Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quick Thoughts on Farnsworth

Today, the Royals announced that Kyle Farnsworth would be competing for a spot in the starting rotation. My first thought was "why?", which over the next few hours turned into "why not?"

It's a perfectly good question. Why not try him as a starter? Farnsworth has long toiled as a tormented set up man all across baseball. But he has never once been a starting pitcher. He isn't really built like a pitcher, more like a UFC fighter. He's had his chances in the bullpen and he usually blew them. But the funny thing is, when he pitches in low pressure situation, the guy gets people out. He had a 19 inning scoreless streak last year (which was broken when he appeared in a late innings situation and blew a lead). My point is, why not give him no lead to work with? Baseball is a mental game and has driven men crazy (See Dykstra, Lenny). Let's face it, if you're a pitcher you have to be mentally tough. Especially if you're in the bullpen. But I think the psychological advantage of being in the rotation is that there is less pressure on you than sitting on a bench for 3 hours and then being thrust into a game threatening situation.

I don't know if I could fully endorse the move, but like I said, why not?

Excuse Me While I Process...I Mean Project...

Well, Spring Training is just days away for the Royals. That being said, it is time for me to unveil my "gut instinct", non-statistical-yet-based-on-past-performance-projections! Enjoy.

We'll start off with the starting rotation.

Zack Greinke- 17-9, 2.56 ERA, 247 K, 230 IP. I expect Zack to regress, if you can call it that, due to the fact that I think the league will somewhat key in on him after watching mountains of tape. It probably won't help that much. I think his strikeouts will also go up just a bit.

Gil Meche- 13-12, 4.03 ERA, 162 K, 203 IP. As I have said in the past, I think we've seen the best of Gil Meche in a Royals uniform. He's getting older, but not old enough to warrant a big regression this year. I think Trey learned his lesson last year and Gil will stay relatively healthy.

Brian Bannister- 12-10, 3.57 ERA, 152 K, 210 IP. Banny is going to turn into a work horse this year. A REAL innings eater. I think he'll throw several good games for the Royals this year.

Luke Hochevar- 10-14, 4.38 ERA, 163 K, 187 IP. Luke is a guy who I think will finally start putting it together this year and will start climbing his way up to the top half of the rotation heading in to 2011. I really have faith in him because he showed us some brilliance in a handful of starts last year.

Kyle Davies- 2-8, 5.67 ERA, 102 K, 140 IP. I think he'll be relegated to bullpen duty by the All Star Break. He's got a world of potential, but I'm not sure if the mental makeup is there.

Lineup (projected)

1. RF David DeJesus- .283/.356/.440, 12 HR, 76 RBI, 10 SB. I think he's been the most consistent player on our roster in the past few years. If he puts up numbers like this with the Royals cellar dwelling in July, I expect him to be traded.

2. LF Scott Podsednik- .270/.325/.387, 4 HR, 48 RBI, 26 SB. I am not as gloomy about Pods as I was when we acquired him, but I think he'll provide average to decent numbers for a light hitting, poor baserunning 2-hole hitter.

3. 1B Billy Butler- .315/.385/.460, 28 HR, 105 RBI, 1 SB. I was looking forward to this projection all week. Really excited to see what Billy will do this year.

4. CF Rick Ankiel- .254/.312/.425, 16 HR, 56 RBI, 12 SB. All I want for him to do is gun people down and not strike out with runners in scoring position. I think he'll play well enough for people to like him.

5. 2B Alberto Callaspo- .298/.345/.425, 15 HR, 67 RBI, 6 SB. I think 'Bert will continue hitting. Most baseball people think he's a .300-.310 career hitter. I put him in the .285-.300 range. His RBI numbers will slip as he probably will not be hitting behind DeJesus' hefty OBP and rather Ankiel's sluggish OBP.

6. Alex Gordon- .265/.345/.450, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 13 SB. A season like this would have us all optimistic that he could really be a special player, but time is running out on him. I hope his real numbers are better than this projection.

7. DH Josh Fields*- .242/.320/.432, 20 HR, 53 RBI, 2 SB. I think we could see him succeed in a new environment.

8. SS Yuniesky Betancourt- .265/.289/.376, 4 HR, 38 RBI, 6 SB. I am actually thinking about taking these numbers to Vegas and seeing what the odds are. I'm guessing they're less than 50:1.

9. C Jason Kendall- .245/.325/.320, 0 HR, 37 RBI, 5 SB. Pretty weak way to round out a lineup, but I doubt we see better numbers than this. Hopefully his defense behind home plate will lead to more wins and he won't strike out in big situations.

*I did not put Jose Guillen's projection up because I believe he will play in very few games this year.


1B/DH Kila Ka'aihue- .238/.356/.420, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 2 SB. This may be a pipedream, but I think that the Kila Whale (nice, right?) deserves his shot. Another year in AAA turns him into Justin Huber 2.0. He needs a chance to develop.

C/DH Brayan Pena- .276/.330/.390, 5 HR, 29 RBI, 0 SB. I like him alot. I really hope that he gets a real look in Spring Training. My hope is 50 starts for him, especially if Kendall breaks down.

SS/2B/OF/3B/DH/Janitor Willie Bloomquist- .260/.307/.325, 3 HR, 36 RBI, 15 SB. Willie is a valuable player, if he only starts every fourth day.

OF Brian Anderson- .278/.350/.385, 3 HR, 27 RBI, 12 SB. He really broke out in Boston in 21 games where he hit .280. If he doesn't impress in Spring Training, then he has options left.



RHP Juan Cruz- 3.67 ERA, 67 K, 57 IP. I think he struggled last year due to injury. I could be wrong and he could be yet another NL pitcher who can't hack it in the Junior Circuit.

LHP Edgar Osuna- 4.13 ERA, 27 K, 40 IP. Our Rule-5 pick could surprise us this year and provide decent lefty help.

RHP Robinson Tejeda- 3.06 ERA, 56 K, 60 IP. I think he will be our primary set up man. I also think that he will challenge Kyle Davies for the 5th starter in Spring Training.

RHP Matt Herges- 4.67 ERA, 28 K, 35 IP. Another guy who will be a mop up man.

LHP Dusty Hughes- 3.98 ERA, 37 K, 48 IP. For a bullpen that needs incredible help from a lefty, Dusty could be a nice surprise.

Closer Joakim Soria- 43 Saves, 2.06 ERA, 70 K, 69 IP. I have a feeling it will be another All Star type season for the Mexicutioner.

There you have it.