Results tagged ‘ GMDM ’
Luke Hochevar is no longer being considered for the no. 5 slot in the Royals’ rotation.
In just three outings this spring totaling all of 8.0 innings, Hoch has surrendered 6 runs (all earned), 9 hits (including 2 HR), and had a WHIP of 1.88.
Mercifully, Hochevar’s time in the Royals’ rotation appears to be over. Manager Ned Yost has decided move the long-time starter to the bullpen, leaving the fifth rotation spot up for grabs between Bruce Chen and Luis Mendoza. Yost said that, while they’re long shots, Will Smith and Yordano Ventura are still in the mix for the job as well.
Given his history as a starter and his ability to throw a mid-90′s fastball that’s coupled with a decent sinker/slider combo, Luke could serve as both a long-man in the bullpen (if need be) or a late-inning guy – depending on the situation. As of right now, I would envision Luke’s role in the ‘pen as either a 6th or 7th inning guy. The fact that he’s only pitched out of the bullpen three times in his career makes me wary of the thought of him pitching late in meaningful games.
It was time for a change. Actually, it is well past the time for a change. The Royals have been trying to move Hochevar all winter long, talking the most with the Colorado Rockies (Hoch is from Denver, by the way). It has been reported that the asking price for Hochevar is “quite a bit”, which is understandable given that this organization seems to be enamored with a pitcher who has a career 5.39 ERA, -0.3 WAR, and is still going through salary arbitration (he’s scheduled to make $4.56 million in 2013). But, as Ned and GMDM have beaten into the ground, Hoch has the “stuff” to be a quality starting pitcher.
He really does, though.
We’ve all seen him dominate. We’ve all also see him have a perfect game going into the 5th, 6th, or 7th inning before imploding and costing the team the game.
It’s time to ask Luke for just one good inning.
This move is similar to what the Rays did with Wade Davis last season. They’re both big-bodied pitchers who are capable of dialing it up if asked to go one inning at a time. Davis thrived in the bullpen last season (54 appearances, 70.1 IP, 2.43 ERA, 11.1 K/9, 1.4 WAR) before being traded to Kansas City with the intention of sliding him back into the rotation. If the Royals can get anything even remotely close to that from Hoch, they’ll be ecstatic.
“I think it makes us a better team. I think it makes us a stronger team. It gives us a better chance to win every day. With three weeks left, I want to get him acclimated to that role.” - Ned Yost on moving Hochevar to the bullpen (Kansas City Star)
Luke appears to be taking the move in stride and is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.
“I’m willing to take the ball in any position that I can to help the club. That’s the bottom line. Whether it’s starting or in relief, whatever it is, my role is not important. What’s important is that when I take the ball, I’m helping the club.” - Hochevar on moving to the bullpen (Kansas City Star)
The Royals made very odd and thought provoking news when it was announced that they had reached an agreement with free agent and former AL MVP Miguel Tejada.
The deal, of the minor league variety, is worth $1.1 million and comes with up to $400K in bonuses. Although he isn’t on the 40-man roster yet, he will be as soon as a spot opens up.
“I’m very pleased with this. The contract with the Royals is a done deal. I’m going to try to help this team and their younger players. I’m so happy because this is what I was aiming for, a chance to get back to the majors.”
Tejada spent last season with the Orioles Triple-A affiliate. In 36 games, he hit .259/.325/.296 with 5 doubles and 18 RBI and got a majority of his defensive reps at third base. His last experience at the major league level came back in 2011 with the Giants. He managed to play in 91 games that season, but looked nothing like a former MVP or six-time All-Star. He managed to hit a meager .239/.270/.326 and split most of his defensive time between third base and shortstop.
At 38 years old, Miguel Tejada is instantly the oldest player within this organization at any level.
Dayton Moore has been saying that he has been looking for a backup shortstop this offseason who is more glove friendly at the position than Irving Falu and Tony Abreu. Is Miguel Tejada, a 38 year old former shortstop converted to third base because he’s gotten too slow for the position, the answer?
Being a career .285/.336/.457 hitter with 304 HR, 463 doubles, and 1282 RBI, I can’t find enough reason to believe, even at 38, that Miguel Tejada can’t hit at the major league level. I’m sure he could even fill-in a few times a week at second and third base and be at least adequate. But when it comes to being a glove-first shortstop, which is what GMDM said he was looking for to backup Escobar, Tejada has never been and never will be. This move smells an awful lot like the move the team pulled off last winter when they decided to bring back Yuniesky Betancourt on a one-year deal to serve as the “utility” guy.
Not only did Yuni bomb in the field, he became a clubhouse cancer due to his lack of time in the starting lineup. His bat had just enough pop in it to keep him playing every few days, while his defense was nothing short of extremely awful. He only filled in at shortstop once and third base for the Royals in 2012. He made an error.
Miguel Tejada is a great clubhouse guy with a lot of fun energey and brings a ton of experience to this team. He could even provide this team with some power off the bench. I’m not meaning to rag on this signing, as it could hold value. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at the present time.
It’s finally happened.
The Royals and Dayton Moore have done something drastic. Something bold. Something that borders on the edge of sanity.
And something that they absolutely had to do.
Last night, right around 10 pm CT, the Royals acquired starting pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis along with a player to be named or cash from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for uber-prospect and Minor League Player of the Year Wil Myers, right-hander Jake Odorizzi, left-hander Mike Montgomery, and third baseman Patrick Leonard.
What the Royals get:
- James Shields RHP (age 30, 7 seasons, 87-73, 19 complete games, 3.89 ERA, 3.68 K/BB, 1.223 WHIP, 17 WAR)
- “Big Game” James has been the anchor of the Rays’ rotation throughout his seven years with the big league team. While many would not consider him an “ace”, Shields definitely has the track record to be the leader of nearly any big league pitching staff, as well as the numbers to back it up. Since his first full season back in 2007, he’s never pitched less than 200 innings (averaging 227 IP per season) and averages just under 200 K per season. He’s never spent any time on the DL, as his pitching motion is relatively natural and fluid for him. His fastball sits in the low-90s; but his changeup, thrown in the low 80s, is his one of the best in baseball. He also throws an above average cutter and a decent curveball. As it stands, the Royals currently have control of James for 2013 ($10.25 million) and 2014 ($12 million team option). He’s the type of pitcher that the Royals both covet and desperately need. In 2011, he finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting. In 2012, he was 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA and a 2.2 WAR. Over the past two seasons, only one pitcher has pitched more innings (477) than James Shields: Justin Verlander.
- Wade Davis RHP (age 27, 4 seasons, 28-22, 3.94 ERA, 2.04 K/BB, 1.315 WHIP, 2.0 WAR)
- Although he spent all of 2012 coming out of the bullpen, the Royals undoubtedly plan to use Wade Davis in the rotation. Before shifting to the
bullpen, Davis was 25-22 with a 4.22 ERA and finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year voting back in 2009. In 2012, he made 54 appearances out of the bullpen, spanning across 70.1 innings, ammassing a 2.43 ERA, a 3.00 K/BB ratio, and a 1.4 WAR. He throws a low-mid 90s fastball (both four-seam and two-seam) and a spike curveball, as well as a slider and changeup. The Royals will have control of Davis through 2017 (’13: $2.8 million; ’14: $4.8 million; ’15: $7 million team option; ’16: $8 million team option; ’17: $10 million team option).
- Although he spent all of 2012 coming out of the bullpen, the Royals undoubtedly plan to use Wade Davis in the rotation. Before shifting to the
- PTBNL or Cash
What the Rays get:
- Wil Myers OF
- Jake Odorizzi RHP
- Mike Montgomery LHP
- Patrick Leonard 3B
The Royals knew going into the offseason that, if they were going to acquire a top of the rotation starting pitcher, they were going to have to pay dearly for it. Afterall, one cannot acquire talent with out surrendering talent in return.
The Rays gained two of the top prospects in baseball in Myers and Odorizzi. Mike Montgomery’s well-documented struggles in 2011 and 2012 earned him a change of scenery. Patrick Leonard is a nice prospect, but the jury is still out on his potential.
Wil Myers will forever be remembered in Royals baseball lore as a ghost – only heard from but never seen in terms of the big league level. He’s the one that got away. He’s the one that said it’s not me, it’s you.
Jake Odorizzi will be remembered as “the key piece” in the Zack Greinke trade two years ago. A pitcher that proved himself in the minors, only to get two late-September starts for the Royals that left a lot to be desired. But, nonetheless, his comparisons to Zack Greinke will be enough for Royals fans to clammor about giving him up.
Mike Montgomery has struggled mightily over the past two seasons and has been basically given up on by the KC faithful.
Pat Leonard is still a relatively unknown prospect and is basically a throw-in by the Royals. He has some projectable power and will settle in at one of the four corner positions.
This trade signals that Dayton Moore and the Royals are looking for wins now.
The Royals are now at a time when the big league team needs to start producing wins on the field. Starting pitching has been this team’s Achilles heel for years. The Royals haven’t been to the playoffs since 1985.
27 years for those needing further perspective.
They’ve had one winning season this century.
Dayton Moore’s reputation and future with the Royals will be determined by this trade. It is undoubtedly the biggest and boldest move he’s made during his tenure here in Kansas City. He’s taking this risk knowing full well that it could flop.
But it also could be the push that this team needs to contend in the AL Central.
This is the type of move that Royals fans have been waiting for. Are they generally happy with the price they paid for a “non-ace” pitcher plus another capable starter? No. But that comes with this city’s love for unproven commodities. Kansas City baseball fans have fallen in love with “potential” and are personally hurt to see Wil Myers go.
But this is a move that was going to happen. The writing has been on the wall for the past two offseasons. This was the time to strike. It may be considered a reach by some. But only time will tell who won this trade.
The Royals are going all-in for 2013.
Dayton Moore has officially checked out of the Winter Meetings in Nashville and is on his way back to Kansas City. While nothing of major significance took place for the Royals, groundwork for free agents and trade partners have been laid out. The Royals checked in on R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Jon Lester, Derek Holland, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, and probably another 20 names that we were never made aware of.
Aiming for Anibal
Zack Greinke is still a free agent, meaning that Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, and basically every other available starting pitcher with top-of-the-rotation potential are still free agents as well.
Anibal Sanchez has been the Royals’ top free agent target throughout the Winter Meetings, but they’ll need to act fast after Greinke starts the domino effect if they want him on board. Many of the teams outside of the Greinke market, along with whoever loses the Battle for Zack (either the Dodgers or Rangers), have Anibal Sanchez at the top of their wish list.
It’s safe to say, Anibal isn’t going to come cheap.
Historically, the Royals have generally had to overpay free agents in order for them to come to Kansas City (ex: Meche- 5 years, $55 million; Guillen- 3 years, $36 million). Suffice it to say, Sanchez, or any other top free agent for that matter, won’t be here unless the Royals practically outbid everyone else.
Cross your fingers.
The Price Isn’t Right… Yet
The Royals are no longer discussing R.A. Dickey-for-Wil Myers with the Mets. But they did engage in some dialogue with them about possibly dealing Wil Myers for LHP Jon Niese and RHP prospect Zack Wheeler. Outside of Dickey and Johan Santana, Niese and Wheeler are probably the two most coveted pitchers within the Mets organization. If they were strictly talking Myers for them straight-up, Dayton was likely laughed out of the room. But Myers-plus could be interesting.
The Royals other major trade front still lies in Tampa Bay. The Rays are said to be wanting Myers + prospects for starter James Shields, which the Royals balked at. Shields is dominant and would automatically become the Royals’ ace.
And the Rays know that.
For them, it makes sense to hold on to Shields until the free agent market pieces begin to fall into place. Whoever loses out on Greinke/Sanchez/Lohse could turn their eyes toward Tampa, turning regular talks into a free-for-all.
Keeping Tabs on Dempster
Even though he turned down the Royals 2-year, $26 million offer, the Royals are still keeping tabs on righty Ryan Dempster. Given his age (35), the Royals think a two-year deal for $13 million a year is more than sufficient.
Adding a third year to the deal would peak Dempster’s interest and could be enough to sign him, but it doesn’t make sense for the Royals to pay $13 million to a 38 year old pitcher with a declining skill-set.
Regardless, he’ll be worth keeping an eye on – especially after Zack Greinke is off the market.
Mega Trade Talks Cooling
All of yesterday seemed to be spent speculating on a four-team mega trade between the Rangers/Rays, Diamond backs, Indians, and Royals/Mariners, with the main focus being Arizona trading Justin Upton for a starting shortstop – possibly Asdrubal Cabrera or Elvis Andrus/Jurickson Profar.
As of now, with the Gaylord Opryhouse Hotel in Nashville nearing emptiness, talks have cooled.
The whole deal is shrouded in mystery. Were the Royals/Mariners/Rays actually included in talks? Was it all speculation?
The Rangers covet Justin Upton, and if they don’t re-up Josh Hamilton, he’s their guy. Deals are still on the table, but it isn’t for certain exactly which, or even how many, teams are involved.
Rule 5 Draft
Baseball’s Rule 5 Draft took place in Nashville this morning. The Royals didn’t lose any players in the major league portion, but lost five players in the minor league portion of the draft.
- Triple A Phase
- Padres: Diego Goris 3B, Federico Castandeda RHP
- Pirates: Ethan Hollingsworth RHP
- Phillies: Brendan Lafferty LHP
- Reds: Ryan Dennick LHP
The Royals opted to pass on all of their selections, as taking a player in the Major League Phase would have required them to open a spot on their already full 40-man roster. They would also have to keep said player on their 25-man roster for all of 2013 if they didn’t want to risk losing the player to their former team for $25,ooo. All players selected in the Major League Phase requires the selecting team to pay $50,000 to the team the player was previously on.
Tuesday was a much-ado-about-nothing type of day for GMDM and the Royals. No moves were made, but talks with a number of GMs and agents are still ongoing.
No Deal For Dickey
R.A. Dickey‘s name is still flying around the trade rumor mill, with the Royals being one of the teams still in the mix. The Mets appear to be willing to part with the Cy Young award winner, but are asking for premium talent in return – like Wil Myers.
Don’t get me wrong, Dickey is a great guy and fine pitcher. 2012 was a career year and he was the ace of the Mets’ pitching staff. But the guy is 38. No general manager in their right mind (I’m assuming) would give up a player of Wil Myers’ caliber for two years of an aging starting pitcher who gets by on basically a trick pitch. Granted, knuckleballers typically pitch well into their 40s (Tim Wakefield, Phil Niekro, Charlie Hough, Tom Candiotti, etc.), and Dickey seems to have finally figured out how to get hitters to swing and miss. But Dickey will be in the final year of his deal in 2013 and will more than likely test the waters of free agency. So giving up six years of Wil Myers, who projects to be a 25-30 HR-type hitter that should supplant Jeff Francoeur in right field sooner rather than later, for one year of R.A. Dickey doesn’t make much, if any, sense.
Royals officials have since gone as far to say that they definitely will not involve Wil Myers in any deal for R.A. Dickey.
There is another rumor being floated around that the Royals countered the Met’s offer by requesting Dickey in exchange for Lorenzo Cain and Jake Odorizzi. Again, this is a rumor. No official reports have come out that I have seen confirming the offer, but it may be a fair deal for both sides.
Other teams with interest in acquiring Dickey are the Rangers, Dodgers, Red Sox, Orioles, Nationals, Diamondbacks, and Blue Jays.
Still in on Anibal?
The Royals are still in on starter Anibal Sanchez. It’s been said that Anibal is looking for a multi-year deal worth roughly $15-20 million annually and is considered to be well out of the David Glass’ price range. But the Royals are being noted as one of the more active teams during the Winter Meetings thus far.
Former A’s Pitcher Drawing More Interest
The Royals are also one of a handful of teams with serious interest in signing Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy will come considerably cheaper than Sanchez, as a one or two-year deal for him seems likely right now. He went 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA in 18 starts for the A’s last season before his season ended after he was struck in the head by a line drive – causing him to undergo successful brain surgery. Other teams in on McCarthy include the A’s, Red Sox, White Sox, Cubs, Twins, Diamondbacks, Angels, and Rangers.
In any case, if you have a Twitter account, you should definitely give him a follow.
In a live chat yesterday, Royals beat writer Bob Dutton mentioned that the Baltimore Orioles have mild interest in acquiring right fielder Jeff Francoeur. The Royals likely wouldn’t get much in return for Frenchy and would probably have to throw in a few million in order to make the deal fair.
As far as I’m concerned, no matter what the Royals get in return, Dayton Moore needs to pull the trigger on this one. Immediately.
Ned Yost wants the Royals to take a new approach at the plate next season.
“I think Salvador Perez can hit 20-25 homeruns. I think Hosmer can hit 30. Moose can hit 30. Gordy can hit 30. I think Cain can hit 20. I think eventualy Wil Myers can hit 30 homers. We’ve got guys who can do this. Billy Butler could hit 40 – he’s got that kind of pop. I want us to open up our offense a little more and start using the long ball to our advantage”. – manager Ned Yost
In short: More power (somewhere I can here Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor grunting…).
The main reason the Royals opted to part ways with former hitting coach Kevin Seitzer is that he preached that hitters to hit gap-to-gap and up the middle rather than swinging for the fences.
Enter Jack Maloof and Andre David. While both will be hitting coaches, Maloof will hold the official position while David will serve as an assistant. Both were previously hitting instructors within the Royals’ minor league system.
Yost went on to say, “I would rather strike out than hit the ball deep to the center field wall and have it caught – unless there’s a man on third base. I’d rather open up the offense a little bit. I’d rather start taking some good swipes at the ball and try to put the ball in the stands because I think we’ve got guys who can do it.”
The Recognition Continues
2012 was a banner year for Big Bill, as he was a first-time All-Star, a first-time Silver Slugger award winner for his role as the team’s DH, and was selected as the Royals’ player of the year for the third time. He also played in a career-high 161 games.
Blue Jays DH Edwin Encarnacion finished second in the balloting.
The only other Royal to win the award was Hal McRae, who did it three times (1976, 1980, 1982).
The 2012-13 offseason is less than a week old, and the Royals have already made more than just a ripple in the water.
It has been well-known around baseball that the Angels have been looking to dump salary this offseason in order to be able to re-sign Zack Greinke. They had two starting pitchers with high salaries that they were more than willing to part ways with in order to do so: Ervin Santana ($13 million option) and Dan Haren ($15.5 million option).
No sooner than word got out that Santana was available, the Royals swooped in and made their move to acquire him.
For next to nothing.
What the Royals get:
RHP Ervin Santana: age 29 (turns 30 in December), 8 years, 96-80, 4.33 ERA, 6.2 IP/start, 7.1 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 1.300 WHIP, 10.6 WAR, 2008 All-Star, Cy Young candidate in 2008, no-hitter in 2011.
Ervin Santana is a good, not great, pitcher. 2012 was a rough season for him, going 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA while giving up a league leading 39 homeruns. His velocity (~91 mph) was down a tick from his normal standards, but his K and BB rate stayed fairly consistent (6.7 K/9, 3 BB/9) to his career numbers.
Santana did finish 2012 strong- going 5-2 with a 3.91 ERA in his last 10 starts.
The homerun rate, although very high, isn’t really alarming. Usually when a pitcher’s homerun rate spikes, it’s likely due to a little bad luck where flyballs turn themselves in to longballs. Kauffman Stadium is generally regarded as a pitcher’s park, so Santana’s flyball:homerun ratio should revert back to normal. An overwhelming positive about the acquisition is that Santana has a track record of success pitching in the American League.
Santana has the ability to be a front-of-the-rotation starter and has shown that he can eat up innings for this pitching staff (600+ innings combined in the last 3 seasons).
Prior to executing the trade, the Angels picked up Santana’s $13 million option, which now belongs to the Royals. To lighten the load, the Angels also sent $1 million to Kansas City, lessening Santana’s payroll hit to $12 million for 2013.
What the Royals gave:
Cash and LHP Brandon Sisk: age 27, zero big league service time. 2012: Triple-A Omaha (50 games, 67.1 IP, 3-2, 8 saves, 2.54 ERA, 1.351 WHIP, 73 K, 32 BB)
At 27, Brandon Sisk is basically a non-prospect. It was likely that the Royals were going to leave him unprotected for December’s Rule IV draft – meaning that he was more than expendable. A reliever, Sisk will likely go into Spring Training next season as a strong bullpen candidate for the Halos.
The Royals are the clear winners of this trade, regardless of how Santana’s 2013 season goes. They got a legitimate starting pitcher for practically nothing.
This was a great start to the offseason, but more has to be done. Acquiring Santana was a good move, but it can’t be the biggest move Dayton Moore makes this offseason.
“We’re not done. We’re going to try to continue to upgrade our rotation through trades that make sense, continue to work internally to evaluate our young pitchers, perhaps one or two of our guys in the bullpen and we’re certainly going to explore free agency.” – Dayton Moore
The morning after the Omaha Storm Chasers fell to Reno in defense of their PCL title, the Royals promoted a handful a players from the Triple-A club.
Among them was a name Royals fans have been clamoring for: Jake Odorizzi.
Between Double-A and Triple-A this season, the righthander was solid: 15-5, 3.03 ERA, a 135/50 K/BB ratio, and a WHIP of 1.25 in 145.3 innings pitched (26 games, 25 starts). While Odorizzi was definitely deserving of a big league promotion, the move also comes with being added to the 40-man roster – meaning Jake will not be available to other ball clubs in the upcoming Rule 5 draft this winter.
Fans in Kansas City have been calling Odorizzi’s name for most of the season, given the inconcistent performances of starting pitchers Luke Hochevar, Jonathan Sanchez, Bruce Chen, and the season-ending injuries suffered by Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino. But Dayton Moore opted to keep Izzy in Triple-A through the remainder of their season to work on lowering his pitch count by using his pitches more effectively (he averaged only 5-6 innings per start this season) and compete for the PCL title.
Given the heavy workload he’s already had this season, Odorizzi figures to just get a taste of big league action this season. Ned Yost has said that he’ll be in the bullpen for the time being, but is slated to start Sunday’s home game against Cleveland if he isn’t needed before then. He’s been given number 49.
The others promoted to Kansas City are catcher Adam Moore, IF/U Irving Falu, LHP Tommy Hottovy, and RHP Nate Adcock. Noth Hottovy and Adcock figure to serve as extra bullpen depth, while Falu could see some playing time all over the field.
Adam Moore was claimed off of waivers this July after the Mariners DFA’d him. The 28 year old hasn’t wowed anyone during his time in the majors (68 games, .197/.231/.295, 13 XBH (5 HR), 17 RBI, 72 K, 8 BB), but his line of .296/.381/.443 and 11 XBH (3 HR) in 35 games with Omaha this season has earned Moore a look. The Royals now have four active catchers: Sal Perez, Brayan Pena, Manny Pina, and Moore.
2013 is shaping up to be a very interesting year for baseball. The Houston Astros will be making the transition from the over-crowded six-team NL Central to the now-powerful AL West. The move creates two even leagues at 15 teams apiece, five teams per division. The “realignment”, as minimal as it seems, has altered the way the baseball schedule will look from here on out.
Before 2013, interleague play was genereally held from late-May through mid-June and wouldn’t happen again until the World Series.
But starting next season, interleague play is going to take place on practically every single day of the season, April through September.
With the increased interleague play (20 games per team) comes increased divisional play as well. Teams will square-up against each of their divisional foes 19 times apiece (76 games). The remaining 66 games will be divvied out amongst league opponents – playing each team once at home and once on the road.
The interleague divisional partner for the AL Central will be the NL East.
The Royals will open the 2013 season with a series against the Chicago White Sox (April 1, 3-4) before traveling to Philadelphia for a three game series against the Phils. Their home opener will take place on April 8th with a three-game series against the Twins.
- May 27-30: The I-70 Series will take place when the Royals and Cardinals line-up against one another for four consecutive days. The catch? The first two games will take place at The K. The latter two at Busch.
- This is a new idea that the league is trying where each team will face their “interleague rival” for four straight days in each team’s respective ballpark.
- June 25-26: The Braves (in Atlanta since 1966) will make their first trip to Kansas City (the Royals since 1969) in franchise history, pitting GM Dayton Moore and his on-field product against his former employers.
- The Royals will have two 10-game homestands in 2013:
- April 26-29 vs. Cleveland; April 30-May 2 vs. Tampa Bay; May 3-5 vs. Chicago White Sox
- August 5-7 vs. Minnesota; August 8-11 vs. Boston; August 12-14 vs. Miami
- Their two longest road trips will span nine games each:
- May 13-15 @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; May 17-19 @ Oakland; May 20-22 @ Houston
- July 26-28 @ Chicago Cubs; July 30-August 1 @ Minnesota; August 2-4 @ New York Mets
- The Royals’ trip to Queens will be their first visit to Citi Field – the host of the 2013 All-Star game.
- August 23-25: Bryce Harper will make his second trip to Kansas City – his first being this past All-Star game. The then 20-year old will be sure to draw big numbers to The K for that three-game series. Oh yeah, they’ll probably have that Stephen Strasbug guy too. Hopefully the Nats won’t shut him down before then.
The Royals’ regular season home schedule concludes on September 22nd against he Texas Rangers. The regular season itself will end for KC on September 29th when they travel to Chicago (where they’ll start the season) for a four-game series against the White Sox.
Click here for the Royals’ full 2013 schedule.
Sorry for being a few days behind on this post, but I figure these roster moves are still worth noting.
Yuniesky Betancourt was DFA’d and Jose Mijares was claimed off the waiver wire by the Giants.
In turn, IF Tony Abreu and LHP Francisely Bueno were both promoted from Omaha to Kansas City. In a correspondence, SS Christian Colon was promoted from NW Arkansas to Omaha to take Abreu’s spot.
The two subtractions from the big league roster are a little odd. Let’s start with the Yuni move.
Coming into the season, Yuniseky Betancourt was signed to a one-year deal knowing that he would serve as the team’s utility infielder. A decent spring, Gio’s demotion, and the fact that Chris Getz is a left-handed hitter lead to Yuni becoming the right-handed half of the second base platoon. He was even the starter at second on Opening Day. Over the season, Yuni has had his ups and downs. On the plus side, he had a little bit of pop (7 HR in 215 AB) and seemed to come through in clutch situations. He also played passable defense at both second and third base (5 E, .975 Fld%) for a role-player. But that’s about it.
Yuni didn’t strikeout a ton (25 K), but his ability to take a walk was laughable (9 BB in 228 PA). His slash line of .228/.256/.400 was worthy of demotion, he had little-to-no speed, and continually ran into outs on the basepaths. But even with all of these fireable offenses, Yuni felt that he deserved more playing time – and that’s why the Royals opted to part ways with him.
“…and Yuni did a great job for us, but he was a guy that wanted more playing time. He would get upset when he didn’t, but Getz was playing good. There were just situations. We’re trying to win the ballgame, and we’re going to put the best team on the field every day.” “…We’ve got to make sure that if we’re going to change our culture, we have 25 guys who are invested in what we’re trying to do.” – Yost on Yuni
Thus, the team designated Betancourt for assignment after Sunday’s win over Cleveland. The Royals have 10 days to trade (if another team claims him), release, or demote him. I could see a team that has suffered an injury or needs a right-handed hitting platoon partner at either 2B, SS, or 3B take a chance on claiming Yuni.
The next day, a puzzling roster move took place when the Royals let Jose Mijares go to the Giants on a waiver claim. There are a lot of confusing pieces to this one:
- Why would KC want to part with a relatively young (27), productive (51 G, 38.2 IP, 2-2, 2.56 ERA, 11 holds in 51 appearances), and affordable/controllable (arbitration eligible through 2014) lefty from the ‘pen?
- More importantly, why would they let him go for virtually nothing?
The real answer lies in Mijares’ future earning potential. The Royals signed Mijares to a one-year, $925K deal this past offseason after he was non-tendered by the Twins. Expectations were relatively low coming into the season for Jose, even after he made the team out of spring training, mostly due to his 2011 numbers: 58 G, 49 IP, 0-2, 4.59 ERA, 1.694 WHIP, and a 1:1 K:BB ratio. But given his success thus far in 2012, he’s likely to command a sizable raise next season (club officials reportedly believe he could earn up to $2.5 million in arbitration for 2013).
The team reportedly couldn’t find any takers for Mijares before the July 31st trade deadline and didn’t believe that he would be a part of this team moving forward.
“If we could have (traded him), we would have. We just need to see some other guys. We have multiple people in our organization who think Bueno can be just as effective against left-handers and get right-handers out as well.” - Dayton Moore on Jose Mijares
Now on the additions: Utility infielder Tony Abreu and LHP Francisely Bueno.
With Yuni out of the picture, the Royals were in need of a utility infielder who could fill in at second, third, and short any given day. Instead of recalling Irving Falu, the Royals opted to give 27 year old career minor leaguer Tony Abreu a chance. Abreu has seen time in the big leagues before (65 combined games for the Dodgers in ’07 and ’09, and 81 games for the Diamondbacks in ’10), so he won’t be seeing big league pitching for the first time.
Abreu, a switch-hitting utility infielder, has been hitting extremely well in Omaha while primarily playing shortstop. In 103 games, he hit .322/.347/.839 with 50 XBH (36 2B, 5 3B, 9 HR), 60 R, 73 RBI, and 7 SB (although he did have 69 K to 14 BB). His OBP is definitely aided by his high batting average, but his 50 extra-base hits through 103 games is definitely noteworthy.
Tony saw action in the first three games after his promotion, going 3-for-10 with 2 doubles, a run scored and a run batted in while both third and short.
Francisley Bueno was recalled from Omaha after Mijares was claimed by San Francisco. Bueno has already seen time in Kansas City this season, allowing 5 hits and 2 runs in 4.2 IP (3 appearances), good for a 3.86 ERA and a 1.071 WHIP. He’s been better for Omaha in 2012; in 35 games (55.2 IP), Bueno has a 2.75 ERA, 54 K to 15 BB, and a 1.042 WHIP with 6 saves.
At 31, Bueno isn’t a young prospect who needs to get his feet wet at the big league level. But he’s performed well for the Royals’ organization this year and deserves as much of a chance as anybody. if it weren’t for his left-handedness, I’m not sure he gets the call here. But given that he is a lefty, as is Mijares, Bueno will get a shot to stick on the roster.
Lastly, even though it wasn’t a big league promotion, SS Christian Colon – the no. 4 overall pick in the 2010 draft – was promoted from Double-A NW Arkansas to Triple-A Omaha after the Storm Chaser’s everyday SS (Abreu) was called up to Kansas City.
Colon, who many see as a second basemen/utility player in the future, was hitting .289/.364/.392 with 5 HR, 27 RBI, and 12 SB in 73 games for the Naturals this season. Given he’s 23 years old, most feel that Colon should have been at Omaha to start the season since the Royals selected him with the intention that he would be on the fast track to Kansas City. Colon will serve as the everyday SS in Omaha given the fact that Johnny Giavotella (who is raking, by the way) is holding his own at second base.
Personally, I would like to see Colon in Kansas City sometime this season, and he’ll likely be a September call-up.
The Royals parted ways with their longest tenured player on Wednesday afternoon when the designated Mitch Maier for assignment, thus clearing another spot on the 40-man roster – which now stands at 38 players.
Mitch has been a model citizen ever since he became a Royal. He was selected as a catcher in the 1st round of the 2003 draft by KC before the organization opted to convert him to a third basemen in 2004. After the Royals acquired third basemen Mark Teahen as a part of the Carlos Beltran deal in 2005, effectively blocking his path to the majors, Maier was then shifted to the outfield. Nobody ever heard a single gripe or complaint from Mitch – that’s just who he was. He made his debut for the Royals in 2006 and spent all of 2007 and part of 2008 in Omaha before seeing major playing time in Kansas City.
In parts of 6 seasons (360 games total) with the Royals, Mitch has amassed a slash line of .248/.327/.344 while filling in for the injured David DeJesus, Rick Ankiel, Jose Guillen, Coco Crisp, Scott Podsednik, etc. His best season came in 2010, when he played in 117 games, hit .263/.333/.375 with 26 XBH (15 doubles, 6 tiples, 5 HRs) while driving in 39 runs and scoring 41.
2011′s outfield of Gordon, Melky, and Frenchy limited Mitch’s playing time to just 45 games. But he did manage to make his pitching debut in Fenway Park that season, pitching one scoreless inning in a lop-sided loss. He followed up his first outing with an identical performace this season in another lop-sided loss, this time against the Indians.
Bottom line: Mitch does his job.
With Gordon and Francoeur playing practically everyday, Jarrod Dyson and Jason Bourgeois currently platooning center, Lorenzo Cain coming back from various injuries, and Wil Myers due to be in Kansas City any day now, Mitch is basically the odd man out. At 30 years old, he’s hardly a young player hwo just needs a shot somewhere. He is what he is: a utility outfielder who does everything fundamentally well, but doesn’t excel at any one area of his game. But guys like that are just as valuable to a team as any other position player. Every team needs a role-player who can come off the bench at anytime and be ready. I have no doubt that a team, most likely an NL club, will take a chance on him.
Now let’s talk about the 40-man roster spot that has been vacated.
All of the players listed on a team’s 4-man roster are guaranteed Major League contracts, meaning they will begin earning at least the league’s minimum salary. In order for a player to be on your 25-man roster, he has to be on the 40-man roster. A few names that aren’t on the 40-man include…
Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi.
The Royals recently promoted pitchers Nate Adcock and Louis Coleman to Kansas City while optioning Vin Mazzaro back to Omaha. Both Adcock and Coleman are here to supplement the bullpen until after the All-Star break, with Adcock serving as a long reliever/spot-starter and Coleman as a 6th/7th inning arm. With both of them on board, the Royals are carrying 13 pitchers to 12 fielders (the normal split is 13 fielders and 12 pitchers).
After the break, one of Adcock and Coleman figures to be summoned back to Omaha along with one of Jason Bourgeois and Irving Falu – with both Lorenzo Cain and Chris Getz slated to come off the DL soon.
But with these two free spots on the roster, it’s hard not to think Wil Myers and either Jake Odorizzi are destined for Kauffman Stadium sooner rather than later.
Wil Myers has done everything to earn his roster spot but drive to Kansas City and knock on Dayton Moore’s office door himself. Since being called-up to Triple-A Omaha, Wil has absolutely… well, you all already know: .317/.398/.639, 26 XBH (8 doubles, 4 triples, 14 HRs), 42 RBI, 40 runs scored, and has shown increased presence at the plate with his 1.75:1 K:BB ratio in just 47 games. He’s playing virtually every day in center field, which is probably the position with the biggest offensive void in Kansas City.
Team officials have recently begun to acknowledge that it’s becoming increasingly hard to keep Myers in Omaha. So maybe when he makes the trip to Kansas City for the All-Star Future’s Game, Dayton Moore will give him a reason to stay beyond the break.
Hardly to be outshined and over-shadowed, Jake Odorizzi is making his case for a big league promotion as well. Since his promotion to Omaha, he’s been flat-out dominant: 5-0, 2.83 ERA, 3:1 K:BB ratio, and a 1.42 WHIP. The starting rotation has been the Royals Achille’s Heel this season, as they’re only getting fairly consistent production from Bruce Chen. Hochevar has been both dominant and ineffective, Jonathan Sanchez deserves to be cut and never spoken of again, Duffy and Paulino are TJ victims, Vin Mazzaro has been below-average, Luis Mendoza should only start in emergencies, Nate Adcock has proven to be a better bullpen arm, and Everett Teaford has been good enough to get by.
Clearly, this Odorizzi guy deserves to get his shot. Afterall, every one else seems to be getting second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth chances.
Although I’m extremely excited for all of the All-Star events being in Kansas City for the next week or so, I can’t wait until a week from now when the Royals lineup cards might include the names “Myers” and “Odorizzi”.