Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ramirez, De La Rosa, Huber and, finally, a blog named for Billy Butler

With the roster shaping up and the rotation set (Meche, Bannister, Greinke, Bale, Tomko), it's time to pay our hellos and goodbyes.

Hello, Ramon Ramirez. We welcome you with open arms, partly because you have a 1.42 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings this spring...

EDITOR'S NOTE: I had all this research planned, Baseball Prospectus and Baseball Cube pulled up on my browser, and just as I was getting started... my wireless connection failed. When it came back, NYRoyal of Royals Review had circled the wagons with this post.

Our work is done, we'll move on.

Goodbye, Jorge De La Rosa. You came as a soft-tossing lefty at a time when any pitching prospect would have made us happy, and now you leave because we have one pitcher too many (and you're out of options).

What to say of your time with us? No one was impressed with your stuff, ever, but in the early-going we couldn't argue with the results. In your first start you gave up a measly run on four hits in a 3-1 win over Detroit to even the team's record. Two weeks later you threw eight innings of shutout ball, then began the month of May with three quality starts in four tries. Of course, things fall apart, as that book says, and they did. Gradually. A five-run outing here, a seven-run implosion there. Eventually, the five-innings-of-shutout-ball outing was no longer the expectation but the exception. What really can one say about that?

And goodbye, Justin Huber. You were a highly regarded prospect once, and perhaps still am, but we never could find a place for you, and now, perhaps, we're repaying the Padres for letting us have Joakim Soria. Good luck hitting in San Diego. Just remember, get it in the gaps, and you'll run forever.
As first reported by Megan Stock last May (and quoted on this site), Billy Butler's clubhouse nickname is Big Donkey. The newest Royals site, in a nod to Butler and breasts donkeys everywhere, is called Big Donkeys. Best of luck, guys.

POSTSCRIPT: The return of Breaking 100.

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