Archive for the 'Kansas City Royals' Category

2006 Preview: Royals heading nowhere fast

This is Part Three of my 2006 season preview. Today, I’ll examine the state of the once-proud Kansas City Royals. Yesterday, I looked at the troubles of the Major League Baseball-owned Washington Nationals. Tomorrow, I’ll look at baseball’s worst team, and it’s not one from Florida.

Kansas City used to be a great baseball town. From 1975 through 1989, the Royals were always competitive in the AL West. In fact, they captured their one and only World Series title in 1985.

But the heydays of George Bret, Bret Saberhagen, Charlie Liebrandt, and Dan Quisenberry have long since passed by the Royals. And this year, it is the Royals and not the deconstructed and rebuilt Florida Marlins or the work-in-progress Tampa Bay Devil Rays that stand to be the worst team in baseball.

In 2005, the Royals were nothing short of a disaster. They stumbled their way to a 56-106 record, finishing fifth for the third time in five years and topping the century mark in losses for the second straight season. Offensively, Mike Sweeney lead the team with an .864 OPS and Zach Greinke’s astronomical 5.80 ERA was the lowest qualifying ERA on the team. While the young Ambiorix Burgos and Andrew Sisco showed some promise out of the bullpen, the Royals, outscored by over 200 runs, had little to celebrate.

Heading into the off-season, the Royals knew they had to make some changes. They certainly made some changes, but are they really for the better? I don’t think so.

The 2006 Royals will welcome a plethora of new faces. Among them are Mark Grudzielanek, Doug Mientkiewicz, Reggie Sanders, Scott Elarton, Joe Mays, and Elmer Dessens. These players – all largely a bunch of career role players – may lend a veteran presence to a directionless team, but right now, they are blocking younger players from gaining valuable experience.

In Grudzielanek and Mientkiewicz, the Royals get two players who shouldn’t really be starting. Grudzielanek, 35, has a career line of .294/.330/.391. Mientkiewicz, 31, has a career line of .268/.359/.405. Once a prized prospect in the Twins organization, he’s topped .300 just twice in his career and has faced injury-laden seasons the last few years.

Meanwhile, Scott Elarton and Joe Mays inspire little confidence. The two combined for 337.2 innings last season, striking out just 162 while giving up a combined total of 55 home runs. Elarton, the projected number one starter, threw to an ERA of 4.61 on a good fielding Indians team and Mays threw to an ERA of 5.65 on the Twins. As they know won’t get to start against the Royals, they stand to see a marked decrease in performance this season.

Furthermore, their true projected number one starter, Zach Greinke, left the team in Spring Training amidst some murky circumstances. Some reports say that Greinke, pitching on the hapless Royals, simply lost the will to pitch. As a cerebral hurler, he couldn’t deal with the team with no plan. Other reports say he simply broke down mentally. While the Royals still say the 22-year-old will be back, they have proceeded without him.

On top of the Greinke fiasco is the Runlevys Hernandez mess. Hernandez was placed on the DL because he is out of shape and doesn’t have the stamina for the season. While personal irresponsibility is hardly an excuse for the disabled list, Hernandez is still supposed to be a part of what now amounts to a four-man rotation.

With aging veterans installed in the outfield (Reggie Sanders) and infield (Dougie M, Mark Grudzielanek), the Royals are blocking the paths for three of their top prospects: Justin Huber, Donnie Murphy and Billy Butler. The Royals would be better off letting these rookies get their feet wet than they are by giving up outs and plate appearances to veterans who won’t really produce.

So as 2006 dawns in Kansas City, the Royals, a team with no plan, will have a clogged lineup. This team will make a lot of outs and give up a lot of runs. It will be another long year in Kansas City as that 1985 World Championship fades into the past.

Advertisements

RSS River Ave. Blues

  • Yankees 10, Royals 1: Yankees clinch eighth straight series win on a Sonny Sunday May 20, 2018
    Make it eight consecutive series win for the Yankees. First time since 1998 they’ve done that. The Yankees made a big park look small en route to a 10-1 win over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The Bronx Bombers are 30-13 overall and have won 21 of their last 25 games, and they literally have […] The post Yankees 10, Royals 1: Yankees clinch eighth straight […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Game 43: Looking For Another Series Win May 20, 2018
    The Yankees picked up their first win in almost a week two games last night, and this afternoon they’re looking to clinch their eighth consecutive series win, ignoring whatever the hell that Nationals series was. They are 20-4 in their last 24 games and 29-13 on the season overall. That is baseball’s very best record. […] The post Game 43: Looking For Anothe […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Three Sunday Thoughts May 20, 2018
    Happy Sunday, RAB readers. I hope you’re doing well after a week mostly devoid of Yankee baseball. Luckily–at least on my end–it happened to go pretty quickly. For your content gobbling selves, I’ve got three thoughts on three Yankees: one past, one present, and one (potentially) future. Time to Move Torres Up? Gleyber Torres’s debut […] The post Three Sunda […]
    Matt Imbrogno
  • Yankees 8, Royals 3: Gary and Gleyber pick up shaky Severino May 20, 2018
    For the first time since last Sunday, the Yankees are in the win column. It sounds worse than it is. The Yankees haven’t played much baseball this past week. Anyway, the rain never did come Saturday night, and the Yankees earned an 8-3 win over the Royals in Kansas City. Good win. Long live dingers. […] The post Yankees 8, Royals 3: Gary and Gleyber pick up […]
    Mike Axisa
  • DotF: Sensley, Olivares, Molina stay hot in Charleston’s win May 20, 2018
    RHP Mike King has been promoted to Double-A Trenton, the team announced. The 22-year-old had a 1.79 ERA (2.39 FIP) with 27.4% strikeouts, 6.1% walks, and 59.8% grounders in 40.1 innings with High-A Tampa. The Yankees got him from the Marlins in the Caleb Smith/Garrett Cooper trade. Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (9-2 loss to Buffalo) 3B […] The po […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Game 42: Rain, Rain, Stay Away May 19, 2018
    After four days of off-days and rainouts, the Yankees returned to action last night, and promptly lost the series opener to the Royals. Sucks. And because those four days off earlier this week weren’t enough, there is more rain in the forecast tonight, and it’s possible this game will be delayed or even postponed. Getting […] The post Game 42: Rain, Rain, St […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Saturday Links: Harper, Mesa Brothers, Giambi, All-Star Game May 19, 2018
    The Yankees and Royals continue their three-game series later today — the Yankees haven’t played back-to-back days since last weekend due to all the off-days and rainouts — though it’s a 7:15pm ET start, so we have to wait a few hours first. Here are some notes to help you pass the time. Harper shoots […] The post Saturday Links: Harper, Mesa Brothers, Giamb […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Royals 5, Yankees 2: Yankees return to action with loss in KC May 19, 2018
    For the first time since Sunday, the Yankees played a full nine innings Friday night. Too bad they didn’t celebrate their return to baseball with a win. The Yankees dropped the series opener 5-2 to the Royals. I reckon we’ll all forget this game happened in no more than 96 hours. How nondescript. One Bad […] The post Royals 5, Yankees 2: Yankees return to ac […]
    Mike Axisa
  • DotF: Bird goes deep in latest minor league rehab game May 19, 2018
    ?Two quick notes to pass along: In case you missed it earlier, OF Estevan Florial will be out until August with wrist surgery. Sucks. He exited yesterday’s game with the injury. OF Dom Thompson-Williams was promoted from Low-A Charleston to High-A Tampa to fill Florial’s roster spot. LHP Trevor Lane has been promoted to Double-A […] The post DotF: Bird goes […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Game 41: Baseball Returns May 18, 2018
    Oh, hey, the Yankees are actually playing a baseball game tonight. It’s been a while. Thanks to rainouts and off-days, the Yankees have played five and a half innings since Sunday. At least they’ll be well-rested tonight. Well, maybe not. They had to sleep at the airport Wednesday night. That sucks. Sleeping at the gate […] The post Game 41: Baseball Returns […]
    Mike Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 62,688 hits
Advertisements