Thursday, June 26, 2008

Royals Today: 6/25/2008.

Hey, if they keep winning, I’ll keep writing. Does that make me a fair-weather fan?

- You all realize that if the Royals had not blown a 4-0 lead on the Giants last Friday, they’d currently be riding their longest winning streak (11) since 1994?

As it is, 10 of 11 ain’t bad. I almost prefer it this way – an 11-game winning streak might focus attention on the fact that the Royals aren’t a laughingstock anymore. I prefer sneaking up on people. Or in the case of the Indians, sneaking past them.

A few weeks ago I wrote that you’re never as bad as you look when you’re losing, and you’re never as good as you look when you’re winning. We need to remember that adage now that we’re on the other side. At one point in tonight’s broadcast, Denny Matthews said, “the baseball gods have really been smiling on the Royals the last few weeks.” That’s probably the first time you could make that statement about the Royals since 2003, but it bears repeating: for as good as the Royals have been playing, they’ve gotten some breaks as well. The biggest, of course, being that they’ve been playing Quintuple-A (not quite Quadruple-A, not quite major league) teams for the past two weeks.

- You know things are going well when Ross Gload is keying the offense. He went 2-for-4 on Sunday, including a pivotal single in the five-run sixth; he walked and hit his first homer of the season on Monday; a pair of singles on Tuesday, both of which keyed rallies; and he went 3-for-3 tonight, scoring the team’s first run after a double and then driving in the last two runs with another double.

Since June 14th, when this streak began, Gload is 14-for-42 (.333) with three doubles and a homer. He was hitting .239/.277/.276 prior to then. Mike Aviles became the starting shortstop on June 6th, and since the 14th he’s 16-for-44 (.364) with six doubles and two homers. It would be an overstatement to claim that the only reason that the Royals are playing so much better than before is because they are getting some semblance of production from shortstop and first base. It would be an overstatement, but not by much. The Royals spent almost two months trying to compete with a seven-man lineup. If anything Gload’s hot streak only serves to remind us what a difference it makes to have a first baseman who can, you know, hit. If only we had one of those somewhere…

- Counting the brief and ineffective cameos that Callaspo and German have made at the position, Royals shortstops other than Aviles have hit .153 (32-for-209) this season, with six extra-base hits. You want to know how bad that is?

Royals SS: 209 AB, 32 H, 4 D, 2 T, 0 HR, 10 BB, 10 RBI, .153/.191/.191
Cardinals P: 161 AB, 30 H, 6 D, 0 T, 2 HR, 10 BB, 21 RBI, .186/.233/.261

The Royals’ numbers above don’t count Aviles. (And before you ask, the Cardinals’ numbers don’t count Ankiel.) The scouts all know it’s bad luck when your shortstops are out-hit by another team’s pitching staff. Maybe the fans who wanted Zack Greinke to start there on his off-days had it right.

So there you have it: the difference between the Royals of June and the Royals of April and May is Michael Anthony Aviles. Long may he reign.

- Coming into the season, Luke Hochevar projected to be a league-average starter, and that’s exactly what he’s been: in 13 starts, he’s 5-5 with a 4.60 ERA, which is as average as they come. But league-average pitchers come in all shapes and sizes, and the particular shape of Hochevar’s performance has surprised me. Specifically, I had no idea back in April that he was such a groundball pitcher. The talk about Hochevar was that he had four pitches that graded out at average or better, not that he had an outstanding sinker. Today, we know better.

Tonight was a virtuoso performance, one unseen in these parts in a long, long time. Hochevar struck out just 3 of 31 batters he faced, but he was nonetheless brilliant. He got 17 groundball outs, against just three flyball outs. He got two key double plays. Groundballs are less likely to go foul than flyballs, which is why groundball pitchers tend to be more efficient with their pitches – and Hochevar threw just 95 pitches in eight innings. Only once in the last five seasons had a Royal thrown 8+ innings with 95 pitches or less. (You won’t guess right in a million years – Jorge de la Rosa, last April, threw 94 pitches in eight innings.)

Counting tonight’s performance, Hochevar has allowed 140 groundballs and just 71 flyballs this season, a ratio of 1.97 which would rank him 11th among major league starters (min: 60 IP) this season. The three guys directly above him on the list are Greg Maddux, Chien-Ming Wang, and his opposing starter tonight, Aaron Cook. That’s excellent company for a starter to be in, particular a starter who doesn’t have a huge strikeout rate. We’ve come to grips with the fact that Hochevar won’t be an ace befitting his draft status, but he seems to be on the career track of a guy like Cook or Derek Lowe, a guy who can give you 200 innings a season and keep his ERA a little below league average. There are a lot of #1 overall picks who would have loved to have a career like that.

- The similarities between Greinke and Schilling continue to amaze me. I’ve previously documented the pair’s stinginess when it comes to the unearned run. On Tuesday night Greinke struck out 10 and walked none, but somehow still managed to surrender 9 hits in 6 innings – that’s the sort of start Schilling is famous for. (Although Zack will be hard-pressed to match this start.)

Greinke is the exact opposite of Hochevar - he gets lots of strikeouts and lots of flyballs, and you pretty much have to beat him with the home run, which makes him a perfect fit for Kauffman Stadium. I’m not sure I’d agree with the sentiment that “If you asked me which pitcher will be the most successful over the next seven years I would take Zach [sic] Greinke.” But between now and the end of the season, the single most important step Dayton Moore can take in securing the future of the franchise is to get The Baseball Jonah signed to a long-term deal.

- Last Thursday I was watching the afternoon game from work through my MLB.com connection, which is high-quality for streaming video but still a little choppy. The Royals were nursing a one-run lead in the top of the ninth when Teahen batted with a man aboard. As the 1-0 pitch reached the plate the feed flickered for just a millisecond, enough that I could not see the impact of bat on ball. But in the fraction of a second before the cameras showed the trajectory of the ball, my synapses flashed, “that’s a home-run swing.” And that impression means more to me going forward than the fact that the ball cleared the right-field fence.

Teahen’s plate approach has been discussed and dissected by far greater writers than myself, including both Posnanski and Michael Lewis, to the point where even soccer fans in Uruguay know that Teahen prefers slapping the ball to left field rather than trying to pull the ball for power. Posnanski has written that the Royals should embrace this approach, make Teahen their leadoff hitter, and tell him to hit line drives and get on base – to turn him into David DeJesus, in other words. I love Poz, but this is one issue on which I completely disagree.

The simple fact is that Teahen has been an above-average hitter exactly one time in his career – the one time (2006) when he hit for power. A corner outfielder who doesn’t hit for power has to hit .310-.320 consistently to have much value, and that high a batting average requires either blazing speed or an excellent contact rate. Teahen is fast but not that fast, and he’s averaged 133 Ks per 162 games in his career. He’s a .270 hitter, and that’s not going to change.

What can change is his power, but he’s not going to hit for power until he starts pulling the ball in the air (Monday’s impressive opposite-field homer notwithstanding.) Teahen has the talent, and he has the track record, even if it was just a three-month span two seasons ago. Last Thursday, he showed the kind of swing that we need to see a lot more of. He’s hit five homers this month, and if his power barrage continues, I may withdraw my standing request that hitting coach Mike Barnett be dismissed.

- For the record: I think the acquisition of Robinson Tejeda is intriguing. Tejeda has a 5.01 career ERA in over 260 innings, but he’s just 26 and has a power arm. But what really gives me reason for optimism is that he’s never really been tried as a reliever, either at the major or minor league level. In ten pro seasons he has made just 35 relief appearances. All pitchers have a tendency to pitch better in relief, and as I mentioned a while back when talking about Soria, the pitchers who tend to show the most improvement are Three True Outcome pitchers, i.e. guys who get lots of strikeouts, lots of walks, and lots of homers. That’s pretty much Tejeda in a nutshell. Let’s see what Bob McClure can do with him; “better than Yabuta” would be a nice, and easily reachable, first step.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this is the first time, but it is the first I have noticed it in the Star. Anyway it seems that Soria's nickname has caught on via Dutton's article.
"Soria contributed his usual Mexicutioner efficiency ..."

Go Royals!

Wes said...

And Buck FINALLY threw someone out tonight!

Mark LaFlamme said...

The Rockies series has to go down as the most stress-free of the season, too. I typically gnaw at least one finger off when the Royals carry a lead into the late innings. The last three? Nary a hair-raising moment.
Go, Ross, go. I think he's just finding a groove after getting some steady time in the lineup.

Tom in ATL said...

I read the Michael Lewis article Rany linked to. Sounds like we shouldn't hold our breath waiting for Teahen to transform into a pulling power hitter.

(And speaking of pulling. Anyone remember "Dead-pull Macfarlane", as my brother affectionately called him. That guy seemed to always pull it down the 3rd base line.)

I concur with Mark comments above. Nice to have a series of relaxing wins. I suppose we had them coming after all the 4-3 and 3-2 games earlier this season.

Tom in ATL also said...

It still isn't clear to me from online/newspaper coverage. Did the home plate ump warn the teams before the game started or after DeJesus got hit? The reports make it seem like the warning was before the game started. However, I reasoned that Cook would have been tossed if that were that the case.

I'll qualify my next comment with the fact that I didn't see or hear it live (I follow the pitch-by-pitch online via EPSN.com or MLB.com). DeJesus got hit by an 82 MPH, 0-2 slider. I'm sure he felt it, but seems like it could have been a lot worse were revengeful emotions involved. Such HBPs seem so obligatory they're pointless. Did Hillman or the Royals dugout bat an eye after DeJesus was hit?

tza said...

"that is good - that is good"

2320tibbs said...

Passing the INdians. Boy, their struggles are the biggest puzzle of the season, in my opinion.

Curtis said...

The warning was before the game. Cook wasn't tossed because it was an 0-2 curveball spun in there at 68 mph that hit him in the back toe. I have seen greater menace from six year old girls.

The umpires still have discretion even after issuing a warning. No way did that deserve an ejection.

JayhawkOwensJunior said...

Tom in ATL--

Keep in mind the Lewis article was written a year and a half before Teahen showing that he could, in fact, become a power hitter (at least for a 1/2 season, he was one of the best in the majors). Why he's regressed to his natural tendencies is debatable, but knowing that he can overcome those tendencies (and his month of June) gives me hope that he can get back to that 2006 swing.

Casper said...

I also read the Lewis article on Teahen, and came to the same conclusion: Teahen may never pull his head out of his arse and just hit the damned ball to right. I'm half-wondering if he isn't using his '06 season as a way of trying to shut up his critics: "I can hit for power, it's just not coming for some reason" and then bam, right back to punch-and-judying the ball to left. I don't know, the kids weird. Any "shy" guy, as he's referred to in the Lewis article, that likes to have dress up sessions, or fashion shows (potato, potahto) with a bunch of other men in the Spring just makes me wonder where his head is. I suspect that if Musere were still the manager he'd full-on do a Shawn Chacon on Teahen as he mumbled about sissies and cookies...

Anonymous said...

Last night when I was watching Luke pitch, I was seeing the resembelance of Brandon Webb from 2003-2004. I personally think that Luke's K-total will increase as he gains more control of his off speed pitches. The reason you are not seeing good K numbers is that he has no control of his curve ball.

I have no back up data on this, but it seems to me like batters know when the curve is coming, and despite the incredible break that it has, Luke is leaving it over the middle of the plate.

Last night also showed what type of pitcher Alives is going to have trouble with.

Jon

SconieRoyal said...

Pre-Aviles I always thought Teahen might be good in the 2-hole, especially when the power had disappeared last year.

Anonymous said...

Rany: It's refreshing that you're writing when the Royals win. R&R on the Royals only gave us posts when the team was losing.

Isaac said...

Rany, you need to write even during the down times. It is these times that I need you most so that I don't go crazy.

You are very right to take this in stride. We are never this good and never as bad as we were in the 12 game losing streak.

Other than Aviles, I think one of the things I have noticed the most is that teams are doing the things we usually do to kill ourselves, and we are doing the things that other teams usually do to us. Like hit late inning go ahead HRs.

Two players I have supported from the beginning of the year that most others haven't is Gload and Teahen. I never said they were great but I did say that they were better than people thought and shouldn't be traded for a six pack as suggested by many.

I need to find out the rest of the list of starters ahead of Hochevar in GB/FB. I always looked at Wang as the king of that stat but it appears he isn't. One thing to consider about Hochevar is that he is still just a rookie. If he can continue with these GB/FB ratios and improve as would be expected for a rookie, he could become much better than average. He is already at average.

With Teahen, almost everyone had given up on him and I still thought that the power was there. It was evident by the writings that a little tweaking that it could return. It appears to have returned to some degree now. If so many are writing about it, then he may not be a guy to get rid of for a six pack.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think Teahen hits for more power when he's NOT trying to pull everything. A couple of those 5 HRs recently have been LC to RC, not RF. When he's struggling, he pulls everything, usually resulting in groundballs to the 1B. He needs to drive the ball gap to gap and let the HRs come.

If it's any comfort to you, Barnett seems to be giving him the same advice you are: pull it for power. Your just both wrong.

Mark LaFlamme said...

I could live with Teahan's lack of power if he'd stroke a single every now and then with runners on base. Feels like a dead spot in the lineup lately.
Man, I hate an off day. My life has no focus. I'm gonna go dig holes in the neighbor's backyard or something.

Jack Jester said...

Channel R.o.t.R. BREAKING NEWS Alert!
-----------------------------------
June 26, 2008
Kansas City, MO
Reporting Live from the Truman Sports Complex - Reporter J. Jester
-----------------------------------
Thanks Katie, we come to you live from Kauffman Stadium because new details are emerging regarding the attack here last night, the 21st of it's kind nationwide this season.

Channel R.o.t.R. has exclusively uncovered the fact that RWC ground crew members came out and applied WD-40 to the rusty rails of the guillotine which had stopped the blade just above the neck of the intended victim, Clint Barnes of Denver, Colorado, while he was granted two 11th-hour stays-of-execution by the Missouri State Supreme Court to consider last-minute legal appeals under the foulis ballis barelyis doctrine and appeals for clemency filed by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. and counsel representing reputed Roccinos Family MLB crime boss Clintonio Hurdelisionia.

Eventually, however, the inevitable happened and the Mexecutioner's 105th victim succumbed to his fate. Officially, he expired at 9:38 p.m. Central Daylight Savings Time.

Interestingly, law enforcement officials say, for the 37th time, the killer slashed his trademark symbol resembling a "K" into the flesh of the corpse. Unfortunately, officials are at a complete loss to explain the meaning of this cryptic and horrific calling card expect to say that it appears the Mexecutioner is taunting those that would try to stop him or escape their fate.

And Katie, I'm just receiving word now that the United States District Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri has issued a press release. Bear with me for a second. O.K.

Yeah, go ahead and hand me that Bob.

O.K. I have it here. It reads as follows. Quote, "As the sixteen thousand or so observers at last night's crime scene no doubt observed, the RWC ground crew came out to home plate and performed maintenance on the device which was used to kill Mr. Barnes, and which had previously also been used to kill Mr. Atkins and Mr. Hawpe, all of Denver, Colorado.

We now wish to publicly state that after a thorough and comprehensive investigation of the matter, all RWC ground crew members have been completely exonerated and will be neither charged nor indicted.

The reason for this, as the public has a right to know, is because they were operating under direct and plausible threats by top El Familia Royale crime bosses to assist in the killings or face mortal punishment on themselves and several generations of their relatives.

The D.A.'s office will have no further comment on the matter other than to say that our investigation continues and remains focused on the perpetrator and his E.L.F. backers who are deploying him.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of last night's victims, and the families of all 105 victims. We are working diligently to prevent the death toll from rising, however, as everyone has seen, we are not dealing with your average serial killer, so it would be naive and negligent to tell the public that this matter is very close to being resolved.

Therefore we advise the public to remain on highest alert Friday through Sunday. And also, avoid wearing red clothing as it seems to anger the E.L.F. and can easily be confused as representing the colors of the E.L.F.'s mortal enemies, el familia cardinalito, or E.F.C. Thank You."

So there you have it Katie. Chilling news, but nice to know that the local ground crew members are no longer under suspicion for complicity in these horrendous crimes.

And now I'll kick it back to you in the studio.

Thanks, Jack. So you saw and heard if for yourself viewers, another R.o.t.R. exclusive. We'll have further extensive coverage on these developements at 5, 6 and 10.

Now we return you to Days of Lives.

Ryan said...

Re: Teahan's power i.e. pulling and going opposite field.

A lot of Teahen's home runs both in 2006 and 2008 have been opposite field. All three he's hit in U.S. Cellular have straight away or opposite field this year. The same goes for the three he hit there in 2006.

At Kaufmann this year, he's hit two: one to LF and one inside-the-park (to LF).

If his power numbers went down last year, because they were forcing him to pull the ball, and they're back up this year because he's trying to go back up the middle or opposite way, why would you still have him change his swing again to pull the ball?

You're trying to force him or imagine him to be a ballplayer that he isn't. You're going to be disappointed if you keep wanting him to be your typical corner OF.

If you don't like him when he plays to his strengths, then you try to develop someone better than he is to replace him.

It would be like dating a girl because you can hang out with her like she's one of the guys, but then you get disappointed when she doesn't want to hang out with your buddy's wives because they bore her. You can't force her to be something she's not.

What I'm trying to say is Mark Teahen doesn't entertain company very well and is a horrible cook.

Shelby said...

Jack Jester:

We get it.

Anonymous said...

I like that people can read that Michael Lewis article and come away feeling like it's necessarily a problem if Teahen doesn't hit for power. The article briefly mentions something that is also stressed in Moneyball -- that slugging percentage is not as significant as OBP, that OBP is roughly 2-3x more important to a team's scoring runs. Teahen has always been a good OBP guy. Last year, his .353 OBP was the highest on the team among those qualified for the batting title, and in fact both his batting average and OBP last year were comparable to 2006. His biggest problem this year isn't lack of power, it's that he's only hitting .256 with a .330 OBP. Home runs are nice and all, but if Teahen can cut his strikeouts and raise his OBP, I don't especially care whether he ever hits for power.

A cursory glance at his stats suggests to me that his biggest problem this year is a dramatic drop in his BABIP. His strikeout rate has remained fairly steady (127 in 144 games last year, 126 in 2006 if you prorate his partial-season stats to a 162 game season), 56 so far this year (on pace for ~116, estimating that he plays 154 games), but his BABIP was .329 in 2006, .359 last year, and only .295 this year. His 2006 BABIP is even higher if you throw out April/May: .347. It's only two seasons to go on, but it's also pretty consistent, so it seems pretty reasonable to conclude that Teahen's .295 BABIP this season is probably due to some bad luck. If Teahen can get that BABIP back up into the .350 range and maybe raise his ISOBP to .080 or .090 (from last year's career high of .068), which means more walks and fewer strikeouts, I think he'll be a solid contributor with or without the home runs. Maybe I was just totally indoctrinated by Moneyball, but I don't really know how you can read a Michael Lewis article and despair that an OBP guy isn't hitting as many home runs as you'd like.

Casper said...

All those stats are nice and all, but it doesn't change the fact that you have a 215 pound right-fielder that's built like a brick sh!t house but prefers to Gathright the ball to left. It's a waste of ability.

And I know how this is going to sound, but I really don't want a player on the team who's idea of charity is throwing a fashion show("A powder blue jersey with black shoes? Oh, snap! I SO don't think so!").

You're right - you can't blame him for being who he is. But you can be irritated by it. Because the problem isn't that he can't hit to right field. We all know he can hit to right. It's that he blatantly REFUSES to hit to right field. It's just like George Brett noted in the Lewis article: the kid did it Brett's way for two days and then went back to doing it HIS way the moment Brett wasn't around. And what that tells me is that Teahen's just another kid that thinks his way is the best way and refuses to listen to anyone else.

I personally say trade his punk a$$. I'd almost rather have Yabuta playing RF...

Anonymous said...

Teahen made it this far doing it his own way. You may want to see him regularly dropping it over the outfield wall, but frankly home runs are overrated, and if that's not what he does then that's not what he does. If you watched Greinke in 2005, you should be aware of how dangerous it can be to relentlessly tinker with how guys play the game just because it's not how you think it "should" be done.

"Teahen's just another kid that thinks his way is the best way and refuses to listen to anyone else"? There is no best way; what works for George Brett doesn't necessarily work for Mark Teahen. You hear that Teahen only followed Brett's advice for two days and then went back to his way and you just assume that if Teahen had stuck with it, he'd be hitting like George Brett did; how do you know he didn't give it up because it was uncomfortable for him? How do you know that if he had stuck with it he wouldn't have hit a Berroaesque .220/.280/.330?

You're accusing him of wasting an ability he may or may not even have. He has exactly three months in his entire baseball career in which he hit for any power, and aside from that it has always been high OBP/low SLG. I'd be thrilled if Teahen can develop into a power hitter while maintaining a good OBP, but I'm just saying it's not the end of the world if he doesn't. Regardless of his physical makeup, that has traditionally not been the kind of player he is. Sometimes guys can change their approach and learn to hit for power, like Brett did, and sometimes you try to fix something that isn't really broken and then it is, like Greinke a few years ago. There is no rule that you must hit home runs to be a productive member of the lineup. This is a relatively recent phenomenon. Kauffman Stadium doesn't especially lend itself to power hitting anyway, and if that's not the kind of player Teahen is, then it's stupid to try to force it. If it happens and he can consistently be successful like he was in 2006, then great. But it's disingenuous to act like this is just some switch he can flip, like he could be sending balls into the fountains every night if only he would get over his stubborn refusal to hit to right field. I don't know what the difference was between 2006 and 2007, but I would be willing to bet it wasn't that Teahen just made a conscious decision that he wasn't going to hit home runs anymore. This attitude that players "should" play some specific way, or that a player who fits this description should be able to perform that feat is exactly the kind of BS "conventional wisdom" that Billy Beane was ignoring when he drafted Teahen. Let him do what he does. A good OBP is worth a hell of a lot more in the long run than 30 home runs anyway.

Isaac said...

I just thought of something in the way of a nickname for Soria. I haven't fully worked it out but the basis is what I was thinking of. How about something like comfortably numb. It speaks of how we all feel when we see him enter a game, how he looks during the game, and the numb refers to how the hitters look when facing him. I was trying to come up with something that depicted his controlled nature on the mound yet also said something about how he makes the hitters. I was thinking in the lines of slow death or something like that but didn't think it was appropriate with the word death. Anyways, let me know what you think.

Casper said...

I can't completely agree with you, Anonymous; sorry. I read Moneyball, too,and I agree that OBP is very important, but at the same time you need to explore both sides of the coin before rushing to a conclusion so absurd as 30 homeruns is less valuable than a higher OBP. Read "A Scouts Honor" to get some balanced perspective. I know that sounds condescending, but it's not meant to be, so sorry if you think that's an insult because it's not meant to be.

I'll just say this and bow out of a conversation that has apparently rankled you: The ability to generate a high OBP is ostensibly the direct result of being able to generate a high number of walks. Walks/OBP are nice, but they do little good when you are in a lineup that can't drive you in. The Royals have been in last place in runs scored (dunno if they climbed out of that spot yet as of this writing) all season, so Teahen's OBP has made little impact, and to be frank, you can't win the game unless you score some runs. And a home run - even a solo shot - will do just that. So I'll take 30 bombs and a .310 OBP over 8 bombs and a .350 OBP in this line up any day of the week. Because really - would you honestly have rathered that Gordon walked tonight instead of going yard? Seriously.

Anonymous said...

I'm not rankled at all, just bored. I suppose I assumed it was just granted that other people on the team also need to be able to get on base in order for Teahen's OBP to mean something. He doesn't have to go out there and hit tons of home runs if he can get on base and someone else can get him home. It's pretty obvious that one guy with a high OBP isn't going to accomplish much if no one else on his team can do anything -- Barry Bonds and eight Tony Penas aren't going to score too many runs even if Bonds is getting on base at his 2004 record .609 pace. As you point out, his OBP this year hasn't gotten him a whole lot, probably because he's been hitting around guys like Ross Gload, John Buck, and Tony Pena in the order (also probably because his OBP is down this year, possibly due to his low BABIP, as I previously discussed, since his ISOBP is actually at a career high .074).

But OBP is Teahen's strength, not power. He's exhibited power once in his entire lifetime of playing baseball, and it was just a three month period two years ago. If it ever comes back, great -- I certainly am not going to complain if Teahen can hit 30 homers a year. My point is that Teahen, despite what he looks like, is not a power hitter, and you're making a mistake if you try to force him to be one. Let him do his thing, which is to get on base, and let a true power hitter drive him in. You're calling it a "waste of ability," but what ability? He's never consistently shown that he possesses such an ability, you're just assuming that he should based on what he looks like and because he flashed some potential for a few months a couple years ago. Stranger things have happened in baseball than someone erupting for 16 home runs in three months and never hitting for power before or after that. I think if you judge Teahen solely on his ability or lack thereof to hit the long ball, you're missing the point. You don't need nine home run hitters in your lineup and if you try to assemble such a lineup at Kauffman Stadium, you're not going to meet with a ton of success. The Royals lineup as it currently stands still needs a lot of work, and maybe Teahen is one guy who isn't going to stick long term and needs to be replaced. But if he can be a good OBP guy, he should have a role on the team regardless of his power numbers. I'm not anti-home run here, I'd just much rather have Scott Hatteberg than Calvin Pickering.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not rankled at all, just bored."

Apparently you forgot to add arrogant and condescending to that list.