Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do's and Don'ts for Royals Contention in 2010

DO give Kila Ka'aihue a shot. He's better than any other option at DH, besides Billy Butler, in the system. I'm guessing that Jose Guillen will find his way to the DL either during Spring Training or sometime shortly thereafter. Josh Fields should be used as a back up 3B/1B/OF. This team is desperate for walks and KK's great OBP would be a welcome sight at Kauffman Stadium. Not to mention he may bring some potentially fearsome pop to the 6 or 7 spot in the lineup.

DON'T have a good April. Have a decent April. We saw it last year and the year before and in 2003, it's not how you start, but rather sustaining success and winning at the right times. The pressure to win is always surrounding a team, but being "right there" in July and August could possibly propel this team to contention status in the weak AL Central. Stay within 5-7 games of the division leader, hover above .500 through July and you are a couple of solid winning streaks away from the playoffs.

DON'T think that you can piggy back Billy Butler, Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria to .500. If this team has any shot, it won't be because these three continue success, it will be due to Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar and the bullpen putting it together this year. Any team with a handful of good players can always raise a little hell.

DO score runs when Zack Greinke pitches. Easy.

DON'T be tempted to use Kyle Farnsworth in game threatening situations.

DON'T bat Scott Podsednik or Jason Kendall in the top of the order. This is an awful idea that Trey seems to be toying with. Pods has decent numbers in the leadoff spot, but nowhere near what David DeJesus seems to offer. Podsednik is best suited for the 8th or 9th spot in the order. Kendall does not provide the OBP he used to and should no way warrant a spot in the 2-hole.

DON'T let Brayan Pena languish on the bench. He has shed quite a few pounds in the offseason and added some muscle to his frame. He may turn into an Alberto Castillo type, but maybe he turns into a Yadier Molina type as well. Give him a shot.

DO attempt to educate the front office on the broad idea of sabermetrics and advanced statistics. One of our best pitchers swears by them. Maybe Banny should have a little sit down with Dayton and Co. and explain in 4th grader terms why Yuniesky Betancourt is actually a worse option than Tony Pena Jr.

DON'T listen to Dave Owen.

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