Friday, April 16, 2010

Twins Series Preview

Alright, so here we go. Early season baseball outdoors in the Twin Cities. Should be a riot! Here's some things to keep an eye on.

-Zack Greinke hasn't really looked much like Zack Greinke in his first two starts. He's much better than he's showcased early on. I'm looking for him to kick it into gear tonight and shut down this potent Twins offense.

-Roman Colon has been designated for assignment and Josh Rupe has been called up from Omaha. This is a baby step in the right direction. Dayton Moore has allegedly been shopping Juan Cruz and Kyle Farnsworth as well, saying that the Royals would eat some or most of their remaining salaries.

-Billy Butler has been hitting singles left and right, but hasn't showcased much power yet in 2010. Looking for a big series from Billy Ray simply for the fact that he's due.

-After the news of Jose Guillen's brush with death in the offseason, I'm rooting for this guy big time. Hopefully he keeps it going and murders the ball again this weekend. Only problem is that Jose has struggled in cold weather in his career. First pitch temp tonight in Minny is listed at 58 degrees.

-Can Gil Meche rebound this weekend? I sure hope so. If Gil can turn in solid starts this year like the rest of our rotation, look out.

-Interested to watch extended periods of baseball at Target Field. Haven't gotten a chance to see how the ball plays in the park. Very little foul territory as well.

-The Royals no longer have to dread the Metrodome. Time for a fresh start in Minnesota.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Royals Show Signs of a Good Team, Capitalize on Detroit Mistakes

Sometimes one game can change your outlook for the short term. I really liked what the Royals did today. They had to win today. I remember in 2006, the Royals didn't win a SERIES until mid-June. So we've improved in that department.

Alright, enough with the snarkiness. I loved how the Royals won this game today. Jose Guillen, wow. We all may have to owe you an apology if you continue hitting like this through April. JoGui has 5 taters in 4 games. Pretty impressive. He's playing like he should in a contract year. Good for him. If the Royals are 10 games out in July, then he could get a pretty good return in a trade. But if we aren't 10 games out, then he'll likely be a reason we aren't 10 games out.

John Parrish is everything John Bale wasn't. He's been very reliable these first couple of weeks. A big cheer came from my end when he got the biggest Royal killer, Miguel Cabrera, to ground out to get out of a jam in the 7th inning. An otherwise small victory in what could have been another disastrous bullpen meltdown.

The Royals took care of business when the Tigers made mistakes. Gerald Laird dropped a ball on what should have been an easy out at the plate. Rookie Scott Sizemore let a slow dribbler go under his glove, letting a run score. That is how the Royals are going to win. Simply play better than the other team. If you can do that most of the time, you'll likely be around .500.

Another exciting element of this Detroit series was that the Royals collected 46 hits. Don't know the last time that happened, but man we really shelled them this week.

I'm starting to creep back towards cautious optimism. After nine games it is tough to evaluate a team and whether or not they are streaky, but these guys are swinging the bats well, the starters are doing their job and turning in quality starts and the defense looks better, not good, but better. If we can get this bullpen figured out, then as one Royals blogger infamously wrote: "It's On".

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quick Thoughts on BoSox, Aviles, Bandwagoners and Gil's Mess

Really, the bullpen is awful. Boston's isn't much better, but they have some nice hitters like Jeremy Hermida and a 40 year old Jason Varitek. Glad we could squeak one away from them and not be a total embarassment of a 1 win team. Jose Guillen hit 2 homers today. Sorry Kila, but JoGui Wheelz just bought himself another month of active duty on a major league team. Mike Aviles, if I ran a baseball team named the Kansas City Royals, you would play every day and set the table for Bert and Billy Ray. Yuniesky Betancourt.....thats all. I can't speak on him. It would end up with me writing a run on sentence about first swing pop outs and GIDP. Red Sox "fans" were loud and obnoxious this weekend, per the usual, but on Saturday I actually sat behind a group of people who were ACTUALLY from Boston and they couldn't have been nicer. But most of them seemed to be bandwagoners who paid good hard American money to sit in a chair for 3 hours for the sole purpose of shouting "YOUUUUUUK" whenever Kevin Youkilis breathed or looked like Sloth from The Goonies. Gil Meche, wow. I'm sorry, looks like your career has taken a beating from Trey Hillman and Dayton Moore (starting April 15th, they will be referred to as "Treyton"). Either that, or a five year deal was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too long for a guy like Gil. Going with the latter as we know Dayton loves signing players within the timetable of their plateau.

10 days of peace now. Royals on the road for 9 games.

**One positive, Rick Ankiel is awesome. If that guy learned some plate discipline, he could be great. I mean, really really great.