Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gordon Redux.

I was planning on making this a bullet-point “Royals Today” post, but instead I want to clarify my post on Alex Gordon and Mark Teahen in light of the general reaction in the blogosphere, which seems to boil down to, “Rany’s a moron.” That's probably true, but I don’t want you to base that opinion on just one column.

- First off, I need to make it clear that I'm not down on Alex Gordon as a hitter. I have written several times before that I am still optimistic that Gordon has a breakthrough shortly to come at the plate, and I still firmly believe that. Just in the past six weeks, Gordon has shown the patience that he showed in the minors and in college, and the patience that presages power: in 29 games since the All-Star Break, he walked 23 times and - despite a .261 average - had a .402 OBP. There's no question this injury comes at a bad times, as we'll have to wait until next year to know if, having learned to spit on pitches that are not inside his happy zone, he can start turning on the pitches that are. But whatever position Gordon plays next year, I am still optimistic that he'll be a force with the stick.

- There have been some comments that I’m leaning on a statistical metric to hammer Gordon’s defense, given that Baseball Prospectus rates his glove this year at a woeful 18 runs below average. I should make this clear: I wrote the entire post without even knowing what his defensive statistics were. I looked up his numbers at the end and was surprised to find they were as bad as they were, but I had already made up my mind that his defense was trending downwards based on personal observation. I may be wrong – I am not a scout – but given that I started the year with the belief that Gordon was an above-average third baseman, I don’t think I would have changed my mind without overwhelming evidence to the contrary. When the Royals were in Chicago last month I attended two games at U.S. Cellular, both times sitting in the upper deck between home plate and third base, which gave me a terrific bird’s eye view of his reaction times and range. It wasn’t pretty.

- I’ve seen a lot of comments that Gordon would be a disaster in the outfield given his frequent struggles with infield popups. That may be true, but I would submit that chasing popups and catching fly balls are different skill sets – outfielders don’t usually track balls that are hit almost completely vertically, while simultaneously trying to feel their way around baserunners, other infielders, the dugout steps, and fans in the first row. More importantly, I think this is something Gordon can improve with, you know, practice. Maybe he can’t handle the outfield, but I think the Royals have to try him there first, because moving him to first base wastes his talent and blocks other good hitters.

- And finally, I want to make it clear: I am not saying that the Royals should move Gordon off of third base. I am simply saying that the Royals are moving him, or at least strongly considering doing so. Moving Teahen back to third base is an incredibly strange move to make unless the Royals are serious about finding a replacement for Gordon at the position.

I mean, does anyone else think it’s weird that, two years after the Royals told Teahen that he was being moved off of third base permanently to make way for their new phenom, they’d go back to him and say, hey, we’d like you to play third base for a few weeks while our not-so-phenomenal phenom is on the DL? Billy Hall has struggled at third base for the Brewers this year, but they didn’t ask Ryan Braun to move back to third base. When Evan Longoria got hurt a few weeks ago, the Rays didn’t move Akinori Iwamura back to third base. Teams don’t move an everyday player from one position to another mid-season just to cover for an injury for a few weeks. But we’re not supposed to raise our eyebrows a little when Teahen moves from the outfield to third base?

I can think of two recent examples that resemble this situation a little. The first was earlier this year, when the Tigers opened the season with Miguel Cabrera at third base, and Carlos Guillen – who had played mostly shortstop, but had dabbled at first base the last few years – at first. Barely three weeks into the season, Jim Leyland decided to give voice to the whispers that had been following Cabrera for the past year – namely, that he had outgrown third base. Overnight, the two switched positions, and Cabrera is unlikely to play anywhere other than first base for the remainder of his 7-year contract.

The other example that comes to mind is when Chipper Jones, who moved from third base to left field to start the 2002 season, abruptly moved back to third base on June 15th, 2004 – against the Royals, strangely enough – and hasn’t started a game at another position since.

The point is, teams don’t have their starters change positions willy-nilly – these moves tend to be permanent. Gordon is no Cabrera, but like Cabrera his body may be growing too thick to play third adequately – and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because those body changes may also help him hit for more power over time. Teahen is no Chipper, but if Bobby Cox was comfortable with moving Chipper – who was never a great defensive player – back to third base after a two-year sabbatical, you have to figure that Dayton Moore would be comfortable moving Teahen back there as well.

Should they move Gordon? Like most good questions, the answer is, “it depends.” It depends on who replaces him at third base: whether Teahen is a defensive upgrade, and if he isn’t, then whether they can find another third baseman this offseason. (Or, perhaps more likely, whether Moore splurges on a shortstop. The thinking all summer has been that the Royals find a shortstop and move Aviles to second base. The developments of the last few days – including the return of Alberto Callaspo – makes me wonder if the plan isn’t to find a shortstop and move Aviles to third base.)

It depends on where they move Gordon. If the Royals move him to first base, without ever giving a shot to Kila Kaaihue, they will be making a mistake. But in the outfield, the Royals have just one good player (DeJesus) along with one marginal player who has to play because he’s getting paid $12 million a year and will go on a three-state shooting spree if he’s benched (Guillen). The Royals have a ton of good fourth outfielder types – Gathright, Maier, Costa, the ubiquitous Teahen – but no other starter-caliber options, whether in the majors or in the high minors. If Gordon’s offense continues to develop, his bat will carry any position. And it’s possible that, freed of the defensive demands of a more difficult position, Gordon will be more likely to reach his offensive potential.

I think the ideal solution here is that the Royals grab a shortstop over the winter; I know everyone and their mother is pining for Rafael Furcal. If the Royals can grab Furcal or someone of his ilk, move Aviles to third, Gordon to the outfield, and make Teahen a fantastic four-corners bench player, they can upgrade their defense at two positions without sacrificing one bit on offense.

I don’t know what the answer is, and frankly, neither do the Royals. That’s why Teahen’s back at third base – so that the Royals can evaluate whether he’s the answer or not. If he’s not, then they’ll probably spend all winter evaluating options from outside the organization, and deciding whether they can afford them.

Maybe the answer is that Gordon is still the team’s best option at third base in 2009, and maybe he’ll be there on Opening Day. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that his return there is a foregone conclusion. It’s simply impossible for any of us to know who’s going to be at third base next year. How can we, when it’s pretty clear that the Royals themselves don’t know?

53 comments:

Casper said...

"I mean, does anyone else think it’s weird that, two years after the Royals told Teahen that he was being moved off of third base permanently to make way for their new phenom, they’d go back to him and say, hey, we’d like you to play third base for a few weeks while our not-so-phenomenal phenom is on the DL?"

My response: Um, no. It's the Royals, dude. Stupid is as stupid does.

Isaac said...

I asked for your logic in my response to your last post only to find you had given it the minute I entered that response.

I also mentioned a couple of the things you clarified in this response such as Gordon's plate discipline since the break.

I just think you are giving the Royals enough credit. They don't do things logically or like anyone else. Moving Teahen back to third doesn't mean that he is staying there or that Gordon's leaving there. If there was any circumstance of your idea that starters don't change positions willy nilly then this it is. Teahen changes positions for a living.

I simply believe that Teahen was the only really acceptable replacement for Gordon at third at the moment. German is a God awful fielder and especially so in the infield. The Royals have been willing to change Teahen around on a whim. That's why he has played 5 positions over the last 2 years.

What you say might make sense on this planet but they don't in RoyalWorld. If they can hang on to Pena this long they can keep Gordon at third for much longer.

jonfmorse said...

I still think you're reading too much into it, and I prefer to assume the simplest answer:

Trey Hillman essentially has a choice between playing Esteban German at third base and Teahen in the outfield, or vice versa, and simply picked the option which was far less likely to cause him to suffer a stroke before the season ends.

Anonymous said...

I've read here and elsewhere that Gordon plays like he is "entitled" to the position. What does that mean? I've watched Gordon play both this year and last year and I don't understand that comment at all. AG plays the game harder than anyone else on the team. His "effort" on defense, at the plate and on the bases is always full-out. I've never heard him in an interview be cocky or assume that the Royals owe him anything. He's not a rah-rah guy (ala DDJ) but that's not really important is it? What's the context (and evidence) of those comments?

George said...

Maybe the Royals want to show Teahen can still play 3rd base so that they can get more value in a trade in the off-season. Of course, I may be giving the Royals too much credit for thinking of this.

JayhawkOwensJunior said...

No, no NO Furcal! His back is shot. I just can't take another 80-game-a-year All Star. And yet his name keeps coming up. Please, no. Please, no.

CL said...

Dallas McPherson can play third...

Aaron M. said...

There really isn't much we can get as a free agent this winter at SS. Here's a list with their ages:

Shortstops
Orlando Cabrera (34)
David Eckstein (34)
Adam Everett (32)
Rafael Furcal (31)
Nomar Garciaparra (35)
Cesar Izturis (29)
Felipe Lopez (29)
Edgar Renteria (33) - $12MM club option for '09 with a $3MM buyout
Juan Uribe (30)
Omar Vizquel (42) - $5.2MM club option for '09 with a $0.3MM buyout

The third base list isn't much better as a few won't make it to free agency:

Third basemen
Rich Aurilia (37)
Casey Blake (35)
Hank Blalock (28) - $6.2MM club option for '09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Joe Crede (31)
Nomar Garciaparra (35)
Wes Helms (33) - $3.75MM club option for '09
Chipper Jones (37) - $8-11MM vesting option for '09

And Teahen is at 3rd, because otherwise German would be, and he's just bad over there.

Anonymous said...

Rany, you have no reason to apologize for anything you've said about Gordon. The facts speak for themselves. Sub-par defense and a BA south of .250 says it all.

Anonymous said...

Others have beat me to punch - Nobody is questioning the intelligence of your thoughts, Rany, rather, because of the history of mismanagement of this franchise, we are all mostly assuming the Royals are not thinking about anything at all with the Teahen move. It's probably nothing more than Hillman deciding he wanted Teahen's defense there over German's.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog Rany,

I don't like Aviles at third. I have seen very few games this year but the accuracy of Aviles' arm in the games I did see gives me concern about longer throws. I actually would like to see him stay at shortstop until his defense absolutely forces a move. Interesting theory, but the real question for me is Teahen and the Royals' plan for him this fall.

Anonymous said...

I'm not in the "Royals are idiots and always have been so there's no way they're thinking what you are, Rany" crowd. I'll give Dayton Moore and the new front office more credit than that. However, I would put the chances that Hillman just opted for Teahen over German at 80%, versus a 20% chance that they have decided to move Gordon to the OF next year and this is a calculated play to market Teahen for a trade or re-audition him at 3B for next year.

Chance said...

I said this yesterday, also: I think it is Hillman just deciding that he likes Teahen's defense better than anyone else's. I don't think they should move Aviles, either. Why do they always do this: take a player having a good season and mess with his mechanics at the plate, or move him around on defense, etc. If you have too many 3rd basemen, trade one, release one, whatever. And don't make the decision based on draft status or $$$.

Anonymous said...

It's the 9th inning, 9-3 Rangers, Josh Rupe on the mound, Ross Gload at the plate, Butler on first, one out. Rupe uncorks a wild pitch about 4 feet over his catcher's head. Next pitch is another wild pitch that bounces 6 feet in front of the plate. 2-0 on Gload, and on the next pitch, Gload is hacking away at a pitch down around his shoetops.

I hope that they don't bring Kila up as long as Mike Barnett is the hitting coach. Otherwise, we'll hear, "We want him to be more aggressive....."

Wally said...

"Teams don’t move an everyday player from one position to another mid-season just to cover for an injury for a few weeks."

Rany, you hint at this later on, but (assuming the Rs have any "plan" of sorts) isn't it just as likely that this is a sign that Teahen is NOT an everyday player? Teahen's had enough ABs to establish that he doesn't have the bat to deserve 500 PAs a year, but it isn't awful, he can play OF or either corner pretty well, and he does all the "little things" well. Sounds a lot like a better version of the type of utility player that Gload should be this year. Is it possible that the Royals have figured that out?

Ron Rollins said...

Makes perfect sense. Hillman is a terrible manager and this is exactly the type of move he's been making all year. The wrong one.

And Moore is rapidly proving he isn't very good either, because either its his idea or he's letting it happen.

Anonymous said...

Here are some random stats about the Royals.

To I'm sure the surprise of no one, the Royals are dead last in the major leagues in drawing walks. The Cubs have walked over 200 times more than the Royals.

The Royals rank 24th out of 30 teams in sacrifice bunts, a stat that I'm sure isn't for lack of trying.

The Royals rank 26th in stolen base percentage, a stat that doesn't include runners thrown out on other baserunning plays.

The Royals have issued fewer intentional walks than any other team.

The Royals have thrown out fewer runners attempting to steal than any other team except the Dodgers, yet are tied for 10th in stolen bases allowed. Our pitchers must do an amazing job of holding runners close. I don't know why teams don't steal on us like mad. Of all catchers who have caught as many games as John Buck, the fewest number of assists any of them have is 38. Buck has 19. Olivo has 20 and he has caught less than half as many games as Buck. But hey, he can handle pitchers.

Mike Aviles has a .979 fielding pct. and a 4.64 range factor. Tony Pena, Jr. has a .960 fielding pct. and a 3.71 range factor. Who is the better fielder again? And if we required a minimum of 291 at bats, Aviles would be leading the league in hitting.

Before he was injured, Mitch Maier was 19-for-56 for a .339 average. All of his hits were singles. Hard to do.

Jeff said...

IMO, this move is more about German than it is about Gordon. I think Teahen is at third because he will be a super-sub next season. Germans days are numbered and maybe Gloads too. Teahen can play both corner OF spots and both corner IF spots rendering both German and Gload useless - if KC picks up another outfielder and gives Kila a chance at 1st.

tilly uhlich me so...crazy... said...

I just overheard G. Brett say he "was honored to be compared to A. Gordon as a left fielder."

Rany, I love your mind, but is there any chance you could use it more productively? i.e. for other teams? That would be fun.

While the Royals continue to try, they are not the worst AL team, and will be hard pressed to "out-perform" the Mariners the rest of the way. So really, all of you who think the Royals had a great draft, and please raise your hand if you do, because you know what? So does every other team. Yes, the royals spent more, but they also spent a boatload on griffin, crosby, gordon..wait, should he be on that list? Anyway, HIGH draft pick!!! I have this funny feeling...at this time next year, I bet one dollar, that everybody thinks the royals had a great draft, any takers?

Anonymous said...

Why, when first base is mentioned, doesn't anyone mention Ryan Shealy? I'm puzzled. He's doing very well in AAA ball but cannot get a chance to supplant a bench player in Gload. Give the man a chance.

Anonymous said...

My problem with Aviles at third is how often I've seen him throw Gload a slider. Gload, thankfully, wears the glove on his right hand and is pretty good at picking up those bad throws. But how much break will that throw have coming from from thirty feet further away?

Anonymous said...

Tonight: Millwood - complete game, 94 pitches, 25 balls, 69 strikes in 9 innings. Such plate discipline to not swing at those 25 balls.

Kevin said...

Someone mentioned Olivo. I also still can't believe they won't give him a better shot. Buck is way over rated. I am no LaRue fan, believe me, I'm glad he's gone. But, for all you Buck lovers go compare his stats to LaRue's. Hmm, I'm not seeing much difference.

Eric said...

I just can't believe that this season has once again turned into a complete and absolute disaster, when there's supposed to be hope. The players stink, they underachieve, the coaches are bad, the decisions are bad. It just sucks. Here are a few observations from the last couple days:

-Zero walks in two games.
-Scott Feldman had a 60:52 SO:W ratio before facing the Royals. The Royals couldn't manage one.
-Did anyone else love the Guillen at-bat where he had a full count and swung at a pitch that almost hit him in the elbow? It was obvious that he was refusing to walk. I hate him.
-Did anyone else love the Teahen at-bat where he looked at strike one, swung at a pitch three feet outside for strike two, then the catcher stood all the way up and called for a high pitch and Teahen swung at strike three that was over his head?
-Does any realize that Carlos FREAKING Zambrano, a pitcher who plays every five days, has twice as many homeruns this year than our starting first basemen? And we're supposed to be a major league team? Ross Gload must be Scott Pose's love child.
-Did anyone see Jose Guillen go after the fan during tonight's game? I'd like to see Jose Guillen get beaned in the head. But he'd probably swing at that pitch. Dayton Moore says he doesn't regret the Guillen signing and that he'd do it again. If that's true, Dayton Moore is a complete and utter jackass and this franchise has absolutely no hope.

I miss the Olympics. At least they helped me ignore the Royals.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not in the 'Royals are idiots and always have been so there's no way they're thinking what you are, Rany' crowd. I'll give Dayton Moore and the new front office more credit than that."...

...Which only shows how little you truly know.

Oh, and also, can someone else please throw out some random, completely arbitrary statistics that are in no way, shape or form connected to anything pretending to be a point? I don't think we have enough people parading innocuous information as worthwhile data on this thread yet...

Good God, people...

Rich said...

I tend to agree with "george" and the anonymous post who mention this as a move to shop Teahen, who has never had more value than he did the offseason of 2006 and would still have more value this offseason as a 3B than as a supersub. While I personally think Teahen's a great public face/voice for the Royals, his skills just don't merit giving him a corner outfield position. If he can merit a good return, he's gotta go, and Moore strikes me as shrewd enough to recognize this.

Anonymous said...

No way can they move Aviles to third, his arm strength and accuracy are both shaky at best. The only logical move is for him to go to 2B. I'm a huge Aviles fan too.

After watching last nights game out at the K I wanted to know if its just me, but I feel uneasy when any ball is hit in the infield (or outfield for that matter). It's kind of the same feeling I get when I watch a little league team play, where no outs are guaranteed no matter where the ball is hit. Nobody looks comfortable and everybody looks like they're on edge. Between that and our offense it is impossible to be able to think that this team has taken any steps forward this year. I know that steps are being taken in the minor league system which gives me hope as a Royals fan, but any hope I had for the 2009 Royals sniffing the playoffs (or a .500 season for that matter) have been all but extinguished at this point. It's very depressing, somebody cheer me up please.

Chance said...

I want someone in the local media to ask Dayton Moore some tough questions. Like, "Why is Ross Gload playing almost everyday?" "Why is John Buck playing almost everyday?" "Why hasn't Sheely or Kila been promoted?" and then smash his pat, condescending answers with some hard facts. I like DM, I think at least his being in the front office has loosened the purse strings. But come on, he never had to answer why it took so long for T Pena to be replaced by Aviles, I don't know what his reasones were for keeping Aviles in the minors for so long were, but if he is really that inept at seeing talent, maybe we know why Gload is playing everyday.

Anonymous said...

Carlos Zambrano has four homeruns.
Ross Gload has three homeruns.

If I remember 3rd grade math, Zambrano doesn't have "twice" as many homeruns as Gload.

Eric B said...

My thought is that if they are thinking Aviles can handle 3B then why isn't he there instead of Teabag? Play Callaspo at SS and German at 2B and see if Aviles can do it or not.

Anonymous said...

Chance, NO ONE knew that Aviles was capable of the numbers he's putting up. He was exposed to the Rule 5, and no one took him. So, I don't think you can fault Moore for not seeing what no one else did, either.

I think you CAN fault them for continuing to keep Pena on the roster, and for continuing to trot Gload out there EVERY night at 1B. Even if you don't want to call Shealy or Ka'aihue up right now, then what about Billy? How has Butler not gotten more starts at 1B??? Have they really just given up on him being able to play ANY defensive position? Am I really looking at a 22-year-old DH?

Anonymous said...

Hey I think Richie Sexson is looking for a job...

Anonymous said...

but seriously I think it would be great for the Royals to sign Adam Dunn in the offseason.

Anonymous said...

really Rany...

i mean come on. there is no way in hell that the Royals are going to start dicking with the cornerstone of this team. NO CHANCE ON EARTH

Burkhalter Ministry said...

I live in Fort Worth, so I'm watching tonight's game (Wednesday night) via the Rangers' broadcast. They have spent the last two nights talking about how the Royals just will not take a pitch. Tonight, that's literally all they have talked about.

This has been a tough season said...

I heard Guillen went into the crowd with a gun looking to murder the queen ala Reggie Jackson at the end of "Naked Gun"

"I MUST KILL THE QUEEN. I MUST KILL THE QUEEN."

Anonymous said...

^^ one of my all-time favorite movies :)

Casper said...

On KCRoyals.com, from the story about Guillen yelling at a fan last night: "'I was actually in the toilet so I didn't see it,' he said Trey Hillman."

LOL...oh, man...I mean the degree to which he's oblivious is just frightening now...I mean seriously, who in their right mind tells the media that they didn't witness something because they were busy taking a shit? I wonder what the follow up question to that was...

Casper said...

"...he said Trey Hillman" should just read "said Trey Hillman."

The attribution is correct, I just edit poorly.

tilly uhlich me.... said...

While nobody took Aviles in the Rule V draft, that doesn't mean the Royals still didn't f-up, after all they 'groomed' him, saw him daily, knew him, et. al. and still didn't know squat. The other teams didn't have the same information. And the royals thought so highly of him, and the rest of that draft they paid big bucks to get him. 1K. Think he's proud to be a royal?

stay away from the K

Anonymous said...

You can now add "pitcher dropped a bloop pop-up with two outs to allow the winning run to score" to the list of accomplishments the Royals have garnered this year.

I'll put this one right up there with Harvey getting hit in the back with the cut-off throw.

Isaac said...

Over the past two days, Hillman has done enough to cross my line of tolerance and I now want him fired whether or not he will be.

Last night with a man on third and one out he intentionally walked Cruz to get to Laird. There isn't a bit of difference between the two other than Laird is probably the better hitter. Laird hits ground balls about 40-50% of the time and had 4GIDPs for the entire year up to that point. In other words, Hillman walked a guy to get to his improved clone. It worked but that's irrelevant.

Tonight, he has German sac bunt in the third inning of a 0-0 game with no outs and Teahen on first. German characteristically blows the first two attempts but then hits a double. German then singles on his second AB. With the game at 3-2 Texas and a runner on first and no outs just like in the third inning, Hillman asks German to bunt again. German goes on to blow the first two attempts and look at a called third strike.

Am I not seeing something here? Is there some statistical logic to this that I am unaware of? Did Earl Weaver say that one of the times it was warranted to sacrifice bunt was in the third inning of a tie ballgame against the best hitting club in the league?

I have always been more lenient with managers and been willing to give them at least a year to prove themselves unless they quit beforehand. This is the first time I have given up this quickly on a guy. He is far and away the worst manager I have ever seen. The bad decisions and the repetition of them when it is quite clear they don't work is unbelievable. This team will lose for as long as I remain alive at the least. I'll still read your blog though Rany.:)

kcghost said...

This team is awful and the coaching staff may be worse. How in the world could GMDM survey the world and come up with one of the few people on this planet who is not an upgrade on Buddy Bell??

They play defense like the ball is radioactive. They run the bases with all the intelligence of a liberal democrat. They approach hitting as if the real goal is to keep the catcher from ever touching the ball.

As for Gordon he just can't hit a breaking ball that is down and in or down and away. And he doesn't have the batting to just not swing at them. In back-to-back drafts the Royals had the #2 and the #1 pick and came up with Gordon and Hochevar and neither one is going to amount to more than a journeyman.

Anonymous said...

Rany, next time you are on the radio or in your next blog, please help me understand how the Royals can be so bad at pitch recognition or simply plate discipline. I bet you can count on one hand the times our pitchers have thrown less pitches than the opposition. What are the coaches telling these guys? Swing at anything and everything! Don't work the count!! Why does it seem that every other team understands this except the Royals? The hitting coach and the manager need to be called out on this and if the players simply won't do it, then they need to be held accountable and get some guys up here who understand this. Are they afraid they might lose a few more games?

Anonymous said...

They play defense like the ball is radioactive. They run the bases with all the intelligence of a liberal democrat. They approach hitting as if the real goal is to keep the catcher from ever touching the ball.

Wait a minute, are we watching the same team here? Their base running has been awful.

As for Gordon he just can't hit a breaking ball that is down and in or down and away. And he doesn't have the batting to just not swing at them. In back-to-back drafts the Royals had the #2 and the #1 pick and came up with Gordon and Hochevar and neither one is going to amount to more than a journeyman.

Come on now, it's a little bit early to pass judgment on these guys. Hochevar is a rookie and Gordon is in his third year of professional ball. He probably shouldn't have skipped AAA, but I think it's too soon to declare that he'll be nothing more than a journeyman. Rany might be right that he's not going to stick at 3B, but his bat really does seem like it's on the verge of breaking out (hopefully finishing this season on the DL doesn't set him back at all here). This isn't the NFL, it's not fair to expect a guy to be an All-Star two or three seasons after he was drafted, even if some guys do occasionally pull it off. I'm willing to see how Gordon and Hochevar do next season before I throw in the towel on them.

Rany, next time you are on the radio or in your next blog, please help me understand how the Royals can be so bad at pitch recognition or simply plate discipline. I bet you can count on one hand the times our pitchers have thrown less pitches than the opposition. What are the coaches telling these guys? Swing at anything and everything! Don't work the count!! Why does it seem that every other team understands this except the Royals? The hitting coach and the manager need to be called out on this and if the players simply won't do it, then they need to be held accountable and get some guys up here who understand this. Are they afraid they might lose a few more games?

"OBP is a no-brainer."

What ever happened to that?

Isaac said...

I've asked this before and got nowhere with it. Since there is nothing better to do I figured I'd take another shot at it.

I'm looking to find out the success rate of running on contact from third base. This almost if not always occurs with 1 out. It seems like it is disproportionately unsuccessful and is done by pretty much everyone in the league.

I see three possible outcomes of putting on that play. The first would be that it is irrelevant. This would occur if it was a basehit that made it past the infielders. The second would be that it is a failure. This is when the runner coming from third gets thrown out. The final one would be if it was a success. For this to happen, an infielder must field it and the runner must cross the plate.

If it makes it past the infield, then the runner didn't have to run on contact. I have seen this play called when the infield is playing in which would decrease its chances of being a success. When the infielders are playing in, the amount of range they have is cut dramatically so even if they dive for a ball they can sometimes get up and throw it home in time to get the runner.

I don't know if the information exists to answer this question but if some has heard about this before or has an idea how to figure it out I'd love it. I'd especially appreciate it if Rany was able to ask one of his stathead's about it or tell me he doesn't think it's possible to have that kind of information.

In yesterday's game, Hillman actually sent Jose Guillen, the three-toed sloth, on contact. Of course, he was thrown out. Why on earth would you try that with Guillen? I think it is really sad when I honestly don't see Hillman changing enough to correct his style of managing so that it is beneficial to this team. He's the only manager that I have felt that way about ever.

Anonymous said...

"No way can they move Aviles to third, his arm strength and accuracy are both shaky at best."

This quote doesn't do sp specifically, but a feew people have suggested that moving from short to 3B would mean longer throws. It may be counter-intitive because of their locations around the infield diamond, but shortstops generally have the longest throws because they play deeper.

Anonymous said...

Corrected for typos (ouch):

This quote doesn't do so specifically, but a few people have suggested that moving from short to 3B would mean longer throws. It may be counter-intuitive because of their locations around the infield diamond, but shortstops generally have the longest throws because they play deeper.

Royals Fan said...

I don't know if anyone is talking about this but the fans need to back Jose Guillen. Since he showed up this town has done nothing but dog him. All he has done has been to act like a human being who wants the Royals to win. Who cares if he criticises his own team, he gets to he is on the team. You got one of the only guys on this team who activley strives to make his teammates better and who wants the Royals to win second thinking his decision to be here in KC. We need people who aren't afraid of what the press says or what the fans say about his actions and does his best to get the job done. Shame on the so called "FAN" for taunting him and a non sportsman like way and causeing the whole thing in the first place. That person should never again be allowed to grace Kaufmann stadium or wear blue. Go Jose Guillen. Keep on Truckin'

Anonymous said...

"They run the bases with all the intelligence of a liberal democrat. "


let's not start this sh*t on a great baseball forum.

We don't make fun of you, even though we should!

Anonymous said...

Maybe he wasn't including you in that group! :)

Anonymous said...

I'll make a deal here, royals fan. I'll support Jose Guillen, but in exchange, he needs to put up better than an 84 OPS+. When he learns to take a walk and hit for some power, I'll get behind him. In the meantime, if he doesn't like getting booed and yelled at, he'll just have to man up and deal with it. I don't have any problem with a player who wants to win and calls out his team, I just generally prefer for that player to not be a huge part of the problem himself. No one would applaud if Angel Berroa complained that his teammates were "babies," so I don't know why someone whose numbers are only marginally better gets a free pass here either. Jose Guillen sucks. When he stops sucking, I'll start cheering for him.

Kevin said...

A big NO to Furcal. The Royals don't need to overpay for an injury prone SS.