Friday, August 24, 2007

The difference a season makes

With Zack Greinke readying to pitch Game 1 of this weekend's Cleveland series, Royals Review has reached into its vault and pulled out the game post following the worst defeat of 2006, a 15-13 loss in which the Royals blew a 10-1 lead. As if any of us needed the reminder that last year's team, in fact, struggled.

Here's the first comment to that post:

and the funny part is

That this team will lose a ton of games like this next year and the year after when they bring up their offensive guns, but no pitching. Even if Zach can return to the sub-4.00 ERA he is capable of being and Hoyshaver can be a solid pitcher, that still leaves 3 horrible starters and a slew of terrible relievers to give up run after run.

Hmmm, maybe I should have written "sad" instead of "happy."

But at least it will be entertaining; just like in 2000. Team batting splits - .288/.348/.425 with 879 runs scored. Team pitching line - 5.48 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 930 runs allowed. That year, they lost some dandies such as: 14-10, 10-7, 12-9, 15-7, 12-11 (twice) and 9-7.

The team pitching line this year: 4.48 ERA (8th in AL), 1.45 WHIP (10th), 609 R (10th), 559 ER (7th), 407 BB (7th). Not great, but significant process can be seen.

A later comment:

An optimistic note

I think Odalis Perez and Luke Hudson could be acceptable starters next season, in addition to Greinke and Hochevar. Hudson has been very good in 7 of his 8 starts, check out the change this season he has made statistically - he has turned into an extreme groundball pitcher, which will bode well for the future if we replace Berroa and move Teahen off third for Gordon. I can see Perez being decent again next year for us, like he once was for the Dodgers.

That leaves only one starter to find, plus approximately 5 or 6 relievers!

That he felt Odalis Perez could be "decent" was indeed optimistic, though IDWT admits sharing his opinion. The more interesting question is: What has Luke Hudson done? He's appeared in just one game in '07, lasting two innings and allowing four earned runs and four walks. He's been on the DL since with biceps tendinitis (we never realized it was possible to develop tendinitis of the muscle, but so it is). It's amazing to think the Royals' best pitcher last year has tossed just two innings and yet the rotation has, relative to standards, absolutely excelled. And those "5 or 6 relievers" the RR commenter wanted? It appears Dayton Moore's taken care of it.

POSTSCRIPT: Competing for talent in the Caribbeans.

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