man. He will be missed dearly. The guest we’ve allowed in our homes will no longer join us for dinner, but we have amazing memories of his time in uniform and in the booth and in the community. We’ll miss you, Splitt.

Paul Splittorff

I’ve unfortunately been out of town for the last few days, and would love the opportunity to say a few things about Paul Splittorff, but that will have to wait for tomorrow. We lost a great ambassador to the Royals yesterday. He will be missed.

HUGE Win for the Royals Last Night

Last night was about as needed a win as the Royals could have gotten. Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, things looked pretty dire with the Royals three outs away from their sixth consecutive loss, and this one would have stung even more than a couple of the previous ones. Somehow, the Royals had eight hits heading into the ninth inning and had not gotten a runner past second. Part of that was bad base running as the Royals had two caught stealing and another runner cut down trying to stretch a single into a double. Part of it was the inability to get extra base hits. The last part was the inability to string hits together. Well, finally in the ninth inning, the Royals came through as Hosmer hit a ball about as hard as you can right up the middle which drove Holland from the game.

After Hosmer’s single, Francouer hit a rocket single to right off closer Neftali Feliz who was looking shaky for the second straight game. Francouer’s at bat was followed by Billy Butler showing about as much frustration as I’ve ever seen from him. He hit a flyball to center that as not deep enough to move Hosmer to third and essentially accomplished nothing. He slammed his bat down in disgust. I have to say that I feel for the guy. He’s been blistering the ball the last few days and has not had a ton to show for it, though he did have two hits last night. After Butler, Betemit channeled his inner Melky Cabrera and popped up to shortstop leaving it up to Mike Aviles. Now, Aviles has always been a good fastball hitter, but he’s struggled with hard throwing righties this year, so I figured that the Royals would fall just a bit short on this one. Aviles proved me wrong. He had one of the best at bats I can ever remember from him fouling off pitches until he got one that he was able to hit up the middle. At this point, runners were on second and third due to a wild pitch by Feliz. Elvis Andrus made a fantastic play to get to the ball and not allow the winning run to score, but Aviles had singled home the tying run and the Royals were at it again.

You all know what happened in the tenth inning, and of course Hosmer was right in the middle of it hitting a ball slightly softer than his hit in the previous inning before Francouer came through yet again. So the line wasn’t pretty with two runs on 14 hits, but the “W” was pretty darn nice to look at. If I had to quibble with something outside of the inability to score runs with all those hits, it’s Mike Aviles pumping his fist while running to first base before the ball had made it through the infield. If he had been thrown out at first because he was celebrating his single into center before it made it into center, I would have been livid. It didn’t happen, but he has to learn to celebrate after the play is over and not before. Andrus has as much range as the guy Aviles has been watching all year, so he should know just how much a good shortstop can get to.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Luke Hochevar who I was really down on coming into tonight’s start. I know that he’s been better in May than he was in April, and I know that his peripherals indicate that he’s not nearly as bad as his numbers would indicate, but I’ve been getting very frustrated with his performance. Maybe I put higher standards on him than I should, but it’s just very frustrating to watch a guy who has thrown some of the gems that he has get knocked around. But last night, the Royals needed innings in the worst way. You got the feeling before the game that even if he gave up seven or eight runs that he’d probably go seven or eight innings just to save the bullpen that has to be absolutely worn down. Well, he ended up going 8.2 innings and was brilliant throughout them. He only had four strikeouts, which is a concerning trend of his, but you almost feel like it was by design last night as he was trying to conserve pitches in an effort to get very deep into the game. He couldn’t quite finish out the ninth, but he was able to turn it over to another fresh arm in Greg Holland who was just up from Omaha. The Royals bullpen that had been so taxed over the last week finally got a night off. I expect similar innings from Francis tonight as the bullpen will surely be at it again on Saturday with Nate Adcock on a low pitch count.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t talk about Eric Hosmer. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing for this team that there is nobody I’d rather have up in a big situation. I’m not trying to compare Hosmer to George Brett here. That’s been done too many times with Royals prospects and the results haven’t been great. What I am going to say is that feeling you used to get with Brett up and the game on the line is the same feeling you get when you see Hosmer step to the plate. You just know he’s going to get something done. Two nights ago, that home run was an absolute thing of beauty. Last night, he got hits in both the ninth and tenth inning. I can’t remember the last time the Royals had a top prospect come to the big leagues and hit the ground running the way Hosmer has, but through 12 games he’s hitting .298/.358/.596. The knock on him and the Royals was that he didn’t have enough extra base hits in AAA, but he’s already got seven in the big leagues. He’s driving in runs, he’s playing very good first base defense, and he’s already hitting third and looking like he belongs there. He’s striking out a bit too much, but I think that will decrease as he gets used to the league a little better. He’s a real joy to watch on the baseball field.

I’m glad the Royals won last night, and I hope it jump starts them in a big way. Driving home last night on one of the local sports talk stations, someone mentioned that if the Royals would lose that they would never see .500 again in 2011. I agreed with that. I still don’t think we’re looking at a division champion or even a .500 team this year. The last week or so has shown the flaws that will ultimately limit the Royals from doing anything beyond 75 or so wins, but they have a lot of heart and they don’t give up. I know those are tired clichés, but they’re true with this team. The Cardinals are coming to town now, and I think they’re considerably better than the Royals, but I think the Royals have a chance to take two out of three from them. This is a team that thrives on confidence, and hopefully last night’s win gave them the confidence to get hot again and put together a 10-4 stretch. I’ll go ahead and regurgitate the message the Royals have been sending for the last couple of weeks about the upcoming series. Keep the K blue. Those Cardinals fans are as obnoxious as they come, but this is the weekend to shut them up with good fans and big wins.

Bad Baseball Extends the Losing Streak

Last night gave fans a little bit of everything to see. We were able to see the Major League debut of the first of four highly touted lefties. We got to see the Royals bullpen in full force between the fifth inning and the eighth inning. We had the opportunity to see Eric Hosmer hit a dramatic, game tying homer in the bottom of the ninth. And we had the opportunity to see lots and lots of walks. We also got to see the Royals walk twice in the ninth following Hosmer’s homer and subsequently see both runners picked off. Of all the ridiculous things the Royals have done to lose games over the years, I can safely say that I have never seen two consecutive pinch runners get picked off in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game. It’s absolutely maddening how poorly this team executed last night.

Before I get to Duffy, I want to make mention of Melky Cabrera who some fans seem to like because of his ability to hit with some power and the fact that he’s made some seemingly nice catches this season. I’m not going to strip you of your opinion, but last night was a perfect example of why he does not belong in the lineup every day and if he’s in the lineup, it should not be at the top of the order. He also does not belong in center field every day. Realistically, he’s a fourth outfielder, and he’s probably excellent in that role. I’m going to go out on a limb and call for a move that will not be popular with some people. I think it’s time to send Dyson down and let him play every day while Cain comes up to play center every day. Cabrera can slide into the fourth outfielder role that he seems to be made for and the Royals will be a better team for it. I’ve never been a huge fan of lineups, but this is what I’d like to see starting today:

1. Gordon
2. Betemit
3. Hosmer
4. Butler
5. Francouer
6. Cain
7. Treanor
8. Aviles
9. Escobar

If you’re beholden to the idea that you need to separate the righties a little better, I can understand that, and I’d recommend moving Aviles into the second spot, Betemit can hit sixth while dropping everybody else down one spot. It wasn’t just Cabrera’s 0-5 at the plate last night; it was how he arrived at that number. He had terrible at bats in key situations. And in center field, on the ball where the lead run scored in the top of the ninth, he did not play it well at all. I’m not saying that he should have been able to throw out a very fast Craig Gentry at the plate, but I’m saying that you can’t take three crow hops and still have a shot at it. At that point, eat it and don’t let Elvis Andrus get to second. Andrus didn’t score, so it didn’t ultimately end up mattering, but it’s just another in a long line of bad defense from Cabrera.

Now that I have that off my chest, let’s talk a little about Duffy. I liked what I saw out of him. I was sitting on the third base side, so it’s tough to tell for sure, but I got the impression that he was being squeezed pretty good by the home plate umpire. There were a couple two out, two strike pitches where most of the Royals team started moving toward the bench and then found out the pitch was a ball. It’s hard to say for sure, so anybody who watched on television is welcome to comment and let me know if I’m right or wrong about that. I loved seeing a mid-90s fastball from a lefty, and he looked like he knew what he was doing out there. It was a little weird to see him wearing Greinke’s old number, but I think it’s also a little fitting. He has to get his walks under control or else he’ll be back in Omaha, but I’m willing to chalk this one up to nerves for him.

The bullpen needs help in the worst way, which is where my second suggested move comes into play, and it’s one that I think will probably happen. Jeremy Jeffress needs to go to AAA and work on his command. You simply cannot walk the bases loaded in a tie game in the 11th inning. Robinson Tejeda appears ready to come off the disabled list, so it’s a ready made move that will make the Royals a better team in the short term and possibly the long term if Jeffress can figure some things out. Plus, they simply need a fresh arm in there with all the work they’ve had to do over the past week or so. I’m still very high on Jeffress, but he needs a little more refinement before he can be counted on in any big situations. Ned Yost probably deserves at least some of the blame because Jeffress has not had the regular work he’s been used to throughout his career. Still, it’s on him to get the outs.

Speaking of Yost, last night may have been his best managerial effort of the year. It’s tough to say that considering the team lost and they lost mostly because of bad execution, but his tactical decisions were outstanding last night. It started with the lineup, which was a breath of fresh air to see Gordon in the leadoff spot. It didn’t work, but it’s still the right idea. Then, he left Duffy in the perfect amount of time. I appreciate that he wanted to let him try to get through five, but he pulled him immediately following a walk. He just pushed all the right buttons last night. Unfortunately for him, the buttons didn’t respond very well. The only quibble I could have with the way he managed the pen last night is that I might have left Crow on in the ninth, but it’s hard to fault him for making a move that he’s made in that situation every single time this year. Plus, in spite of his struggles, it’s never a bad time to go to Joakim Soria.

Tonight, the Royals need a win badly. That might be the understatement of the year. They’re a season high two games below .500 and they’ve lost five in a row. Derek Holland, otherwise known as the doppelganger of Jeff Francis (seriously, look at both of their pictures side-by-side), goes for the Rangers. He’s a tough lefty, but he’s one the Royals can hit. He was outstanding in his first two starts but has been touched up a bit since then including a performance against the Royals where he gave up five earned runs. He did strike out nine in that game, but he’s hittable. The losing streak has to stop tonight or else I fear it might go on awhile. I’m not quite ready for the annual big losing streak, so here’s hoping for a win.

Royals Funk Continues, Indians Pull Away

Just an ugly series against the division leading Indians has done a lot to show the Royals’ true colors over the last two days. When they went to Detroit and lost both games of the abridged two-game series, it didn’t look like they were overmatched in any way. It looked like they ran into excellent pitching during a time when their bats were slumping. Then the Indians came to town and you know what happened next. The Royals got absolutely destroyed on Monday and then were down 3-0 before they ever had a chance yesterday. I do believe that had Sean O’Sullivan not put the Royals in the hole in the top of the first that the game may have been different. Unfortunately he did and it wasn’t and the Royals lost by a much more respectable score of 7-3.

It’d be hard to blame the Royals for struggling with focus over the last two days as Monday’s game just had some weird circumstances. There was the news of Paul Splittorff’s illness becoming public that may or may not have had any ramifications on the team’s thoughts. Then there was the fact that their starter went just 1/3 of an inning before leaving with an injury. And then there was the fact that Vin Mazzaro should have been out of his 10 run inning with no damage done if not for Melky Cabrera’s lack of defensive ability. I shouldn’t blame things entirely on Melky, though any of the other center fielders on the roster would have prevented any runs from scoring.

Now it’s time to move on. Players often use the cliché of how great it is that there’s a game the next day to wash away the thoughts of the day before. Well, the Indians have left town after successfully destroying the Royals team psyche and the Rangers roll in. With the Rangers comes the promise of yet another prize prospect from the best farm system in baseball. Danny Duffy will make the start tonight against the American League champions in front of what will be a nice walk-up crowd. It won’t quite rival what we saw from Hosmer probably, but he was and is a better prospect and that game was on a Friday night of a homestand the Royals were 5-1 on at that point.

I’m excited to get a chance to see Duffy in action outside of an exhibition like the Future’s Game last month. I think there’s a very real (and slightly sad) chance that he is the ace of the Royals staff before ever throwing a pitch. I wouldn’t give him the ball in Game 1 of the World Series just yet, but if you asked who the Royals best pitcher right now is, Duffy’s name would potentially be the consensus. We’ve talked a little about Duffy in this space, but what he’s done in Omaha this year has been very impressive. He’s put up a solid 3.00 ERA with a FIP pretty close to match at 3.26. He’s striking out over a batter per inning and walking just 2.5 per nine. He’s been a little stingier with the home run ball than we can probably expect moving forward, but he hasn’t been lucky as evidenced by a .327 Batting Average on Balls In Play. Duffy throws a fastball in the low 90s that can touch the mid-90s when he needs it as well as a very good changeup, and I believe a slider.

The one problem with having Duffy in the big league rotation today is that they’re going to have to monitor his innings over the course of the season. Because of his decision to walk away from baseball last year, he wasn’t able to accumulate innings to get to about 150 or 160 where the Royals probably would have liked him last year. Also, due to stricter pitch counts in the minors, Duffy has only thrown 36 innings in his seven starts this year. The Royals need someone who can chew up at least six innings while he’s out there, so that’ll be something to watch for as often pitchers command isn’t great in the early going of their Major League debut. He does catch a bit of a break as the Rangers are without both Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. Their offense is still quite good, but it’s not elite without those two. I look for a nice debut tonight. I think we’ll see six innings, two runs, five hits, five strikeouts and three walks.

I have to admit that I got a little overly frustrated last night when watching the Royals bats flail up there against Carlos Carrasco. The thing that got me the angriest was in the early going when Hosmer tripled to center and Betemit was up with one out. The Royals needed a run in the worst way both for the game and for their confidence. Betemit swings at the first pitch and it was just an awful one to swing at. He ended up hitting a little chopper back to the mound (I think) and Hosmer was stuck on third. In that situation, you cannot be swinging at the first pitch if it is something down. I probably got a little too animated and I apologize to the wonderful people who fed me and were forced to listen to me rant and rave. Still, though, that kind of baseball is unacceptable. Betemit is one of the last guys I’d expect that from as he always has such excellent at bats.

I think and hope that the Royals are just in a bit of a team funk right now. We all knew the starting pitching wouldn’t be much to write home about, and it hasn’t been. A 19-1 loss makes everything look much worse. If the Royals had been swept but lost the first game 4-1 and the second game 7-3, this season wouldn’t have a sky falling type feeling. This series coming up is absolutely huge. The Royals need to win four out of their next five if they want any hope of a .500 season. It’s possible, though not terribly probable. I have high hopes that Duffy will get things started off on the right foot tonight.

Nothing to See Here

No good can come from writing about last night’s disaster of a game. The Royals lost in a big, big way. They’re now 20-20. Roster moves are afoot. Everett Teaford is coming up to replace Vin Mazzaro who gave up 14 earned runs. Yes, 14 earned runs. Robinson Tejeda is probably coming off the disabled list while Kyle Davies is going on the disabled list, though that’s not yet official. Yesterday was a bad day for the Royals in many ways, and it was just punctuated by last night’s game. Today will be a better today for the team. It sort of has to be, right?