I want to start this post with an apology to you guys for all the trouble we’ve been having with the site over the last week or so. We are extremely frustrated, but are working to make sure this never happens again. Hopefully we’re done with all the site outages. On a lighter note, happy new year to everyone! Whenever the calendar turns, I get to thinking about how close we are to spring training and, in turn, the season. On this date in Royals history in 2008, the Royals gave a minor league deal to Hideo Nomo who hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2005. So when you get upset about the Tejada deal, think about that and it’s better by comparison…or something.
- One team I’m intrigued by this off-season is the Cleveland Indians. If I had to bet, I wouldn’t put any money on them doing pretty much anything of any substance in 2013, but they’ve done a decent job of putting together a roster with a chance. I think there’s also a chance they are one of the worst teams in the American League, but by picking up Nick Swisher they’ve helped to replenish some of the offense lost by trading Choo and by picking up Brett Myers among others, they do have a shot to be respectable. I think the Royals will be better, but it’s not as unlikely as you might think that the Indians could surpass them.
- On the front of the Miguel Tejada deal, I didn’t want to devote a whole post to a minor league deal, but I am just not a fan of signing him. Rumors are abound that Tejada, while given a minor league deal, has been promised a roster spot once the Royals are able to clear some room. All the talk of them wanting a utility man who could play shortstop seems a little bit hollow now that they’ve signed Tejada. I’m going to wait to get too annoyed or upset with this move until he actually does take up a roster spot and “earn” over $1 million. The most I can say about this is that I just don’t get it, but we’ll have to see what happens.
- We had Mike Ferrin on our podcast that should be posted today and we were talking about what he thinks the Royals will do this season and he said he expected 84-86 wins. What I found interesting about that was the way he talked about his prediction, and it shows the difference between guys like Clint and me who are very close to the situation and guys like Mike Ferrin who cover all of baseball. He just seemed so up about it and when I think of my prediction of 82-84 wins (not all that different, no?) I find myself slightly upset with that number. Which is really interesting because the Royals haven’t even sniffed 80 wins since 2003. I think it goes back to previous points I’ve made about people telling me I’m negative when I’m predicting a 10-12 win increase from the previous season. Weird.
- Another thing Ferrin said on the podcast was something I’ve mentioned a few times and it’s how many innings the Royals have added to the rotation and what that could do to the bullpen. ¬†I took a look at what my projected rotation of Shields, Guthrie, Santana, Davis and Chen put up innings-wise last season (and 2011 for Davis) and they totaled 965 innings. That’s including a season for Santana where he threw 50 innings less than the previous season. I don’t think it’s that unlikely for him to get to 200 and I feel the same about Guthrie which would add about 40 more innings to the starting staff and give them a total of 1,000 which is the number Dayton Moore has been mentioning for years when talking about what he wants from his rotation.
- I still think the Royals need another bat if they plan on contending in 2013. Of course, at this point the most likely upgrade would be in right field, but there are two problems with that. One is that Jeff Francoeur is the right fielder and that’s pretty much set in stone, at least to start the year. The other is that there’s simply not that much out there. The two biggest names on the trade market are Justin Upton and Giancarlo Stanton. Either would obviously make the team better, but neither is a likely target. For me, Justin Upton is going to cost more in terms of prospects combined with money than I think he’s worth. He does have a chance to take a huge step forward and go from a very good player (I think 2012 was the anomaly), but until then he’s quite solid, but the Diamondbacks want a lot for him at the exact time that his great contract is in its expensive years.
- This is your semi-regular reminder to listen to our podcast, which Clint and I love doing. If you haven’t heard, we’ve had guests like Bob Dutton, Rex Hudler, Sam Mellinger, Soren Petro, Rany Jazayerli, JJ Cooper and more and we’ve got more great guests liked up. You can email us at email@example.com and we’ll answer your questions on air. Plus, we’ll probably get back to weekly around spring training as we’re doing bi-weekly during the winter. Check us out if you haven’t already. We’d love for you all to listen.
Follow me on Twitter @DBLesky
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