I’ll be frank with you: I’ve pretty much checked out of 2012. Not in a temper tantrum sort of way, but just in the sense that there’s no joy in continuing to keep tabs on the Royals in what might be their most disappointing season of the century. Yeah, 2009 was disappointing after their 18-11 start, but based on my expectations before the season, it wasn’t nearly that disappointing. It’s just sad that the Royals found a way to waste the most valuable season by a pitcher since Pedro Martinez was in his prime.
But this year? I legitimately thought on Opening Day that they were a .500 team. Instead, they’re on pace to lose 95 games, and gaining steam – they’ve lost 19 of their last 25 games. And it’s not just that they’re a bad team – it’s that they’re so uninteresting to watch.
I don’t know how that’s possible. Last August and September, after the Royals promoted Johnny Giavotella and Salvador Perez to the majors, they were as fun to watch as they’ve been since at least 2003. Most days they fielded a lineup in which Jeff Francoeur, at age 27, was the OLDEST player in the lineup. And they were winning – they were 15-10 in September.
They finished sixth in the league in runs scored, with the youngest offense in baseball. The prospect of watching them take a step forward as one of the best young lineups in the game was, itself, reason enough to watch the Royals this year.
Instead they’ve taken a step into the abyss. The Royals are 11th in the league in runs scored. This is true even though:
- Mike Moustakas has been an above-average hitter (.263/.318/.463), and one of the best defensive third baseman in the league. He doesn’t turn 24 until next month.
- Alcides Escobar is hitting .301 and is on pace to finish with 38 doubles. He’s 25.
- Eric Hosmer is 22, and when he was 21, he was a very good hitter.
- Alex Gordon is 28, and after a rocky start is hitting .351/.423/.492 since May 29th. For the year he’s hitting .292/.375/.428.*
- Billy Butler is having a Billy Butler season. This is the fourth straight year he’s hit between .291 and .318, and the fourth straight year he’s had an OBP between .361 and .388. But his slugging average is a career-high .507, because he’s already hit 20 homers, just one off his career high. He’s only 26.
*: No, he’s not hitting homers, and no, I have no idea how a guy with as much raw power as him has hit one more homer than Escobar. But he leads the league in doubles, plays great defense in LF, is the only guy on the team who takes a walk, and hasn’t missed a game. For the second straight year, Gordon leads the Royals in Wins Above Replacement (according to Baseball-Reference). And yet no one seems to acknowledge just what a fine year he’s having. That contract he signed still looks like a dandy.
The Royals got their starting catcher back on June 22nd, and their centerfielder back on July 13th, so now we can add:
- Lorenzo Cain is hitting .273/.316/.455 on the season, .314/.356/.549 since returning from the DL, and has played very good defense, even though his legs are still about 85%. He’s 26, and this may be all he is, but this is plenty good enough.
- Salvador Perez is 22 – the youngest guy in the lineup – and he’s hitting .326/.351/.543. Put it this way: he has five home runs – and six strikeouts. I don’t expect him to finish with that kind of a ratio, but just to put it in perspective: since 2000, only three players have finished a season with a HR/K ratio of 0.8 or better, with at least five homers: Barry Bonds (three times), Albert Pujols (twice), and…Paul Lo Duca, of all people, in 2001. And, at least at the moment, Salvy.
That’s seven building blocks in the lineup. And yet the Royals still feel like a drag to watch, probably because the other two spots are such a drag on the lineup.
Jeff Francoeur is hitting .238/.276/.368. So to those of you who thought he would regress back to the mean, and return to being the hitter he was in 2010, you were wrong: he’s regressed way past the mean. He’s worse than he was in 2010, or any other year other than 2008, when he hit .239/.294/.359 and was worth 1.9 Wins BELOW Replacement.
And while defensive metrics are notoriously unreliable in the span of a single season, it bears mentioning that his defensive numbers are even worse than his offensive ones. According to Baseball-Reference, Frenchy has been 1.1 Wins Below Replacement as a hitter this year – and a full 2.0 WBR on defense. I’m not sure how that’s possible – while Francoeur’s range has never been great, his arm is worth something. But despite 12 assists in 95 games, BB-Ref says his range has been just that bad.
I feel some degree of responsibility for Francoeur. I mean, I advocated for the Royals to bring him in years ago, and I took a lot of credit when he responded with a year of redemption in 2011: .285/.329/.476, a 20-20 season, 71 extra-base hits. I wasn’t thrilled with the two-year extension he got last August, but I wasn’t angry about it either – my preference was to move Melky Cabrera to right field to make room for Cain, but that was about keeping the switch-hitting bat and getting a draft pick for Francoeur more than because I wasn’t convinced Francoeur’s bat was for real.
Obviously, his bat wasn’t for real; if Francoeur’s 2011 was any more of a mirage, Siegfried and Roy would have been performing there. I admit that I didn’t see this coming, and I was wrong to not foresee the possibility of this level of performance from him. But while I should have known that this amount of regression was possible, I still don’t think that I should have known it was likely.
Because in my defense, I present to you…Melky Cabrera. Like Francoeur, Cabrera had an excellent 2011; like Francoeur, it was completely out of sync with the rest of his career.
From 2008-2010, Jeff Francouer: .256/.301/.389, 83 OPS+
From 2008-2010, Melky Cabrera: .260/.319/.372, 82 OPS+
Cabrera is younger than Francoeur, but only by six months – at this stage of their careers, that difference is negligible. And while it was in the distant past, Francoeur’s performance early in his career (.300/.336/.549 at age 21, .293/.338/.444 in a full season at age 23) dwarfed anything that Cabrera had ever done.
And yet Cabrera has not only proven that 2011 was a true improvement in his performance level, he’s taken a further step forward, leading the NL in hits and batting .359/.400/.530 at the moment. If there was something in their track records that suggested that Cabrera was likely to build on his 2011 and Francoeur was likely to regress, please point it out to me. I don’t mean that in a snarky manner – I genuinely would like to be educated, because obviously, that’s the sort of differentiation that can make or break a team.
The only thing I see that distinguishes them was that even when he was not hitting, Cabrera had a good strikeout-to-walk ratio – from 2008 to 2010 he had 114 walks and 181 Ks. But his K/BB ratio actually worsened in 2011 – he had 94 strikeouts and 35 walks. Even this year, his K/BB ratio is higher than it was in 2009 or 2010. Francoeur, meanwhile, has struck out three times as often as he’s walked throughout his career: 282 Ks vs. 92 walks from 2008 to 2010, then 123 Ks and 37 walks in his breakout season last year. (This year he has 74 Ks and 16 walks.)
Given two players with identical offensive performances, I would lean towards the player with better command of the strike zone. But at least in 2011, Francoeur walked a little more often than Cabrera. He struck out 30% more often – but was that, alone, enough to distinguish between them? I don’t think so, but if there’s a definitive study out there on the predictive value of K/BB ratios, please send it my way.
The Royals obviously couldn’t distinguish between the two outfielders – they offered them identical 2-year, $13.5 million contracts. If Cabrera had been the one to take the Royals up on the deal, that would have been worth literally seven games in the standings. Plus, the Royals would have spent the Jonathan Sanchez money on another pitcher, who almost certainly would have been worth two or three additional wins simply on account of not being Jonathan Sanchez.
The Royals are 41-58 at the moment, 13 games out of first place – and yet I can say without hyperbole that if the decision between Francoeur and Cabrera had played out differently, they would probably be above .500 and in the thick of a pennant race right now. That’s baseball. And that’s the Royals.
Francoeur, of course, has a higher OBP than Yuniesky Betancourt.
I don’t know what else I can write about Yuni. He’s hitting .241/.270/.422. Yes, he has genuinely above-average pop for a middle infielder. And…well, that’s about all I can come up with. He’s not hitting for a high average. He never walks. His defense is the subject of the next installment of the Saw franchise. And he has more plate appearances (212) than Chris Getz and Irving Falu combined.
When the Royals re-signed him, I didn’t like the deal, but I was not apoplectic about it – I figured he would be used in a utility role, which would limit the damage. I was wrong. I should have been apoplectic. Dayton Moore’s inability to see that Betancourt is a below-replacement-level player (I mean that literally – the Royals would be better off with Falu, who is the very definition of a replacement-level player) is Exhibit A in the case that Moore is an excellent scouting director who has been promoted past his competence level.
Johnny Giavotella, meanwhile, went 0-for-4 on Friday night, which is notable because it ended his 21-game hitting streak. Even with the 0-for-4, Giavotella is hitting .333/.422/.513 in Omaha, and .385/.464/.635 in July. He turned 25 two weeks ago. He has spent nearly three seasons and played 314 games in the high minors, and has raked the entire time. He has not taken advantage of his major-league opportunities, but they have been scarce – 67 games overall. Scouts do not feel he is another Kila Ka’aihue – the consensus is that he can be at least an average-hitting second baseman in the majors.
And as for his glove…when you’re playing Yuniesky Betancourt instead, you have forfeited the right to pass judgment on Giavotella’s defense.
It would be nice to see the Royals exhibit a modicum of common sense and let Giavotella play regularly in the majors, but at this point they can’t even find it fit to give the lion’s share of playing time to Chris Getz, who’s hitting .295/.328/.380 for the Royals.
I feel like I’ve written this many times before, probably because I’ve written this many times before. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stop banging my head against this particular wall.
- While Giavotella has been crushing the ball of late, Wil Myers is in a massive slump that seemed to start after he flew around the country playing in various feature games (the Futures Game in KC, the Triple-A All-Star Game in Buffalo). He’s 6-for-his-last-49; in his last 10 games he has two walks and 19 strikeouts.
He’s still hitting .280/.362/.560 in Triple-A, with 16 homers in 63 games; for the season he’s hitting .302/.381/.621. He’s still a leading candidate to be named the Minor League Player of the Year.
This is what keeps me from giving up hope entirely: the solution is so simple. Replace Betancourt with Giavotella, and replace Francoeur with Myers. Suddenly you can field an offense where all nine hitters are potentially average or above this year, and an offense full of guys still in full ascent. Gordon is 28, and every other hitter in the lineup is 26 or younger.
It seems so simple. But no one makes the simple seem so hard quite like the Royals.
- With the trade deadline approaching, the good news is that the Royals seem to be focusing their efforts on trading four players: Francoeur, Betancourt, Jonathan Broxton, and Jose Mijares.
The bad news is that two of those players have no trade value. Actually, that’s not true. Betancourt might be useful for a team that has a need for a utility infielder – he can play three infield positions, albeit poorly, and he’s got a lot more sock than the typical futility infielder. He’s only under contract for 2012. He’s owed around $800,000 the rest of the season.
Unfortunately, the San Francisco Giants, one of the few teams with a need for such a player and with a GM that has a genuine fetish for mediocre veterans, filled their need Friday night by trading for Marco Scutaro from the Rockies. That doesn’t leave a lot of other options. The Pirates are winning with Clint Barmes and his unprintable .206/.231/.298 line, but Barmes can at least play defense, and I doubt they’d want to take the defensive hit just to get Yuni’s bat in the lineup. The Nationals might have a need, now that Ian Desmond is out for a month, and Davey Johnson uses his bench so masterfully that Betancourt would probably slug .500 for them the rest of the way. But other than those two teams, I don’t see a fit anywhere.
It’s also not true that Francoeur has no trade value. He has substantially negative trade value, and if Moore can find a way to trade Francoeur – even if he eats 80% of his salary – that would be a major win. He won’t, and with $10 million owed to him, and the Royals unwilling to eat a sunk cost, that almost certainly means Frenchy will continue to play every day. Myers’ recent slump only gives the Royals a convenient excuse. At this point, you have to be genuinely concerned that Francoeur will be in the Opening Day lineup next year, sabotaging another season’s playoff hopes before the Royals own up to their mistake.
The other bad news is this tweet from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick: #Royals want young starting pitching for Broxton. They’d like it as close to MLB-ready as possible. No interest in A-ball types.
If this is true – and I have no reason not to trust Crasnick – this might be the single most depressing thing I’ve read about the Royals all season.
The Royals want MLB-ready starting pitching for Jonathan Broxton? HAVE THEY LEARNED NOTHING FROM THEIR OWN FREAKING HISTORY?! Somewhere, George Santayana is shaking his head sadly.
The Royals wanted “MLB-ready starting pitching” for Alberto Callaspo. They got Sean O’Sullivan. They wanted “MLB-ready starting pitching” for David DeJesus. They got Vinny Mazzaro.
Both of those guys were MLB-ready, in the sense that they were already as good as they were going to be, so they didn’t need any more development time in the minors. O’Sullivan, in 129 innings with the Royals, had a 6.63 ERA; he allowed 24 homers, and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 56-to-52. They sold him to the Blue Jays last month. Mazzaro, in 61 innings with Kansas City, has a 7.12 ERA. He’s in Omaha at the moment, I believe; he’s traversed I-29 so many times this year he’s turning into the Royals’ version of Schrodinger’s cat, where we can only state his location in probabilistic terms. (Yes, I make physics jokes too!)
The Royals wanted MLB-ready talent in those deals, and they got it – crappy, no-good, awful MLB talent. WHICH IS WHY THEY STILL NEED MLB-READY STARTING PITCHING IN THE FIRST PLACE.
And beyond that: IT’S JONATHAN BROXTON. We’re talking about a guy whose strikeout rate is less than half of what it was three years ago. Yes, he has a 2.27 ERA – and a WHIP of over 1.4. His save percentage (23 of 27) is below the average for closers. I’m not saying he’s chopped liver, but he’s chopped steak – certainly not filet mignon. AND HE’S A FREE AGENT IN TWO MONTHS. If a team had a MLB-ready starting pitcher worth acquiring, they wouldn’t trade him for Jonathan Freaking Broxton.
Six years ago, Dayton Moore traded his soon-to-be-free-agent closer, and got Kyle Davies for Octavio Dotel. If he’s still insisting on getting a ready-to-go major-league starter for Broxton, then he’s learned absolutely nothing in six years – and he’d be lucky to get another Davies-caliber starter in return. If the Royals are going to get anything of real value for Broxton, it would be precisely if they targeted an A-ball type. Trade for the 19-year-old kid who touches 95 but has no command; maybe you can teach it to him. Or the 19-year-old kid who tops out at 89, but has a projectable arm and might add 3 mph to his fastball in the next two years. The kid probably won’t, but if they do they might actually turn into an impact player, and I’d rather the guy with the 20% chance to be an impact player over the guy with the 90% chance to be on the Omaha shuttle for the next two years.
Or better still: try to find a way to use Broxton – and Mijares if necessary – as a means to get Francoeur off your roster. Offer Broxton to any team, and don’t even ask for a prospect back – just ask them to take Francoeur as well, and you’ll still pay half the money due to him. Hell, throw in Yuni while you’re at it. Getting those two off your roster would do more to help this team win games, both this year and next, than anyone you could actually get for Broxton in return.
We all know this won’t happen. We all know that we’re stuck with Francoeur, and probably Yuni as well. That Giavotella is stuck in Triple-A. And that we’re all stuck on the fast track to 100 losses, something which seemed inconceivable four months ago, and not just in the Vizzini usage of the term.
But of course, we’re the Royals. Nothing is inconceivable on the low end, and it’s my fault for thinking otherwise. So I guess it’s time to look to 2013, when Dayton Moore will either prove he deserves his job, or I – and all of you – will strive to see him fired in earnest. One 2012-caliber disaster is more than enough, thank you very much.
This season really demonstrates, finally, that Moore is over his head running the team. I agree with you, he's done well drafting (with the caveat that his teams have been so bad he always drafts high) but the examples you point out are just too much of the same-old-same-old. I'd give him a mulligan on Sanchez in that it seemed like a good deal at the time, except again, sticking with a hopeless player way too long kind of seems like the Dayton Moore Way now, doesn't it?
If anything, you understate your point. Falu was playing more regularly than Gio when both were in KC earlier this year.
NL Ned thinks Gio is the #4 2B in the organization. Ponder that a moment...
You didn't mention Ned Yost at all. He has proven to me that he is incapable of managing this team. The inconsistency in his lineups, his moves during a game, in always seeming to make the wrong call at the wrong time...
GMDM and Nervous Ned have to go, and they can take Yuni and Frenchy with them.
Depressing, but funny. Good writing, Rany.
I agree with Matthew - our manager thinks Gio is the #4 2B. I don't know how "hands-on" GMDM is, but his manager isn't doing him any favors. I'd still like to see it work out for Moore, but it does feel like time is starting to run out.
I am not sure why, given that I agree with everything you say about Moore, but I am not to the point where I think he has to go.
But I am at that point with Ned.
If three things happen I think the Royals have a chance at being good next year. (Above 500)
1. Replace Ned with Terry Francona. Yesterday.
2. Trade for a starting pitcher. A big trade. One that hurts a little. See if King Felix can be had and unload the farm system if you have to, but make a big trade.
3. Sign a free agent starting pitcher. Maybe not Greinke, but Anibal Sanchez or his equivalent.
4. The fourth seems obvious, but maybe it isn't with these guys, but like you said Rany, let Falu, Gia, and Myers replace Yuni, Frenchy and Getzy.
Rany, for us diehards, don't quit paying attention. We need you. Our sanity depends on reading you a couple of times a month.
Can you ponder or at least give educated answers to any of these questions...
Why isn't Crow being given a chance at starting? It's a lost season and the final two months we could possibly find lightning in a bottle with him.
Will Lamb make any impact next year?
What can we expect from Soria? Will they possibly try to make him a starter as he comes back? With four quality pitches I would like to see that.
I really hope this week brings some changes, but I am not expecting much.
Depressing, but funny. Good writing, Rany.
I agree with Matthew - our manager thinks Gio is the #4 2B. I don't know how "hands-on" GMDM is, but his manager isn't doing him any favors. I'd still like to see it work out for Moore, but it does feel like time is starting to run out.
I am wondering if the Royals players were ever vetted for intelligence before being drafted. They play like they have NO baseball IQ, making Little League mistakes daily. I can't watch it anymore...
I too drank the Kool Aid this winter and bought season tickets this year. I haven't gone to a game in two weeks ( except to pick up my cool Buck ONeil bobblehead) and I am not going back. They are just not worth the drive to the park. Uninteresting and if they are in the game late I can't be there when Broxton comes in.
Its all about ownership really and accepting what we see just to save a buck. If they were truely intersting in winning games all the things you mentioned would happen. If something doesn't make sense look first for the money connection.
I hate to say it, but I believe The Royals best bet for a quality trade is to unload Billy Butler. Yeah, he's the face of this team, yeah he's a great guy, and yeah, he's probably the best, and most clutch, hitter we have.
But the fact is, he is truly one-dimensional. He can't run, and he is below average defensively. He does have a team-friendly contract, which would help in a trade. And his bat would bring a major-league ready starter, and some minor-league prospects.
And in connection with this article, hopefully you could bunch Yuni, and/or Frenchy along with him.
Now, whether or not GMDM has the smarts to get a proper return for Butler, well, there is your hitch. His history makes you hold your breath.
The main concern I see in trading BB, is that you hope Hosmer is just having an off year, and next year he will return to doing what has gotten him here. It is much easier to fill the DH spot than your 1B spot. Your 1B should be a above-average defender (Hosmer), and hit with power and drive in runs (hopefully Hosmer). If you trade BB, then you can get an above-average SP without giving away a Wil Myers or another near ready player.
Yeah, it would suck to lose BB, because he is our best hitter, and is probably our most popular player. But sometimes you gotta think bold, Granted, that is not GMDM's stong suit. But this is The Royals. ANd we HAVE to do something.
Good read. Other than Majeres, the others (Francour, Yuni and Broxton) have little trade value and, as everyone says, the team is better off without Frenchy and Yuni - and probably without Broxton. Maybe a contender will need a right handed bat to platoon down the stretch (which would be a valuable role for Frenchy). He does not need to be traded before the deadline because he will pass waivers. Same on Yuni.
Royals need to take advantge of the 60 games left to give young guys the chance to show what they can do - Myers, Gio, and whatever pitchers they control and think could be part of the future.
Ned is not smart enough to be a good strategic manager. It is not essential to have one, but it would not hurt. Batting Yuni 5th repeatedly is a fireable offense.
Good point Rany, about not seeking a certain position when trading someone-especially a player who might be a rental. IF you get offers of prospects for Broxton, you should go with whoever you think will be best in 5 years. Then there is an extra Dayton step, (usually skipped by him) where you force yourself to actually look at a hitter's plate discipline or a pitcher's command and factor that in. (Another example is Baird spurning the Yankee's offer of Cano for Beltran because he wanted to address C and 3B)
Also, there is probably no other org that has such a history of forcing playing time for players that are horrible. I think the worst seasons in this century may have been Neifi Perez as a non pitcher and Jose Lima II in the pitching side. Adding in DMGM's obsession with Frenchy and Yuni, and there is little hope that we cut our losses and move on.
Deaner, trading Billy is not a solution. He is worth more to this team than he is to another. He will not bring in enough to make up for his loss because he is seen as a DH only, which limits him to AL teams, many of which are already set at the position. Less demand = less return.
Royals, in my opinion, should target the comp picks of teams in contention. Namely, the Pirates Comp A pick, and the Athletics Comp B pick. For smaller market teams leery of giving up legitimate talent, the opportunity to give up no player in their system could be appealing. In fact, Pittsburgh and Oakland wouldn't actually trade a 'player' until June of 2013.
Broxton and something could be appealing to Pittsburgh, maybe a Betancourt, maybe a Francouer, maybe a Bryan Pena, or a combination of players such as David Lough and Clint Robinson. Guys who could, for years, provide upper level depth for the Pirates.
A Jose Mijares and something, , maybe an Aaron Crow to the Athletics could land the Comp B pick. While I certainly appreciate that Crow has solid value, he's been surpassed in the pen by Herrera and Holland. Crow however has back of the bullpen type talent, and is under control for years, something that could be attractive to an organization like Oakland. Mijares is a left handed relief pitcher who could provide continued depth in the pen. This is the type of move that allows Oakland to be buyers without losing anything out of their organization.
By rough estimation, that would give the Royals the 4th , the 40th, 41st, 49th, 79th, 85th and the 115th picks in the draft,and that gets you through the royals 3rd round. That's a lot of picks, which greatly increases the organizations slot money, allowing the team to get creative on a high ceiling, high bonus HS player, add a couple advanced college pitchers, or both. What it is though, allows the team to do what they've done best... draft players.
Obviously, this won't happen. No one is really sure just how valuable these comp picks are viewed (though the Detroit/Miami trade tells me those two organizations didn't value them to a great deal). For an organization that appears to have lost sight of the big picture under the pressure to win, we get to look forward to, I'm guessing Broxton closing games through the end of the season, and Betancourt striking out and not getting to baseballs.
Rany talked about how discouraged he was with this season. I'm coming to the conclusion this isn't going to work. There is no pitching in the organization close, limited pitching depth top to bottom, and really no hope anything is going to change.
We'll see what happens, but I'm guessing we'll all be disappointed come Tuesday evening.
I've been patiently waiting for the fruits of the rebuilding to make their presence known in KC, all the while paying for season tickets. At least I got to improve my location after each disastrous year.
I am so disappointed by the 2012 Royals that at this point I do not plan to renew my season tickets. The organization has not demonstrated that they have any idea how to bring this team into a competitive position.
They say continuing to repeat the same failed strategy and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. I truly believe this describes the Royals front office.
Unfortunately it also describes the fans if we continue to spend money on a team that has no idea how to building a winning organization.
"They say continuing to repeat the same failed strategy and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. I truly believe this describes the Royals front office."
It depends on how you define "failed strategy". What if the strategy was to maximize profits and value before selling at an incredible return? Mr. Glass is a business man. As a business, the Royals have been a very successful strategy.
Rany, I would like to indulge in a little fantasy "what if". Please bare with me.
In 1993, Mr. K decides to leave the Royals to his daughter. She knows nothing about baseball, but she know enough about business to figure out that cable money is changing how the game is run. She understands that the Royals are not going to compete with the Yankees, Braves etc. unless they try something radical. With that in mind , she hires a local writer/baseball pariah named Bill James as her director of baseball operations. Baseball laughs. Everyone knows James is a nut. In the meantime, James revamps his scouting system and lures a young dermatology student away to become a member of his scouting team. Again, baseball laughs. By 2012, as Royals fans look back on a 20-year run almost unparalelled in baseball history, no one is laughing anymore. (Although a few people scoff that they just got lucky with their pitching staff in the late '90's.)
Sadly, we rinse and repeat until the Glass clan leaves the franchise in better hands. I fear I will not live to see this day.
2013 slogan: No Moore time
Let's face it Gio must just plain suck. Nobody in their right mind is going to look at his body of work in the minors and then not give him a real chance (say 90 games in a row at 2B) unless they see some intrinsic flaw in his game. To even imply than yuni and Getz are better is to damn his prospectship.
For all the hoohaw over the Royals farm system it really hasn't delivered much. A few relievers, a decent 3B and maybe a very good catcher. The only starting pitcher that Moore has acquired who MIGHT be decent major league starter is a guy (Odorizzi) that he traded for.
The slogan for next year has to be "No Mo'"
Surely DM gets canned if we lose 100 games, right?!?
Seattle is absolutely desperate for offense (despite what you saw this weekend). Dayton needs to be on the phone with Jackie Z. The Mariners system is stocked with pitching and absolutely no hitting. A trade for Butler or Gorden could work, especially with the departure of Ichiro and demotion of Smoak. Felix is out of the question but there's enough in the farm system that they can part with one or two arms be just fine. They may even take frenchy over the guys they're throwin out into their outfield.
I understand how upset everybody is at Moore, but is it possible we're letting emotions rule the day a little bit here? yeah, the team is terrible. Yes, Francouer and Yuni are disasters, and so was Sanchez. But aside from that, there have been notable good moves:
1. The Greinke deal looks better every day.
2. signing Broxton before the season looks like a really good move now.
3. Acquiring Paulino was a great move.
Look, i'm not saying he's Branch Rickey or anything, but as far as I can tell his biggest mistake this year was making the decision to rely on our young arms plus Chen instead of going out and signing a starter or two.
While that decision may have been questioned by some, it was not indefensible. And if Lamb, Paulino and Duffy hadn't blown out their arms, the pitching would probably be okay. Not great, but okay.
To me, there's no way he could've foreseen 4 Tommy Johns this year. And I don't think any of us foresaw the offense collapsing like it has. Would we have really wanted him to go out and sign a first baseman to take ABs away from Hosmer? Knowing what we know now, that would've added some wins, but it wouldn't have been a smart move at the time.
Frenchy is a disaster. Yuni is a disaster. I'd rather not have them on my team. But if we didn't have Moore as GM, do we know we'd have Hosmer, Moose, Escobar, Cain, Perez, Myers? I mean, Moore is the guy who signed every one of those guys. That has to count for something.
Royals fans who want Moore gone seem to have locked into the idea that having a great farm system is a given. It's not. The Allard Baird era taught us that. And if not, look at every other team in the majors. Not a single one has the young position player talent KC does. Not. A. Single. One. If we didn't have Moore then we might not have to watch Yuni every day, but we probably wouldn't get to watch all those young hitters every day.
This year turned out to be a disaster, but there is talent here. This team will hit. Myers is going to replace Francouer next year. Yeah, we need pitching, but we will field a team next year whose entire offense is home grown (i'm assuming Gio at 2B here) and which is a top-half offensive club. Let's at least give Moore credit for that.
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