Friday, April 30, 2004

Your starter tomorrow

Eduardo Villacis.

Now, we can bring up Jamey Wright (since the game is on May 1st)

we could bring up Zack Greinke, but we won't, due to 'service time'

but, we'll bring up Eduardo Villacis, without concern for his service time.

Villacis (I think it's pronounced Be-ya-ces) has 5 games and 2 starts for the Wranglers.

13 hits in 18 2/3 innings, 7 runs (5 earned), 1 home run, 2 walks, 14 strikeouts

Career: Villacis has pitched in 92 games, with EIGHT starts

so.. we're putting a minor league relief pitcher out to pitch in Yankee Stadium as a starter?

But, we did get him in exchange for Bryan Rekar. So, that's a positive thing.

Still.. it's just baffling.

Totally baffling.
- # posted by Robert : 5:56 PM

Thursday, April 29, 2004

'I'm still the closer, right? Oh.. sorry'

Ya know.. it'd be easier to win games with a 1 run lead if you put out your closer, and not the guy who's blown two straight saves and had two more shaky saves.

Just some advice Tony. I figured you'd know it.

Some more advice.

You could leave someone in the game who has 12 strikes in 13 pitches.

Tony Pena's not that great of a manager. The one move that I remember from last year: Bringing in Graeme Lloyd to relieve Appier in Minnesota after the injury.

Tony's a great motivator.

But, not too good of a manager.

How about that Gascanic?
- # posted by Robert : 4:42 PM

Saturday, April 24, 2004

And we have some moves

Now with KC:

Mike MacDougal (from DL)
Justin Huisman
David DeJesus

On DL:

Kevin Appier

On his way to Omaha:

D.J. Carrasco

Designated for Assignment:

Rich Thompson
- # posted by Robert : 5:04 PM
More pitching woes

Pena pulls the hook on Jimmy Gobble after just 79 pitches.

And then the bullpen blows another game.

First, let's revise the 'precedence list'

Camp (4/18)
Grimsley (4/22)
Carrasco (4/22)
Sullivan (4/23)
Leskanic (4/23)
Reyes (4/23)
Field (4/23)

Jimmy Gobble hasn't been too bad, it's just that Pena has put him on a pitch count, no matter how dominant he's been. At 5-1, I'd keep Gobble in until he got in big trouble, or threw over 100 pitches.

Let's face it, Leskanic is just god-awful so far. He's either been shaky or just 'volcanic', and not volcanic in a good way either. How he pitched makes me yearn for the stable days of Mike MacDougal striking out 2, walking 1, having his hat fall off once, and throwing an occasional wild pitch. Get well soon Mike.

Speaking of that, I don't know what exactly the deal is with the 'Carpel Tunnel' or whatever Sweeney has. He'll be back soon, hopefully.

But, the non-Sweeney/non-Berroa lineup just plainly sucks, offense-wise

Here's how i'd do a lineup without Mike or Angel

v. LHP
1- Graffanino
2- Randa
3- Beltran
4- Gonzalez (DH)
5- Harvey (1B)
6- Santiago
7- Guiel (LF)
8- Blanco
9- Mendy Lopez (RF)

v. RHP
1- Guiel (LF)
2- Randa
3- Beltran
4- Gonzalez (RF)
5- Stairs (DH)
6- Santiago
7- Graffanino
8- Blanco
9- Harvey (1B)

(it aint easy!)

Also, we should get Wilton Guerrero to give Andres Blanco some bats. Lets face it, he got lucky on those hits tonight. And his last AB was ugly.

Oh yeah, Juan.. way to swing at the first pitch and blow it. ;)

Congratulations to our medical staff on the latest work of genius. That being the latest injury to Kevin Appier. Hey guys, maybe throwing 85 in AA is impressive to you, but it's pretty friggin bad. Maybe you can send Appier to Omaha to be taught the 'LaLob' and the Knuckleball from LaRoche.

Anyways, with all these pitching disgraces, expect the outcry for Zack Greinke to rise.
- # posted by Robert : 12:07 AM

Thursday, April 22, 2004


First.. in regards to Tuesday. It's always a good sign when the other team puts in a position player to pitch.


Why Grimsley?

Why Carrasco?

seriously.. the bullpen is a bit better, but I guess Tony Pena has his faith in Jason Grimsley.

No matter how deluded that may be.

The fact that MacDougal is gone fouls up the bullpen.

If he was pitching, Leskanic would be in for the 8th.

But, as we noticed last year, Leskanic can't pitch more than an inning anyways, since we're worried that his arm might snap off.

Meanwhile, Carrasco just tied the game.

Here was the order of precedence in the bullpen:

Reyes (4/17)
Carrasco (4/17)
Camp (4/18)
Leskanic (4/18)
Grimsley (4/20)
Field (4/20)
Sullivan (4/20)

Yeah, putting in three relievers in a blowout isn't that freaking smart.

Pena has his problems with handling pitchers.

Affeldt- out after 97 pitches

Grimsley - 15 pitches

Carrasco - 12
- # posted by Robert : 1:59 PM

Monday, April 19, 2004

Cal update

He hit #11 today, going 3 for 4
- # posted by Robert : 12:35 AM

Sunday, April 18, 2004


The number of pitches that Darrell May threw today

68 strikes
54 balls

Now, that's the ugly part of this

May struck out 8, walked 3

So, let's sum it up.

May threw 41 pitches in ABs that ended with strikeouts

14 of those 41 pitches were balls

And for his ABs where he walked guys, 13 pitches, 1 strike

May passed 100 pitches on the IBB of Ford

May threw 43 pitches in ABs/PAs that ended in hits/walks

Basically, the thing that killed us today was Jacque Jones. He had 4 RBI and a run
- # posted by Robert : 10:50 PM
Appier notes

I would say that his return was really ugly.

Basically, Appier still doesn't throw for much speed, and batters make contact. And in that dome, if you just make contact, it's going to be a hit.

I wouldn't say the strikezone was that unfavorable. Appier just threw alot of pitches on the corners and he threw alot of pitches that weren't strikes.

The only impressive pitches I noticed were the two-seam fastballs to Guzman. Basically they went towards him but broke away, and both were strikes.

Lately, the hitting has been inconsistant. Sure, we hit home runs, but with runners on, there were some problems. Ken Harvey should have pinch-hit for Andres Blanco. Mendy Lopez as a pinch hitter is questionable. How much can someone milk one home run? Until last night, Mendy went about 7 AB or so without a hit. Basically, other than a few home runs, Mendy provides outs. He doesn't really draw walks. And he's a backup.

Andres Blanco wasn't too bad. His defense is good. He made a good play to first. His first chance should have been an out. But, all things considered, he should have gone to second, but Sweeney could have made that play.

So, basically, the problem with KC pitching is simple.

They can't get the job done.

They nibble on the corners. Tonight, on 3-0, Appier nibbled. THROW THE BALL DOWN THE MIDDLE. He could swing, but it'd probably be an out.

Alot of our guys have problems with throwing the ball down the middle.

I won't go into the idea of 'not striking people out'. That's just freaking crazy. That sort of talk is the stuff that should get pitching coaches fired. It's not playing to win. It's been covered by Rob Neyer. It's not playing to win. That does explain the nibbling.
- # posted by Robert : 12:05 AM

Saturday, April 17, 2004


Anybody care to cite a time that a player has ever been on the 15 day DL for migrane headaches?

Yeah.. i'm sure the medical people on the team will be fired by October.

Yeah, they're not supposed to prevent that. But, just check the article hereand ask if this is really the best that we could manage for medical care.

Yeah, I don't expect anybody to emulate Elvys by trying to pitch with an injury. Although, even with the concern and care showed with Berroa, who knows if they'll notice the injury.


Oh, by the way, John Cumberland's son is pitching in AAA.

And, in the last day, Paul Abbott and Jose Lima got wins. Paul Abbott shut down the Chicago White Sox.

I still insist that Abbott sucks. But, you have to question the eye for pitching talent in the organization.

Meanwhile, no new Calvin Pickering news, but, he's probably in his peak year anyways.
- # posted by Robert : 7:03 PM

Friday, April 16, 2004

Good news/Bad news

Bad News: Tony Pena didn't learn anything from last year, and he put Jason Grimsley in a game with runners on base. Both runners scored.

Good News: Juan Gonzalez hit a home run

Bad News: Jimmy Gobble wasn't very good tonight

Good News: Juan Gonzalez hit another home run, passing Cal Ripken in the record books

Bad News: We lost

Good News: Sweeney and Beltran also hit home runs

Bad News: We've lost four in a row

Good News: Kevin Appier is pitching tomorrow, ending our streak of left-handed starters at 10

Bad News: He was throwing 85MPH in Wichita

Good News: Calvin Pickering hit his 9th and 10th home runs tonight in Omaha. He now has 10 home runs in 8 games.

Here's Cal's line so far-

8 games, 13 for 24, 11 runs, 10 home runs, 23 RBI, 1 sac-fly, 3 HBP, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts, .542/.625/1.833

and just for fun, here's what he's on pace for:

271 hits, 229 runs, 917 total bases, 21 doubles, 208 home runs, 479 RBI, 21 SF, 42 HBP, 104 walks, 83 strikeouts.

The odds say that Pickering will probably slow down a bit, but hitting 10 home runs so quickly gives him a shot at having a great year in AAA, especially if Matt Stairs can stay healthy.

Tomorrow.. Appier returns.
- # posted by Robert : 11:40 PM
More Minor League stuff

Slow starts:
Shane Costa - 2 for 30
Chris Lubanski - 1 for 18

Guys hitting well:

Scott Walter - 9 for 23

and an update for Calvin Pickering.. 7 games, 9 for 20, 8 home runs, 2.221 OPS

David DeJesus is 9 for 28

And here's the home run leaders in all of Major and Minor League baseball

Izzy Alcantara (Vaqueros) - 11
Morgan Burkhart (Saltillo) - 10
Charles Smith (Monterrey) - 9
Raul Rodarte (San Luis Potosi) - 8
Calvin Pickering (Omaha) - 8

to be fair to Calvin, the top four guys have played about 30 games this year.
- # posted by Robert : 3:19 PM
Baseball America provides the content

Let's go though the notables mentioned in a big section about major/minors rosters

(another) Rich Thompson - Rancho Cucamonga (A - Anaheim)
Juan Brito - Tucson (AAA - Arizona)
Tony Pena - Greenville (AA - Atlanta)
Carlos Febles - Pawtucket (AAA - Boston)
Al Nipper - Sarasota, Pitching Coach (A - Boston)
David Howard - Sarasota, Hitting Coach (A - Boston)
Razor Shines - Birminham, Manager (AA - Chicago)
Brent Abernathy and Stubby Clapp - Buffalo (AAA - Cleveland)
Glenallen Hill - Visalia, Hitting Coach (High A - Colorado)
Mel Stocker - Wichita
Justin Morneau - Rochester (AAA - Twins)
Rusty Kuntz - Pittsburgh, coach

Among the releases from a few weeks ago: Chip Alley and Kirk Pierce. While Brandon Powell appears to be on his way to Idaho Falls.
- # posted by Robert : 2:30 PM

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Minor League numbers

Calvin Pickering - 6 games, 8 for 17, 8 runs, 0 doubles, 0 triples, 7 home runs, 13 RBI, 1 sac fly, 1 HBP, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, .471/.565/1.706

7 home runs in 6 games

8 hits, 7 home runs

just incredible

but, Calvin is a first baseman, and we have plenty of those around already
- # posted by Robert : 10:43 PM

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


Man.. that was just ugly.

May walked 4, gave up 2 homers and struck out one.

Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.

#1 - Still no right-handed starting pitching.

Appier is coming, but as the 5th starter.

Gobble is the only starting pitcher who's done well this year, and Cleveland's not that good on offense anyways.

Reyes is still a relief pitcher.

But, nice to know that Pena still doesn't believe in 'lefty specialists'. Although he's putting Cerda in games for an inning at a time.

Gonzalez, even with that assist, is going to get grilled more and more until he starts hitting.

Let me just come out and say it now, Gonzalez's injury probably messed with his hitting, which has reduced his power.

and you know that with the pitching out there, more and more clamor will rise for Zack Greinke.

I'm not taking a side on it, although, it's arguable about who'd be better out of Greinke, Anderson and May
- # posted by Robert : 5:12 PM

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Game today

All in all, it turned out well. Fans showed up despite rain.

And then the Royals scored some runs in the 9th, and Aaron Guiel got the 'game-winning' RBI

Also, in what might be a common thing for KC pitchers, Affeldt denied he was injured.

I’m thrilled the Royals were smart enough to pluck Guiel from the scrap heap, but he’s simply miscast as an everyday player.

Uh huh. :)

(maybe there's a reason to lack faith in Scott Stewart. Ha.)
- # posted by Robert : 6:10 PM

Friday, April 09, 2004

Hook'em Tony

The first truely decent pitching performance by a Royal is cut short.

Gobble - 6 IP, 1 H, 74 pitches

And we're gonna use up the bullpen some more, when we have Anderson coming tomorrow and Dennys Reyes (a relief pitcher) pitching Sunday
- # posted by Robert : 9:17 PM
Hey guys

Look into some RBIs..

leaving the bases loaded in two innings is a disappointment.

And oh yeah.. lay off the sacrifice bunt
- # posted by Robert : 9:11 PM
Just stop bunting please

Is there some sort of benefit of making Berroa bunt?

or making Santiago bunt, to bring up Aaron Guiel v. a left-handed pitcher.

Juan Gonzalez, at the rate he's been going, is due to become the leadoff hitter
- # posted by Robert : 8:19 PM
More on the lefties

BPro has an article basically justifying the Pena way of thinking when it comes to starting pitching

With Dennys Reyes pitching on Sunday *groan* the Royals have the potential to have lefties pitching for about the first 20 games or so.

The numbers presented just don't consider the truth.

The truth is that right-handed hitting flourishes in Kauffman Stadium.

And let's look at the stats so far

LHB v. Royals pitching: 3 for 21
RHB v. Royals pitching: 26 for 83 (.313)

Now, that's an ugly split for you.

Basically, Kauffman Stadium, with the new background, isn't any worse of a hitters park.

Where will the "Lefty Fetish" actually benefit the team?

It appears the only places where LHB have an advantage in the league are in the Metrodome (LHB hit more homers there, but, we're asking for Anderson and May to stop that?), Comerica and maybe Jacobs Field (in HRs, maybe)

US Cellular Field is the best HR park in the majors for RHB. Anderson and May in that park is an idea that is scary.

If the Royals can keep all four left-handers in the rotation all season, they'll become the first team in major league history to get 80% of its starts from the left side. The most left-handed team in history to this point, the 1981 Yankees, got 85 of their 107 starts (79.4%) from southpaws.

#1 - 1981 was a strike year

#2 - Anything comparing Rudy May, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Dave Righetti to Brian Anderson, Darrell May, Jeremy Affeldt and Jimmy Gobble is just short of being absurd

Basically, this team needs right-handed pitchers in order to compete.

I recognize that the Service Time stuff is the factor that got Dennys Reyes a start on Sunday over Zack Greinke.

But, there has to be someone.

As for the offense. It needs to start performing in the clutch.

When a runner gets to third with less than 2 outs, that runner should score.

Yet, Juan Gonzalez, who tripled with 0 outs, didn't score. Strikeout, Flyout, Groundball. Gonzalez could have scored on the flyout. I'm not sure what in the world he would be waiting for.

Yeah, and Mizerock is still a problem. Something just didn't compute in the second game, and thankfully Beltran beat that rundown.

I think one of the problems is that they're not swinging to get hits, they seem to be swinging for home runs. It could have been like that in the first game, but after Lopez/Beltran, they couldn't have been deterred that much. There's been a wide variety of flyouts.

If you want some stuff for a 'skeptics section'

Mike Sweeney is 2 for 11
Juan Gonzalez has 0 RBI

(and with the oppertunities on Wednesday, Juan should have gotten an RBI or two)

And for those of you who question my idea to actually call up another infielder instead of Jaime Cerda. Graffanino isn't doing that well either.

The starters tonight:

Jimmy Gobble for KC
Jason Stanford for Cleveland

Stanford is a LHP.. so expect the KC offense to chew him up at times.
- # posted by Robert : 1:16 PM

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Bring Questec to Kansas City

After the first three games, it's obvious that there has to be SOME accountibility to the Umpires for the horrible jobs they can do when calling balls/strikes.

So far this year, we've seen..

Ed Montague - Who actually helped us on Monday because of his schizophrenic strike zone

Jerry Layne - Who Mike DiFelice got really mad at, and who I saw call one pitch on (Graffanino, I think) a strike, and then when a pitch was in that same area, he called it a ball. Layne was horrible yesterday. And then he called the balk today on Affeldt.

Jerry Meals was getting negative reviews today as well.

Basically the Montague/Layne/Meals/Schrieber crew is pretty freaking awful.

I have no idea who we get to suffer though for the next three games.

There's a wide variety of umpires who I'm not big fans of:

Derryl "6 walks a game" Cousins
Angel Hernandez (the worst umpire in the majors, in the opinion of most)
Bruce Froemming (who else could insult his supervisor's intelligence, gender and heritage and still have a job?)
C.B. Bucknor

there's others out there, but i'm sure the majority of umpires are competant. Laz Diaz is our good buddy, remember? and there's Jim Joyce.

Why Questec? well, let's face it, strike-zone consistancy is something that should be valued. I don't want a pitch thrown in an area to be a called strike one time and a ball the next time.
- # posted by Robert : 5:39 PM
[G3] Please come forward if

You picked Juan Gonzalez to hit a triple before he hit a home run this year
- # posted by Robert : 3:35 PM
[Game 3] IGU: Balks a-plenty

Affeldt balked a runner home.

And Casey freaking Blake hits a home run off of Affeldt.

And it went over the fence that was there in 2003.

As for the HP ump, the last time Mr. Meals was HP ump in our game was Indians/Royals, game 1, June 30th of 2003. And we lost 10-5, walking 6 and striking out 5

Jerry Layne, HP ump yesterday, was also the HP ump for the game where Mike DiFelice went crazy

I know the thing about 'service time' and all that.. but, look at it like this:

Dennys Reyes is pitching on Sunday, Zack Greinke is in AAA

We NEED right-handed starters
- # posted by Robert : 2:36 PM
[Game 3] IGU: Affeldt's pickoff move fails again

as Affeldt freaking balks before he throws to first


Affeldt is one of our best guys, but his pickoff move sucks.
- # posted by Robert : 1:16 PM

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

[Game 2] Bleh

This game shows me a few things

#1 - the hitting background is much better at Kauffman Stadium. The fence is a different color, the knoll is greener. It probably negates the effect of the fences moving back

#2 - Darrell May can't seem to finish off an inning after getting two outs

-M Ordonez safe at first on error by second baseman T Graffanino.
-F Thomas walked, M Ordonez to second.
-C Lee lined out to second.

-A Rowand singled to right center.
-M Olivo homered to center, A Rowand scored.
-J Uribe struck out swinging.

-M Olivo singled to left center, P Konerko to second.
-J Uribe grounded into fielder's choice to third, M Olivo out at second.

-C Lee homered to center.
-P Konerko flied out to left.


May and Anderson should be split up. They're essentially the same pitcher. May was pitching at early 2003 levels. Where he'd be sorta decent, but he'd fall sort of a win.

And other concerns:

We should have beat Koch. He got to 3-2 on three straight batters.

We should have also knocked in runners instead of leaving them on base so often.

It just doesn't appear that the left-handed fetish rotation is working out so far.

And other than maybe the Thomas hit in the 3rd inning, no home runs have been prevented.

Jaime Cerda was recalled from Omaha to replace Relaford.

We have 12 pitchers and 4 guys on the bench

that's not very promising.

And rumors say that Dennys Reyes will start for us this weekend
- # posted by Robert : 6:38 PM

I'll be at the game. So, there will be no 'in-game updates'

I will try to make some sort of post about it when I get home.
- # posted by Robert : 12:07 AM

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Will the White Sox run on Ozziehol?

Supposedly after the loss yesterday, Guillen came out with a beer can and told the guys to 'go get drunk or something, and come back Wednesday'

Ya know. I don't think this will work out well. Haha.

Ozzie's blunders from yesterday

1- putting Harris and Valentin 1-2 in the order against a LHP
2- letting Koch face Aaron Guiel, but not letting him face Matt Stairs. Way to have confidence in your closer Ozzie.

Right now, Koch is still ahead of Marte in the 'closer race'

but, when I saw Billy Koch come out, I knew we were gonna pull out a win yesterday.

Ozzie doesn't seem to be off to the best start as a manager.

But, Tony Muser would admire his attitude. Soon enough, those milk and cookies players will be gone, and the Sox will be drinking tequila.
- # posted by Robert : 7:12 PM

Monday, April 05, 2004

One more opening day tidbit

As if I needed another reason to dislike Bush. :D
- # posted by Robert : 5:25 PM
[Game One] Can you believe that?

Mendy Lopez is the hero of the afternoon.

Who knew Mendy Lopez would hit two 3-run home runs in three days?

Granted, ALOT of credit goes to Billy Koch, Damaso Marte and Home Plate Umpire Ed Montague.

Mendy Lopez grabbed the door, and Carlos Beltran slammed it shut.

9-7 Royals!

You can put that on the board
- # posted by Robert : 5:00 PM
More bad news

Desi hurt himself

and the Wall is still ineffective

Konerko with another hit.

Brian Anderson isn't looking that good.
- # posted by Robert : 3:05 PM

For those keeping track: Guiel's first PA started with him taking the first pitch
- # posted by Robert : 2:43 PM

RISP for Benito.
- # posted by Robert : 2:41 PM

Gonzalez with the first hit of the year
- # posted by Robert : 2:38 PM

Sandy Alomar Jr hits a HR into the left-field bullpen

and that was a home run last year too
- # posted by Robert : 2:33 PM

Anderson doesn't seem too impressive.

Consider this: Guillen put two of the worst possible players 1-2 in the order when you consider Anderson is a LH pitcher.

2 outs. Runner moves to third.
- # posted by Robert : 2:32 PM
In game-updates

Boy, those moved back fences are doing alot of good now, aren't they?

2-0 in the 2nd. Anderson gives up three hits in a row. 0 outs
- # posted by Robert : 2:26 PM
Endorsement of the week

from Lefty Malo

"Blog Find of the Week

Not only does this one win for its great name, but, bless his 18-year-old heart, the blog owner made no nod to functionality when choosing the classic, unforgettable color scheme. White-on-royal-blue makes for great pine-tar nostalgia but not sustained reading pleasure"

Well, at least I got a good laugh out of that.
- # posted by Robert : 12:57 AM

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The Fence Effect

Judging by the section in the Star about it this morning. The moving of the fences may not have a wonderous effect on our pitching.

Look at the map detailing the HRs.

Alot of them were hit in the LF bullpen or the left field GA.

And we have four left-handed starters.

And two of them are flyball pitchers.

Something tells me that it doesn't matter where the centerfield fence is for them.

One count i've heard is that we would have lost around 5 homers and they would have lost 10 homers.

and in other news..

Juan Gonzalez enjoys talking about history and politics.
- # posted by Robert : 1:26 PM

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Highlights of the Houston Games

- Jared Fernandez's pitching

- Rich Thompson steals second on a pitchout. Also tries to take home in game 2.

- Mendy Lopez crushes a home run

- Curtis Leskanic and D.J. Carrasco pull off a 'switch'

and we score alot of runs, get alot of hits and win.

- # posted by Robert : 4:08 PM

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