The winning streak may be over, but not the positive developments of which form the backbone of our endeavor. Sully -- a nickname bestowed upon him by his former manager, Clint Hurdle -- homered in the 9th yesterday at his old home ballpark. He went 3-for-4 to raise his batting average to .185, and if intuition serves me right, Buddy Bell will have him swap places with Alex Gordon in the batting order tomorrow, putting him in the five-hole. Gordon, part two of the Royals' Corner Infield of the Future, collected a hit in four tries to raise his average to .169 (baby steps, folks). That's progress, but right now it just makes more sense for him to bat seventh, after John Buck and ahead of Angy Penoa Jr.
On that note: Some observers might complain about Bell's constant tweaking of his lineup, but personally I don't have a problem with it. So far, players haven't protested -- besides, who among them can say he above the others deserves to bat fifth? -- and if anyone can explain how batting two spots higher or lower has any actual effect on a batter's approach at the plate, I'd be happy to hear it (I understand it may be a different in the NL for the No. 8 hitter, but I think Tona Pena Jr. and Angel Berroa pretty much have that spot to themselves).
My original observation -- that Sully went deep -- should be taken as a sign of his return to the land of the living baseball player. The 0-for-13 start to the season is hopefully behind him, as is the left hamstring injury that sidelined him for 16 days. Remember, this is a player who spent an extra year and a half in the minors because the Rockies couldn't find a place to play him, not with Todd Helton, who also homered yesterday, still in prime form (what is this now, his 10th year in his prime? Check out his career stats. He leads all active players in career BA, yet he's almost never mentioned in national baseball discussions. Colorado, more than any state, really is that big a black hole in the baseball universe). If it weren't for Helton, Ryan Shealy would be the starting first baseman of the Rockies. Instead, he has a home here in KC, and all that's left to see is what he can do. I'll go on the record right now and predict a home run for him tomorrow. Anyone take me on 4-to-1 odds of that happening?