Monday, February 22, 2010

Farnsworth Starting?

Starting is 10 years in making for Farnsworth
Royals righty to have another shot after decade in the bullpen

By Dick Kaegel /
02/21/10 8:45 PM EST

Not so fast there. Here’s the way I read it.

Last year, Kyle Farnsworth didn’t do well as a set-up man… with the game on the line. He showed time and again that he tends to choke in high stress situations.

He’s got a great arm, so the Royals are trying to figure out to how to maximize the best return on their investment in him. Believe me, making him a starter will NOT bring back high returns on their investment. Plus, if he makes the rotation, then there are MAJOR problems behind Zack Greinke. Gil Meche, Brian Bannister, Robinson Tejeda, Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar all have to crash and burn in order for Farnsworth to join the rotation.

They need to get the most productive innings as they can out of him. Pitching in the rotation will get more innings out of him, but the key here is quality innings. He showed a knack at shutting the other team down when the game was NOT on the line. To me, that is the key element in his ability to provide quality innings.

The article mentions that he’s working on new pitches. So here’s what the buzz REALLY comes down to. First, he needs more innings in Spring Training to work on developing his new pitches. Throwing in the bull-pen is helpful, but he needs to see how batters react to them. Starting games during Spring Training is a good way of getting those developmental innings.

Then when the season begins, he becomes a long reliever… pitching well in less stress games (last year, no one was able to stop the bleeding once the other team began scoring runs, he seems to thrive more in these settings). That was when he seemed to have his best outings… middle of the game, no late game pressures.

If (when) we need a spot starter, Kyle Farnsworth could be an option. NOT in the regular starting rotation, but a potential “swing man” to eat up innings in long relief, or occasionally start a game.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

We Need A Healthy Gil Meche

Meche now No. 2, but feeling fine
Royals veteran happy for Greinke, and free of '09 back pain
By Dick Kaegel /
02/19/10 6:06 PM EST

Whether Gil is “OK” about being the #2 guy in the Starting Rotation or not is of very little interest to me. The REAL question is whether Gil’s back is back. When a professional athlete looses his back, the rest of his body suffers. People run differently, and hurt their legs. Others throw differently, and hurt their arms.

The end of Gil’s 2009 season ended early and was shut down because of “arm & shoulder strain”. If indeed his core strength training resulted in a healthy Gil Meche, I’d put our #1 & #2 combination against ANY other 1-2 combination in the Major Leagues.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Aaron Crow… I just Gotta Say It

I know that scouts are WAY smarter than I am, but this guy has hardly pitched at all in 2 years… and he’s rated as’s 41st over-all best prospect in baseball? How did he earn that? Don’t get me wrong; I’d like to see him ranked high on ANYONE’S top prospect list… when he’s earned it. And so far, he hasn’t earned squat! I just have this gut feeling about Scott BoreAss’s clients who are talked into taking an entire year off from baseball (as it turns out essentially 2 years), before they have proven ANYTHING on the professional level.

Professional sports is a young man’s game. After a guy’s spent time in college… then holds out a year… the takes the whole summer to finally sign a professional contract… his developmental clock is ticking. That’s 2 years of development wasted… two years of lost professional athlete wages… two more years away from arbitration… two more years away from free agency. In a young man’s sport, there is a BIG difference between a 28 and a 30 year old free agent.

There is a long list of “can’t miss” prospects who come out of high school or college… who DO miss. Maybe a guy like Luke Hochevar (another hold out “can’t miss” guy) will have a breakout season in 2010. Maybe Crow advances through the organization to be a prominent pitcher (like Luke didn’t). I’d love to see both of those things happen… but I’m not holding my breath.

The REAL exiting thing will be watching how the four Royals on MLB.COM’s prospect list (Mike Moustakas-32, Will Myers-33, Crow-41 & Mike Montgomery-43) develop… in addition to guys like Jeff Bianchi, Eric Hosmer and Danny Duffy.

I just hope we don’t get Jeff Austin-ed… again.