Friday, April 23, 2010

Royals Shakeup Bullpen, Still Screw It Up

Alright, when I first saw that Juan Cruz had been released and Luis Mendoza had been DFA'ed, I was happy. But then I remembered that Cruz has been one of the more reliable relievers this year. He had one of the lowest ERA's in the bullpen, while finding some bad luck with pitching to contact, showcased by his .528 BABIP. My guess is that the Royals thought it was time to part ways with good ol' Cruzy.

Looks like I need to change my subhead up top. Luis Mendoza and his 22.50 ERA have been released. The crime in this is that the Royals didn't need Mendoza. He was a project and the Royals simply didn't need him. With Brad Thompson and Carlos Rosa already on the 40-man roster, there was no need for Mendoza. Closer Joakim Soria said that Mendoza was the best pitcher in Mexico (which is kind of like saying that he makes the best pizza in Mexico). Whatever the case, Mendoza had his shot at the big leagues and once again, he failed.

Now to the real issue that I have with this decision. The Royals are recalling LHP Bruce Chen and RHP Brad Thompson from AAA. I'm ok with Thompson, but Bruce Chen is not a Major League arm. He is what he is. An AAAA pitcher with a 4.71 career ERA. Not interested. Meanwhile, we've got Carlos Rosa, a young guy who many thought would be a big set up arm a couple of years ago. But word from people around the Royals organization is that the front office believes that Rosa still hasn't learned to be a reliever. I hate to say it, but this is how these things are going to be for a while. Not until the Royals start getting viable young arms in Omaha. Blake Wood still isn't quite there yet, Rosa is struggling, Disco Hayes has very few believers in the front office and the Royals seem to be throwing stuff against a wall and seeing if it will stick. And for now, thats just the way it's going to be.

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bullet Points on Toronto Series

-Zack was Zack today. Good to see him bolt it down and turn in a quality start against one of the AL's better offenses. If he struggled today, I was really going to start worrying. The only negative is that our bullpen sucks and couldn't hold the Jays, preventing Zack from getting his first win of the year.
-Jose Guillen and Scott Podsednik continue to swing hot bats. I never thought I would say this, but these two seem to be our offensive catalysts. If they can keep it up through the season and in to July, we may see these guys bring back a pretty decent haul around the trade deadline, especially Podsednik who is signed to a very club friendly deal. Guillen...not so much.
-Alex Gordon came up big today. The Royals were on the verge of a sweep and a disastrous 3-6 record on their first road trip. But Gordo pulled the boys in blue back from the edge and delivered with a huge extra innings home run. Oh yeah, the bomb he hit was off of a lefty too.
-Canada really doesn't care about baseball when the NHL Playoffs are going on and the Jays are playing the Royals. Truly a recipe for all time attendance lows.
-Josh Rupe may be the guy. No one in the bullpen has been able to throw strikes, but Rupe has come out of Omaha and been awesome. Even though he allowed the Jays to tie it today, he's really held it down. Now the question is if he can sustain it.
-Kyle Davies looks serviceable. I've been saying for years that he is underutilized in the rotation and should be used in the bullpen. I may be right considering he was magnificent through 5 innings yesterday and then imploded in the 6th. A common trend in his 2010 starts.
-The offense seems to get satisfied whenever they go up by 3 or more runs early in the game. no no no. Jamie Quirk said it all the time last year when the Royals were winning with smoke and mirrors in May, you've got to have a "step-on-their-neck" mentality. Strike hard, strike first, show no mercy. Or maybe this offense isn't capable of scoring more than 3 runs on a regular basis.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Royals Bats Invade Canada! Overtake Canadian Military

Now is the time for retribution! Well, not really. But hey, the Blue Jays are off to a pretty good 7-6 start. Most people, including myself, were thinking that the Blue Jays would be baseball's version of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Crappy and old. But Cito Gaston is a brilliant manager and has obviously done something right. Vernon Wells is hitting like the Vernon Wells of old. But the Royals are catching the Blue Jays at the right time. Tonight's starter, Brandon Morrow, is coming off his worst start in years after giving up seven earned runs through four innings against the White Sox.

The Royals get to see Excelsior Springs native, Shawn Marcum in the final game of the series as he faces off against Zack Greinke on Wednesday.

So open a Labatt Blue, eat some pyrogies and crank up the Nickelback (on second thought, don't do that) and enjoy baseball on carpet for the next three days!