Friday, July 18, 2008

Mid Year Report (Part Deux)

* * Pitchers * *

If there was any question of who the Ace of the Pitching staff was at the beginning of the season, Zack Greinke has answered that! He should have more wins, but the offense and bullpen have let him down. Zack has given up too many homeruns, but since he’s always around the plate that’s bound to happen. His (nearly) 3/1 K/SO rate and more innings pitched than hits given up are impressive. Another telling stat is the fact that he has only given up one unearned run. To me, that means that he keeps the flow of the game steady so that the defense is always “in the game.” I’d like to see Zack Greinke cut his HRA down and otherwise keep the strong performances coming!
Mid-Term Grade – A-

Gil Meche was the definitive Ace of the Royals pitching staff, last year. He had the goal of throwing more strikes and working longer in games. His control is a little off this year, but seems to make the pitch he needs to in order to get out of jams. Gil is not the force that he was last year, but usually gives the team a chance to win each time he takes the hill. I’d like to see Gil Meche be more pitch-efficient in the second half, and let his “stuff” do the rest.
Mid-Term Grade – B

Brian Bannister started the season on fire and looked like he was going to make the off-season nay Sayers eat their words. Since his hot start, he hasn’t been near the pitcher he was last year. A soft pitching fly ball pitcher needs pinpoint control… that hasn’t been there. As a result, he has given up way too many homeruns. Brian is a student of the game, and needs to be with his less than blow-‘em away fastball. In the second half, I’d like to see Brian Bannister regain comand of his pitches, keep the ball in the park, and re-consider adding a sinker to his arsenal.
Mid-Term Grade – C-

Number one draft-pick, Luke Hochevar, has yet to pitch like one. The Cool Hand shows a cool head when he has runners all around him, but that has been way too often. When Luke throws strikes and keeps his sinker down, he can control the game quite nicely. But too many walks have put a lot of stress on the young right-hander and have kept him from going deep into games. I’d like to see Luke Hochevar keep the ball down in the strike zone and keep the pace of the game crisp so the infielders have a chance to help him get deeper into games.
Mid-Term Grade – C-

Kyle Davies has pitched like the young Major Leaguer that he is. He has looked very good at times, and not so good at other times. Personally (and I have nothing to back this up), I am not REAL impressed with him. But that aside, he has shown the ability to keep the team in most games. I’d like to see Kyle Davies gain better command of the strike zone and develop a reliable “out pitch.”
Mid-Term Grade – C-

Brett Tomko - FAIL- Nuff Said


Joakim Soria has been the best Rule 5 acquisition the Royals have ever had. We’ve, seemingly, picked the pockets of several teams in the past only to have that player flame out (best example - Andrew Sisco). This time we found Gold! When Joakim takes the mound, the game is pretty much over. The only question is how many batters are going to end up looking silly. More saves than hits allowed speaks for itself… PLUS… he has a way cool nickname – The Mexicusioner! Best of all, the Royals FINALLY had a TRUE All-Star representing them during the mid-summer classic!! Joakim Soria needs to keep on Mexicusioning!
Mid-Term Grade – A++

The Royals needed veteran presence in the bullpen, and Ron Mahay has been that and more. When the starters go into the sixth inning (or deeper), the bridge guys have done a very good job of handing the lead over to The Mexicusioner. Ron has done an excellent job against both right and left-handers. All I can say to Ron Mahay is, “Keep It Up Old Man!”
Mid-Term Grade - A

Leo Nunez lit up eyes at the beginning of the year, even though he only made the team because he was out of options. Leo went from a thrower to a pitcher… finally. Although he’s young (one of Allard Baird’s “bring ‘em up too soon boys”), it looked like the organization was loosing patience with him. His injury has marred his break-out year, but hopefully he can regain his early season form. When Leo Nunez comes back from the DL, he needs to “fill the strike zone”, and let his “stuff” take over (was that cliché enough for ya?).
Mid-Term Grade – A

The “Ramirez Twins” (especially Ram Ram) have been two other solid pieces to the bridge corps. When Ramon and Horacio command the strike zone, they have been extremely effective. I find it amazing how Dayton Moore has cherry picked pitchers that other teams have been so willing to give up on. I guess that’s a testament to the awesome job he has done to re-define the Royals’ scouting department. Not much to say to Ramon and Horacio Ramirez except, “Keep throwing strikes, dos Rams!”
Mid-Term Grade - A

Robinson Tejeda was bad enough to make the pitching-starved Texas Rangers dump him. Once again, the Royals’ scouting department was smart enough to grab him up. With the Royals, he has found the strike zone. He has been successful so far for KC, but has had very few chances. Robinson Tejeda appears to have a “Grade A” arm and needs to stay in the strike zone.
Mid-Term Grade - Incomplete

Joel Peralta was a very serviceable (and versatile) pitcher for the Royals in the past, and has been lights-out in Omaha this year. He has only had a little (not much) success for the MLB team. Giving up homeruns (and previous pitcher’s runs) has been his down-fall. Joel has an awesome forkball, but needs to get ahead in the count in order to use it. Keeping the ball in the park and inherited runners from scoring should be Joel Peralta’s second half goals (if he’s not bumped by other pitchers coming off pf the DL).
Mid-Term Grade – D-

What happened to the Jimmy Gobble that we saw the past year and a half? This year, he just doesn’t have it. This division has too many awesome left-handed hitters for our lefty specialist to implode. If he has options, I’d like to see Jimmy Gobble go to Omaha and rediscover his sidearm magic.
Mid-Term Grade - F

Hideo Nomo was an interesting experiment that failed.

Yasuhiko Yabuta was a large dollar failure - Nuff said (although I DO hold out hope for Yasuhiko Yabuta to learn where home plate is located on an American ball-field).

John Bale, Neal Musser, Jeff Fulchino, Carlos Rosa, - Incomplete – probably will see more action in the second half.
(opinions may vary, check your local ballpark for further deals)

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