Home > Uncategorized > Strong Debut for Moustakas and Some Notes

Strong Debut for Moustakas and Some Notes

After a solid first weekend in the big leagues for Mike Moustakas that saw him get a lot of his firsts out of the way, the Royals are about to head to Oakland where the pitchers should theoretically look much better than they are and the offense should be prepared to take a nap for the next three games. Apparently Danny Duffy could potentially be pitching for his spot in the rotation this week as Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies both could be making their final rehabilitation appearance in Omaha. I’ll get to that note here shortly. Back to the original topic, though, for a second before I get into the notes – Mike Moustakas looked outstanding this weekend. I thought his defense looked solid and he was surprisingly patient at the plate. I read that he was the second Royals player in history to draw a walk in each of his first three games. The first was Tim Spehr, but that fact isn’t important.

Now let’s move on to the notes:

  • As I mentioned, Moustakas looked really good and got a good chunk of his firsts out of the way. That was my big worry with him. He seems like such a great guy and like a player who doesn’t get into his head too much, but I just had this fear that if he started off 0-12 or something that he would start to press. So far, so good on that front. I think he has such a good head on his shoulders that it doesn’t take much of a solid start to keep him in a good frame of mind for awhile. I would recommend getting used to homers like the one we saw on Saturday. Moustakas will be popular around Kansas City as long as he hits because nobody with the Royals has hit homers quite like he will.
  • Eric Hosmer looks like he’s going through his first real slump at the big league level, and I think could probably use a day off tomorrow to give him two days to clear his head. Oakland is not typically a place for a hitter to break out of a slump with the combination of the huge stadium and the A’s pitching staff. They mentioned some mechanical issues on the broadcast yesterday that seem like the type of things that a day off and a little work can cure pretty quickly. He’s clearly one of the three or four best hitters on the roster, so I’m not at all worried about him, but every hitter slumps at some point. Even Albert Pujols looked human for six weeks this year. Hosmer is like Moustakas in that I don’t really see a slump sapping confidence or causing problems, but there are things that need to be fixed. And for heaven’s sake, he needs to lay off that high fastball.
  • The pitching over the weekend looked okay, which was a step in the right direction. Felipe Paulino struggled a little bit for the first time, but he wasn’t exactly supported by his defense with a key error by Chris Getz leading to some runs in a big inning for the Angels. Paulino ended up going five and giving up five runs, but only two of them were earned. Runs are runs, though. All in all, I’m just not terribly confident in anybody in the rotation on a consistent basis, though it looks like the Royals are starting to put together a rotation that is at least capable of eight or nine good starts in a row. The flip side is that they’re capable of eight or nine stinkers in a row. It’s still a work in progress.
  • Speaking of works in progress, rumblings are coming out that Danny Duffy may get sent down to make room for either Bruce Chen or Kyle Davies back in the rotation. I talked about Duffy last week and his issues with pace and command and how they might be somewhat related. My thought is that he doesn’t have a ton to learn in AAA because he can get away with some of the things he can’t get away with in the Majors. That said, if he’s working with an ERA in excess of 5.50 and he’s walking hitters at the rate he is, then it’s not about learning. If it was me running the team, I’d just DFA Kyle Davies, but the Royals don’t seem to be thinking that way. The good thing about sending Duffy down is that if he’s down for just a few weeks he will avoid Super 2 status. That only matters if the classification is still around after the new CBA, but it’s worth monitoring for the time being.
  • Speaking of the new CBA, talks of realignment have popped up again, and they appear to actually have some legs this time. The idea on the table right now is for the two leagues to have 15 teams each. The consensus of the team that would have to move from the National League to the American League would be the Houston Astros. Baseball people talk about them because they have a good natural rivalry with the Rangers, but the real reason they’re being discussed is because they have a new owner coming in and MLB can strong arm him into agreeing to the move or else he can’t have the team. There would be no divisions in this new plan, and the top five teams would make the playoffs. Presumably, the four and five seeds would play each other in the new proposed playoff round and then the matchups would be 1 vs. 4/5 and 2 vs. 3. Personally, I hate this idea. I don’t have a big problem with getting rid of the divisions, but I hate the thought of interleague play every day. If they’re going to do that, they’d have to make the league rules the same, so that teams aren’t flipping back and forth between DH and non-DH rules. I guess the plan would be to make everybody use the DH, but I still don’t like this idea.

Those are my thoughts from the weekend. Today is an off day for the Royals, which means tomorrow is a blogger’s biggest enemy – the day after a day off. I’ll be interested to see if any stories come out about what the Royals plan to do in St. Louis with the Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer situation to see who will play there. I should probably save this to talk about tomorrow, but I think with Hosmer slumping, it’ll be a good situation to get Butler some reps at first base and give Hosmer an additional day off on this road trip. Of course, if he gets hot in Oakland, you have to play him because he gives you the best chance to win. I’ll save that for a potential post tomorrow. It sure is nice to go into an off day on a winning note, though, and with the knowledge that the Royals went 7-3 against the Angels this year. The progress is slow, but it’s certainly there.

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  1. Daniel
    June 13, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I would be thrilled if the NL finally got with the times and adopted the DH. I have never been able to figure out why people think it’s interesting or “strategic” for pitchers to hit. There’s nothing fun about giving the other team a free out every 9th batter.

  2. Joe
    June 14, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Don’t tell that to Zack Grienke.

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