Archive for the ‘Kansas City Royals’ category

Joel Zumaya’s got competition

May 14, 2008

In an interview published in the Kansas City Star, Royals starter and former number one draft pick/Tennessee Vol Luke Hochevar is apparently the best Rock Band player in the league. Joel Zumaya better watch out.

I hear you’re the best Rock Band player in baseball.

(laughs) I wouldn’t argue with that. I’ll take it.

What’s the secret?

Lots of hours logged. Banny and Davies are pretty good, too. That’s our band, pretty much.

I see you as the drummer for some reason.

I can play them all. I’m not a very good singer though. Now Brian Bannister is the drummer. He’s taken over that role. And he’s really good.

Maybe Zumaya is all hype. I dare Zumaya to challenge Hochevar. It would be a battle of epic proportions. The best part is Hochevar mentioning that Brett Tomko is also pretty good at the game.. I thought his arms were broken and he was at a full body cast at one point in his career..?

Luke Hochevar: baseball’s best Rock Band player? (Sam Mellinger’s Royals blog)

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April (and some of March) in review…(AL)

May 1, 2008

The first month of the season has come to a close, so let’s hand out some hardware.

Note: These are for the baseball played since the first series in Japan in late March, through the end of April. Some of these acknowledgments will be completely irrelevant in May (if they are even relevant now)…

Best Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels are tied with Oakland for the best record in the AL. However, I give the edge to the Angels because the A’s will fizzle. LA just has more star power. Their pitching staff, led by Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana, both have ERAs under 3 and Jered Weaver pitched like an ace the other day against the potent Detroit offense. Santana is stepping it up while Jon Garland is sucking and Kelvim Escobar’s career could be over. K-Rod is 11 for 12 in save opportunities.

The offense is really clicking this season for the Angels. They have scored 140 runs so far with their strong lineup. Casey Kotchman is off to a great start batting .344/.406/.594. Chone Figgins is having an all-star season so far batting .313 with 8 steals. Offseason acquistion Torii Hunter is fitting in very nicely with his new squad and Vladimir Guerrero is batting .271, which is good, but will most likely rise because he is very dangerous. SS Erick Aybar is a young guy to keep an eye on batting .318 so far. He also plays a good shortstop.

Los Angeles is doing just fine without stud pitchers John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar. Though Escobar won’t be back, Lackey should be around soon, and he will only help the Angels pull ahead of Oakland for what looks to be another championship season. (more…)

Does speed nullify weak statistics?

April 24, 2008

Speed on the bases is an asset that any manager would love to have. A burner at first keeps the pitcher nervous, can get into scoring position, and ease the manufacture of runs. But looking at a few of the MLB leaders in steals, you wonder if having this luxury of speed on the bases is worth the atrocious numbers at the plate.

OF Michael Bourn-Houston Astros

Bourn is the current MLB leader in steals at a perfect 13 for 13. He is undoubtedly one of the fastest players around, his 2004 season at A Lakewood when he stole 57 of 63 is evidence. His 2007 in Philadelphia showed some promise at the plate with a .277 over 105 games and a sturdy .348 OBP. Again, he was almost perfect with 18 steals and one caught stealing. But this year, he is off to a weak start at the plate batting .216. On the positive side, he has 10 BB so far, contributing to a .310 OBP. It would be nice to see him get that average up because he has the speed of the prototypical lead off man, he has shown he can take a walk, and past performance suggests that he can bump up the batting average and be one of the league’s most dangerous men on the bases.

OF Carlos Gomez-Minnesota Twins

Carlos Gomez is an absolute speed demon, but wow, for a guy touted as a “five-tool” player (minus the power so I guess four), this guy is off to a horrendous start. He has been a total liability at the plate. His OBP of .247 is unacceptable at the top of the Twins lineup. Perhaps the ugliest stat of the first month of the season is Gomez’s K/BB ratio. 24 K and 2 BB (second only to SS Bill Hall with 26 K and 2 BB, but apples and oranges since Hall hits the ball sometimes). I am definitely not sold in the least bit on Gomez. I don’t care if he’s 9 for 10 on steals this year because that speed is not doing much walking back to the dugout. Get really good at bunting and just do that every time. Is the cure for the Wobegon batting .230? Get it together because we don’t want to see you turn into Alex Escobar.

OF Joey Gathright-Kansas City Royals

Gathright is another speedster who needs to get it together at the plate. Gathright is about as entertaining as a baseball player can be on the bases. He has wide receiver speed and he can jump over fielders and cars. That’s pretty damn cool. The main beef I have with Gathright, and many other speedy guys, is in the walks department. Take some pitches please.

These three guys are still young and have time to fix some things in their game and become hot commodities. If they can combine the offensive portion of their game with the speed and base running ability they already possess, then we are looking at a nice crop of classic lead off men. Speed is a great tool, but you can’t steal a base when you get out every time. In the meantime, these managers should let these guys find their ways offensively by leaving them in the lineup, despite substandard numbers.

No mo’ Nomo (and Thomas)

April 22, 2008

Yeah, we have not been posting for a few days. While that happened, an earthquake in the midwest happened, John Marzano died, Justin Huber is finally getting his break with the Padres, Danica Patrick getting a win, and Hideo Nomo and Frank Thomas getting sacked. It makes me feel older to see some of the stars of the past get released. Yes, Hideo Nomo sucked and there was no reason at all to even keep him in the roster with that 18.69 ERA, and technically, after his Cy Young 1996 season, he wasn’t really a star, but it still makes me feel older.

I will miss Frank Thomas though, as his career is definitely waning, understatement, etc etc. If I was J.P. Riccardi, I would have definitely given him a few more weeks with the Jays to see if he can get out of it. Matt Stairs is somehow on a late-career hot streak though, even at the age of 40 (wtf). He’s getting courted by the Mariners and GM Bill Bavasi so, he might play there. That would be nice. But I think Frank Thomas is the single most underrated hitter in the 1990s, bar none.

Royals’ starters have hot start; Greinke over Pitt-Aniston

April 4, 2008

The Kansas City Royals began their 2008 season with a sweep of the $138 million Detroit Tigers. The Tigers spent a ton of money this off season upgrading their offense, but it did not pay off in the season opening series. The Royals top three starters, Gil Meche, Brian Bannister, and Zack Greinke, shut down one of the most potent offenses (on paper) in baseball. The Royals have quietly formed a respectable pitching staff over the last couple seasons, acquiring Bannister in December, 2006 from the Mets, and signing Meche before the 2007 season. Greinke, a first round pick, was a highly touted prospect in the KC organization. (more…)

Division Preview: AL Central

March 12, 2008

The AL Central is the best division in baseball. I am not basing this solely on my Tigers being in this division, but it is definitely a reason. I won’t be too much of a Dickie V homer though. The last few years in the AL Central have been the most exciting since its inception in 1994. Cleveland won the division last season but the Tigers made a blockbuster deal this off season in hopes of ruining Cleveland’s attempt at defending the AL Central throne. The White Sox, Twins, and Royals are still around, but most likely will not play a huge role in the playoff picture this season because Detroit and Cleveland will be too dominant. The AL Central is as strong as ever and the wild card winner will be come from this division. Here is a preview of what lies ahead this season. (more…)