Monday, May 27, 2013

What The Hell Happened?

Well, for the first time in ten years, the Royals didn’t have a six-game losing streak by the middle of May.

Instead, it took all the way until Memorial Day. So I guess they have that going for them. Which is nice.

That’s now ten straight years in which the Royals lost six in a row by Memorial Day; if that’s not a record, it should be. But really, this six-game losing streak just ties a pretty bow around an utterly remarkable three-week stretch for the Royals. Really, prior to today they had played about as poorly as it is possible to do without a six-game losing streak. This stretch started with the Royals losing six of seven, and prior to this afternoon they had lost 9 of 10.

And in the span of three weeks, the comparisons to 2009 went from being a funny joke to being somewhat alarming to being eerily similar to being terrifying to being, if anything, hopelessly optimistic.

In 2009, you may recall, the Royals started the season 18-11. They then lost six in a row (check!), and after winning three of four, then lost 13 of 15. This year, the Royals started 17-10, then lost six of seven, and after winning two of three, have lost 10 of 11.

The 2009 Royals went 5-20 after their 18-11 start. The 2013 Royals have gone 4-17 after their 17-10 start.

The 2009 Royals lost 97 games, and to this day people like our good friend Sam Mellinger describe it as the most disappointing season in Royals history. I have no idea how many games the 2013 Royals will lose, but I can tell if you if they lose anywhere close to 97 games, it will lap 2009 in terms of disappointment.

At the end of the 2009 season, Dayton Moore was punished for his team’s failures with…a contract extension, as I discussed here. If the 2013 Royals finish anywhere close to their 2009 counterparts, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Moore won’t be getting another extension.

I don’t think the Royals will lose 97 games. I’m somewhat confident – perhaps “hopeful” is a better word – that they won’t lose 87 games. But I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever that the Royals can turn things around and make a run for the playoffs.

It’s not simply that they’re well under .500 and playing in the same division as the Tigers, although that’s certainly part of it. Clay Davenport’s playoff odds – not including today’s loss – had the Royals’ odds of winning the AL Central at 2.5%, with a 7% chance of nabbing one of the two Wild Card spots. (And Clay’s numbers are optimistic – Baseball Prospectus has those odds at 0.9% and 2.9%, respectively.) My lack of confidence is predicated on the fact that playoff-caliber teams simply don’t have stretches as bad as the Royals are on right now. Not in April, not in May, not at any point in the season.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter saw my research on the last team that had overcome a 4-15 stretch to qualify for the playoffs. There wasn’t one last year, or in 2011, or in 2010, or in 2009. In 2008, finally, I found a team – the Milwaukee Brewers, who woke up on the morning of September 1st with a 80-56 record, 5.5 games ahead of the pack for the Wild Card. They lost 15 of their next 19 games, and after the end of play on September 20th were 84-71, 2.5 games out of the Wild Card spot.

The punch line here, of course, is that on September 15th, after losing a doubleheader to the Phillies – completing a four-game sweep, their 12th loss in 15 games – the Brewers fired their manager. Ned Yost. The last team to overcome a 4-15 stretch to make the playoffs fired Ned Yost in the middle of it. Dale Sveum was hired, and after losing three of his first four games, won five in a row. After losing game 161, the Brewers sent C.C. Sabathia out there in the last game of the season, his fourth straight start on three days’ rest, and he threw a complete game victory to clinch the Brewers’ first playoff spot since 1982.

It would be easy to turn this into a Ned Yost punchline. I certainly did so on Twitter, as did the 260+ of you who retweeted me. And Yost certainly shares in some of the blame for what has happened. He persists in leading off Chris Getz (.265 OBP this year), and persists in batting Alcides Escobar (.254/.281/.333) in the #2 spot, which is why Alex Gordon had batted in the first inning with two outs and nobody on base 14 times in a 16-game stretch. Meanwhile, Lorenzo Cain (.295/.362/.404) gets relegated to batting 5th or 6th because he “didn’t look comfortable” in his three starts each batting leadoff and second.

Yost defends Mike Moustakas to the hilt, an admirable quality even if it did lead to the whole Third Base Tree meme, but defending Moose is one thing, and playing him and his .178/.252/.308 performance is another. Yost continues to play Francoeur against right-handed pitchers occasionally, and last week started him over David Lough because “When you’ve got two players you’re looking at, there are certain days you want to go with offense and certain days you want to go with defense. Today, I wanted to go with the defense.” 

That’s right – Ned Yost started Jeff Francoeur FOR HIS DEFENSE. Jeff Francoeur, who at this point in his career is essentially the Georgian version of Jose Guillen in the field. In that game, Francoeur lost a ball in the lights, and then in the eighth inning let a playable fly ball get over his head and tip off his glove for an RBI double in a one-run game.

The Royals are 7-12 in one-run games, and while the manager has only a small influence on that mark, he does have some influence.

So yeah, Yost deserves his share of the blame for what’s happened. But only a share, and frankly he is taking more than his fair share of abuse from the fan base. That’s not only a disservice to Yost, it trivializes the problems with this team. The Royals’ issues are too deep and fundamental to be solved simply by firing the manager.

As if to drive that point home, after matching the 2008 Brewers’ 4-15 slide, the Royals have lost two more games. To find a team that weathered a 4-17 stretch and still made the postseason, you have to go back farther – but only a little farther. In 2005, the Houston Astros were at the end of their run atop the NL Central, but were unwilling to acknowledge it. After starting the season 8-7, they lost 17 of 21…and after winning three straight, lost seven in a row to fall to 15-30. They were toast.

Only they then won 11 of 16, and 29 of 42 overall to inch over .500 at the All-Star Break at 44-43…and went 45-30 after the Break to finish 89-73 overall, sneaking into the playoffs by one game over the Phillies for the Wild Card. The Astros would end up winning their first NL pennant before the White Sox swept them in the World Series. Thanks to that season, the Astros would refuse to read the warning signs the next few years, figuring that a terrible start hadn’t kept them from a pennant before. But you can’t ask a magician to perform his trick more than once, and the Astros have not only never reached the playoffs again, they’ve bottomed out as one of the worst major league teams of the last 50 years.

So anyway, if you’re looking for a thread of hope to grasp onto, I guess those 2005 Astros are your thread. It’s a flimsy thread; the Astros, after all, had been to the playoffs the year before, and five of the previous eight years, and had been over .500 for 11 of the previous 12 years. They were a proven good team going through a terrible stretch. They weren’t the Royals.

I’ll get into the reasons why the Royals are where they are next time, and what – if any – the solutions are. But I just wanted to get this out there: if the Royals want to give us any reason to hope that they can turn things around, they need to do so NOW. They’ve already endured a stretch that few playoff teams have ever witnessed, and another couple of losses may well put them in unprecedented territory – I haven’t done the research, and would rather not do so unless I have to.

But with three more games against the Cardinals followed by three more against the Texas Rangers, I fear I’ll have to.


Cecily said...

So disappointing...sigh

Daniel Kim said...

When Dyson comes back, is Lough going to be sent to the minors? What are the chances we go with both Lough and Dyson and send Franceour packing?

Personally I think now is the best time to make a case for change (of course it can get worse but I think remaining the course is not the answer even if the team does somewhat turn it around).

Needs to go: Yost/Franceour/Getz.

Replacements: Anybody (suggestions?)/Lough and Dyson/Gia (until he proves to be a failure at which point we just go with Johnson as the full time starter)

Ford said...

There is no excuse for this. The Yankees are winning with other teams trash. Other teams patch together lineups and win. SHAKE THINGS UP!!!! Why Getz and Franceour are on the team is beyond me. Getz is hitting around .200 and he is our leadoff guy? He shouldnt even be in the majors. Unfortunately Franceours career appears over. Send down Hosmer and Moustakas. Who cares who else replaces them. They couldnt do worse! Nady at 1st base Gio at 2nd Tejada at 3rd and Lough/ Dyson in of. Are they going to score less than current standard of 1 run a game?

twm said...

I think it is time to fully invest myself in The Curse of Don Denkinger.

THH said...

The thread to grasp onto is the 1984 Dick Howser Royals who started 13-21 and 20-26. No Saberhagen or Gubicza in sight though.

This team was never going to get on base enough to win.

John said...

Second base is a problem with no good solution. But we more or less knew that going into the season. I agree Gia should be given an extended shot--i.e. start 5 of every 6 games for the next 60 games--but I'm not particularly optimistic he would be much of an upgrade. (Having Getz bat anywhere other than 9th is, however, inexcusable.) Franceour was more or less out of the lineup until Dyson got hurt. Lough looks like he may turn out to be a pleasant surprise; spotting him as a fourth outfielder with Dyson and Cain would be good way to develop all three and simultaneously see what we actually have at those positions. (We could also rest Gordon once every three weeks.) Frenchy should simply be cut,now,owed salary be damned.

It does seem, however, that many have lost sight of the basics. First, the Shields/Davis trade was a rather desperate attempt by Dayton Moore to save his job by adding 5-10 wins this year, i.e. enough to push the Royals over .500. Whether this will work is still unclear. If the Royals rally and do indeed win 82+, this season will be considered a "success" and Moore will carry on. On the other hand, if the Royals lose 90+ (as seems increasingly likely) he will be fired. Either way, however, the trade was a short sighted move which has inexcusably lost us 5 or more years of Will Mayer along with Odorozzi et al.

Second, we all knew the season would largely hinge on the production of Hosmer and Moustakas. If they had a current combined line of .280/.340/.460 we would be having a very different discussion. As things stand, however, Hosmer has the worst slugging percentage of any ML first baseman, and watching Moose at the plate has become an exercise in masochism. If they miraculously recover and begin to play reasonably well (say, major league average for the combined positions), the Royals will do the same. If not, the offense (amazing/dreadful to say) could actually get worse, since Gordon is unlikely to sustain his current pace.

kcghost said...

The biggest concern coming into the season was would we hit. The hope generated by the Royals crushing the ball in Spring Training has turned into the cruelest of mirages. We have offensive craters at 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, and RF.

The pitching is getting ready to collapse under the burden of having to throw shutouts to win.

To continue this masochistic ritual if you look at all of Moore's first picks in the draft you see exactly one okay relief pitcher to show for it. Moose, Hosmer, Montgomery and Starling are busts. Crow is an okay relief pitcher. Myers was traded and Zimmer has #3 SP upside.

Anyone doubt that Shields will be on the Market by July 1st?

kcghost said...

Oh, I forgot the bust that is Christian Colon.

formerbagger said...

This was the first year in decades I felt the Royals would do something other than to embarrass its fan base. Losing streaks are always difficult, but the manner in which this years's squad has played (and I use that term loosely) is beyond disheartening. it's time to find out what we have in the very few prospects at Omaha, send down the players who are failing that still have options, and excise those that are beyond repair. We all know who fits in each category.

Kansas City said...

I doubt that many readers here need convincing that Yost is not smart enough to be a good manager, but his quote about Frenchy caught my attention.

Yost has watched Francouer play every day for 2.5 years and thinks he is a good defensive right fielder?

A similar question. Yost has watched Getz play for 2.5 years and thinks he should bat lead off?

Yost is not smart. He is a bad manager, who now is snakebit as well. Time to go.

Mick Unsell said...

To all who posted above: you have several valid points. I like the way that most of the posts on this blog (with the exception of "unknown" - who has hopefully been banned for life) at least offer solutions to our team's problems.

Stick with Ned for a few more weeks. I'm glad he actually showed a "human side" on Soren Petro's show last week. However, I think he could use a crash course in lineup construction. GMDM needs to stick a fork into Getz and Frenchy - they are done. I'm sure they are both great guys, but this is a results-oriented business, and the results are not there...

Mick Unsell said...

Forgot to add: it appears that the St. Louis Cardinals have a "starting pitcher tree". How do we get one of those??

BobDD said...

Mick, Ours has sore limbs

JayHawklet said...

It is inexplicable as to why KC isn't hitting for more power. Their lineup has enough power in it with Gordo, Hoz, Sal, and Moose that even if their averages aren't great, they should be hitting at least one homer a week. I think it's a little bit bad luck, and otherwise I have no explanation for it. I'm OK w/ hitting Esky 2nd...the problem is Gordon can't hit first and third. He needs ppl in front of him to move over, and guys behind him protecting him. He always has one and not the other. I think LoCain is the leadoff man of the future, but he has to learn to not strike out as much, and not hit into so many DPs. Butler, if he can't hit 40 HR, is worthless to this team- love him, but that's reality.

The two biggest things I think hurting KC are:
1. Lack of a legit masher in the middle of the lineup. The thought going in was that Hosmer could do this, but he's clearly not ready yet (not having a bad year, but nowhere near the power he needs to be hitting for). How many Cardinals teams were otherwise weak hitting, but had Pujols? You only need one or two studs in your lineup. Everyone else can be a role player- a home run hitter here, a bat handler there, a guy with speed, etc., and you can build a lineup around one or two guys and every one else just do one or two things well. KC has no one, and I hate to borrow from Hud, "driving the bus".

2. With Getz, Frenchy, Moose, and Johnson, there are simply too many "out factories" in the lineup. I actually think Eric, Alex, Sal, Esky, Lo, and even Billy would be alright but for the fact that every night KC has this 0-11 posse coming to the plate every night. Think about that for a minute- 27 outs in a game, and this group basically supplies half of that. It can't continue.

Roy in Omaha said...

I read this, and I get the feeling that Rany, still, somehow, thinks the Royals could actually make the playoffs, of all things.

I sure as hell don't. There is not one thing about this team that makes me think they have it in them. Not one. If they right themselves and finish anywhere near .500 I'll be pretty surprised at this point.

This season is over and at the end of it I'll be happy to tell everyone I told them so way back when, too. I said at the beginning of this season the Royals in no way have a contending offense. It wasn't close last season, either, and with essentially the same cast of characters this season, they aren't now, as well. Big surprise.

Rany's being way too nice to Ned Yost and while I agree with him that he's been dealt a bad hand, it's important to remember that he had a hand in the roster makeup as well. Plus, Ned has egregiously miss-used what he does have on hand.

Additionally, at some point, we, and the Royals, are probably going to have to come to the realization that all those can't miss prospects just aren't all that good. Right now, anybody reading this would have a hard time arguing otherwise. It is another lost summer in Kansas City, just like so many before.

Kansas City said...

As to the Petro interview of Yost where he showed his "human side," he also over 40 minutes failed to say one smart or even interesting thing about baseball. They guy simply does not think about baseball at the level required for a manager today.

sedated ape said...

KHAZAD said...

hawklet- You are Ok with Esky hitting #2, but somehow Billy needs to go?

I am not OK with Esky hitting #2. I was alright starting the season that way but you need to adjust, and the way Esky is hitting he belongs in the bottom 4 every night. You mention Johnson and Getz as holes but they don't generally play together. Esky is a hole at the top of the lineup.

wRC+ this year (100 is average)


The reserves, with the exception of Johnson, are all over 100 in limited play. Johnson is at 64-just above Escobar.

Billy in a somewhat down year is still our 2nd best offensive player. Escobar would probably be hitting 9th right now on a team with less suck (and a better manager) than the Royals.

Tom in HD said...

KHAZAD said:

"wRC+ this year (100 is average)"

This is indecipherable jargon to most baseball fans unless the statistical acronym is clearly defined. Until acronyms such as wRC+ reach the level of household familiarity (like RBI), they will continue to require definition. If you want your point to be made to an uninformed fan, don't make them have to look up what an acronym means. You must do the work. Also, use of such jargon comes across as nerdy and arrogant, which also doesn't help your cause.

I see examples of this all the time in comment sections, so my point here isn't aimed specifically at KHAZAD. And having read many of his comments, I know he means well.

twm said...

No no, I agree with the Billy Basher: that dude needs to hit 40+ HR every year (and lead all of baseball) to be of any use to this team which currently has one other guy who knows how to hit. Dammit Billy Butler, we pay you to hit home runs! Hit more home runs! You know what, I'll be the first to say it: demote Billy Butler! Demote Billy Butler! Demote Billy Butler! Demote Billy Butler! No, wait, trade him for a couple middle relief prospects. Trade him to the Indians so we can watch him 18 times a season and laugh as he fails to lead the league in home runs. We can all think to ourselves: "sure, the Royals are last in the league in OBP again, near last in runs scored again, but at least we don't have that useless non-HR hitting Billy Butler on our team anymore. What drag on the offense that guy was, always hitting into double plays and smacking doubles when he knew full well that no one hitting behind him was capable of bringing him around to score."

J35J said...

Here ya go Tom, and anyone else that may want a little more explaination...

wRC+ combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value. It also tries to adjust and weight stats different for each park and hitting 30hr in Colorado is not the same as hitting 30hr in Detroit for example.

For wRC+ and 100 being league average you can then look to get a rough idea of how much better or worse than league average a guy is...

For example, a 125 wRC+ means a player created 25% more runs than league average. Similarly, every point below 100 is a percentage point below league average, so a 80 wRC+ means a player created 20% fewer runs than league average.

Gordon-137 (37% better than league avg)
Billy-111 (11% better than league avg)
Escobar-63 (37% worse than league avg)
Moose-51 (49% worse than league avg)
Getz-51 (49% worse than league avg)
Frenchy-49 (51% worse than league avg)

No, this stat isn't the end all be all, it's just another stat to help evaluate players by in a long list of stats that can be used. It DOES do a better job of it than just using batting average or RBI for instance though.

J35J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J35J said...

This may help as well...
2013 league leaders in wRC+(Only 2 month sample so these will likely go down)
Chris Davis 202
Miguel Cabrera 194
Joey Votto 183
Shin-Soo Choo 173
Paul Goldschmidt 169

Currently Moose and Frenchy are in the top 10 "WORST IN MLB" wRC+ for those that have a qualifying number of plate appearances...Escobar is 17th worst. Getz doesn't quite qualify but you can see where he ranks.

2012 Full Season leaders(To show how it will stabilize down)
Miguel Cabrera 166
Mike Trout 166
Ryan Braun 162
Buster Posey 162
Andrew McCutchen 158

twm said...

J35J: any stat that tells me Mike Trout was as good a hitter last season as The Triple Crown Winning Miguel Cabrera is nerdy and arrogant.

J35J said... I said, this isn't the end all be all...just another stat in a long list of stats that can be used to get an opinion. Keep in mind this stat doesn't care about batting average and RBIs. It's more worried about batted ball outcomes and walks. Trout had a better OBP than Miggy...also Trout did what he did in 60 some odd less ABs than Miggy. I do agree that I like Miggy's offensive season slightly more than Trout...but it's far from outrageous to think it was close.

With that said...the Triple Crown involves 2 VERY limited stats in it(average - which is very park dependant, very defense dependant and very official scorer dependent, among other things outside of the hitters control... and rbi - which is very team dependent and lineup dependent as far as where you hit in the order) so while it's an awesome thing to accomplish it's not nearly as awesome as finishing first place in the league in many other stats you could define.

thomasj19 said...

I said it before the season started, the Royals won't make the playoffs as long as Moore and Yost are there. If you have ever listened to Moore or Yost talk you will understand but it doesn't take me saying something, it has been obvious for a long time that those two have no clue.

Kansas City said...

I agree if you listen to Yost talk, he sounds like a pretty good guy, but not really capable of talking about baseball in smart analytical terms. Hard to imagine a guy like that as a manager in today's game.

I have not listened enough to Moore to have an impression. I always assumed he could not be dumb, although his inability to improve OBP of the teams suggests he might not be real bright.

Even when this team was going good, the hitting was not there and, absent a significant improvement, it seemed certain they would fall (although not as fast as it turned out).

kcghost said...

I think our front office is full of smart guys, but isn't working. I mean we are at Year 8 of not producing a single everyday player or starting pitcher.

As for Yost, well, the truth is he is no worse than half the managers in today's game. I mean did you watch Scioscia over the weekend?? My cat could have done as good a job as he did. The difference is the horses he was riding did a better job than the horses Yost had.

Unknown said...

Your assumption that Trout is NOT as good as Cabrera last year seems as stupid and arrogant as any nerdy arrogant suggestion that he wasn't.

You're making the same type of assumptions that the nerds make and using the same type of assumptions to justify the opposite conclusions. How is that any better?

I do tend to concur that in the batter's box Cabrera was a HAIR better than Trout. As an overall player? I have very little doubt but that Trout was the better.

twm said...

Apparently I need to work on tone. J35J and Unknown: my comment about Trout/Cabrera and wRC+ was sarcastic. I assumed that borrowing language from Tom's post ("nerdy and arrogant"), as well as using an overly silly descriptor ("The Triple Crown Winning Miguel Cabrera") was sufficient. Noted.

Michael said...

Some people are just too thick to pick up on sarcasm twm.

Kansas City said...

I swear Moore and Yost have become Dumb and Dumber I tried to give Moore the benefit of the doubt, but it is increasing hard to do Quotes in today's papar:

Yost: “We’ve been looking at it, studying it,” Yost said. “We’ve been trying to put numbers to it and doing the sabermetric thing. I just think you continue to juggle and massage and move (players around) until we break out of it."

He does not even know enough about the substance of the stats to say anything other thatn "the sabermetric thing." And then falls back on the genuius "juggle and massage" approach

Moore used a similar description when assessing the struggles of third baseman Mike Moustakas, who is in a three-for-45 slump and is batting .178 with four homers and 12 RBIs for the season.
Moore said a demotion to AAA Omaha is not in the offing for Moustakas. For now, anyway.
“There are three basic processes that I challenge myself with when sending a player down,” Moore said. “Is this struggling player staying positive and working hard? Does the coaching staff remain positive in this struggling player? And do his teammates continue to rally around this struggling player?
“As long as those three things are occurring, it’s very difficult as a general manager to make a change."

EARTH TO MOORE - WHY DON'T YOU LOOK AT HOW THE GUY IS PLAYING AND DECIDE WHETHER TO SEND HIM DOWN BASED ON THAT More seriously, Moore talks about "three basic processes I challenge myself with." Who talks like that? It is like he went to some seminar to learn how to talk/think. I'm afraid he might be in a job above his class

Read more here:

KHAZAD said...

Someone else did a good job of explaining it, but since the initial comment was directed at me, I will take a shot.

wRC+ is weighted runs created plus. It is an attempt to take every offensive stat and put them into one number, with 100 being the league average. It is adjusted for park effects, so that the leaders are not all guys that are playing in Colorado. Guys in Oakland or another "pitchers park" have just as much chance of putting up a big number.

For instance, Alex is 137 and Escobar is 63. That means that Escobar is the same amount below average as Alex is above average.

This stat only deals with things that happen at the plate. Defense is not included, nor is base running. To Escobar's credit, he is an excellent base runner- when he gets on base, which has not happened very often.

Kansas City said...

Rany is all over this Maloof interview on twitter

This is now absurd. Today, Hitting Coach Jack Maloof (whom Yost says is doing a great job) gave an interview. Now, Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest. He is a guy whom Yost hired because he wanted more home runs. See what Maloof now says about home runs (to the extent he had any chance of not getting fired, that chance is now gone):

"There is just no reward here (for us) to try and hit home runs," Maloof said. "We try to stay down on the ball, be more line-drive oriented, and do more situational hitting at least through the first two or three rounds (at home) here. That's why I'm not overly concerned because I think we'll lead the league in fewest home runs again this year. We don't have a 40-homer guy in the middle of the lineup.

"We've got kids. Billy Butler is a doubles machine. No one has told me he is a home run hitting guy. If we try to do it too much, we'll get ourselves in trouble. Same thing with Alex (Gordon). They'll hit home runs on the road, and yes, they'll hit some here. They have. But the risk for them to go out and hit a home run in one of 80 at-bats, the reward isn't great enough.

"Baltimore? Better reward. I'm not using it as an excuse. But it is a mindset."

Of course, the counter argument is obvious: Other teams seem to come into spacious Kauffman Stadium and have no trouble hitting home runs. Yost mentioned as much after letting Seitzer go last fall.

In fact, opponents have hit nearly three times as many home runs (32-11) this season at Kauffman Stadium as the Royals.

Maloof has an explanation for that.

"Here's the thing: Other teams come in here from Anaheim or wherever and they have their swing already down," Maloof said. "This park doesn't even enter into their minds when they hit here. They have their swings, the same swings, because it pays dividends for them at home.

"What we need to do with our players, like we were in April, is be better at situational hitting. We were over 60 percent then in getting guys in from third. We're under 50 percent now. We just need to execute better. In this ballpark, go ahead and hit the ball in play (with guys on third and less than two outs). You're not going to hit a home run anyway, for the most part.

"I'm not making excuses. We play half of our games here. I'm just talking about the ability for a ball to carry out here the way it would in Anaheim or Philadelphia or in Baltimore, where we have hit home runs."

The absence of power, Maloof said, has more to do with youth than ability.

"I understand what Kansas City fans and baseball fans have been through here," he said. "They want winning. In spring training and in April, expectations were high. I get that. But again, we're looking at players whether it's Sal Perez or Lorenzo Cain or Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas – they don't have much service time. Not an excuse, but it's a fact.

Ford said...

Who let this guy speak in public? Youth is directly related to power? We are not asking for McGwire circa 1987. We are expecting Hosmer of two years ago. Moustakas to do anything. Again obviously what they are doing is working wonders. Way to not develop anyone you draft into a star player hitters or otherwise.

twm said...

The Twins now have a better record than us. Even if it did not mean being in last place (if, for instance, the White Sox were in last and the Royals were fourth), this would be a disaster. Their big off season pitching acquisitions were Correia, Worley, Pelfrey and Harden. This should not be happening.

Steve N said...

Word on the street is that the Royals have hired George Brett as the hitting coach. The guyw who were there have been demoted. No idea what demoting a coach means.

Mick Unsell said...

BobDD: GREAT comment on the "starting pitcher tree"! That was awesome!

Kansas City: You made a good point about the Yost interview on Petro's show. He did show a "human side", but otherwise not much else. I was surprised that he even mentioned sabermetrics (he and GMDM must have Googled it). Unfortunately, he also mentioned it being important along with such things like RBIs. Sigh...

Kansas City said...

I honestly would be surprised if Yost could give an example of a type of analysis/statistic that is within the concept of "sabermetrics." When he recently talked about putting Gordon back in the leadoff spot, he said they did the "sabermetrics thing." I'm no expert on sabermetrics myself, but I know there are lots of very interesting and informative statistics/analysis. I'm not even sure Yost is comfortable wiht using OBP to assess players.

I just don't understand why guys in jobs like Yost and Moore do not immerse themselves in learning about sabermetrics to see if there is something that would help them.

Mick Unsell said...

Kansas City, I agree with you 100%...

twm said...

I am uncomfortable with Brett as the hitting coach. Difficult to put a fine point on it, but I am ill at ease.

twm said...

I do like seeing Brett in uniform in the dugout though.

Fast Eddie said...

Demoting a coach means sending him to the minors, it appears.

I thought this year might be different than 2009 despite the similar start. The 2009 club probably didn't have any business playing at a .620 clip. But, when you have 3 players with a sub .600 OPS in your lineup, you won't stay up there, either.

And, with a starting pitcher with a high 5 era. Does anyone agree with me that Davis is miscast as a starting pitcher? When Duffy returns, Davis can go to the bullpen, where he has succeeded with Tampa. Then, the Royals will have 3 high salary ex-starters in the bullpen.

Michael said...

One thing is for sure twm, he can't be any worse than Maloof.

chrisc said...
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chrisc said...

I heartily disagree with your assessment of GMDM. Provided that the Royals were not a team that was rebuilding through free agency and based upon the heavy weighting of high school players in GMDM early draft years, 7 years is too early to pull the plug. Hosmer and Moustakas aren't even in their prime hitting years and these are the first prospects from GMDM's early draft years. Bonifacio, Mondesi, Cuthbert, Ventura, Lamb, Zimmer, Smith, Marks, Duffy, Binford all show promise. If NFL GM's whom draft players worthy of starting as rookies get 5 years to build a champion, baseball GM's whom must build through the draft and have emphasized high school talent should receive 10 years. I credit GMDM for rebuilding the farm system and Latin America talent pipeline. The development of hitters at the MLB level and teaching patient hitting and working the count is reprehensible, but GMDM should be given the opportunity to improve on this.