Alberto Callaspo needs to be playing every day. After watching his at-bat in the 9th against Francisco Rodriguez, we're convinced the Royals' offense will improve significantly more than their defense will be hurt with him at short.
His encounter with K-Rod: after going down 0-2 -- an 89-mph fastball he took for strike one (taking all the way, because his first at-bat resulted in a first-pitch flyout) and an 88-mph fastball he fouled back for strike two -- he laid off two nasty off-speed pitches that would have had a lesser hitter flailing. We'll not name that lesser hitter. At 2-2, though, the advantage was still K-Rod's. A guy who's earned his bread on a fastball-curve/curve-fastball combo, this was now his moment to ratchet up the heat, since he'd set up Callaspo with four pitches low in the zone, most recently a curve that bounced in the dirt. The high fastball came, at 91 mph, and it had swing-and-miss written all over it. But Callaspo was ready. He swung above the ball and made solid contact, not a foul tip or a slice into the 3rd base dugout but a liner into left field. The look on K-Rod's face said, "What the hell just happened?"
Callaspo can help the Royals' offense.
Other things that can help: not running into outs. It's getting painful, really, and Royals Review, one of the best ranters on the 'Net, is ranting about it. Rany's mentioning it. We're all alarmed by it.
Of course, we trust we'll see improvement soon, but on the heels of a 5-3 loss, it just gives us one more thing to fret about, which is never good when the game ends around midnight, i.e. bedtime.
Three-game set in Oakland begins later tonight.
POSTSCRIPT: Due to John Bale's "dead arm" and subsequent placement on the DL, Joel Peralta has been recalled from Omaha, according to tonight's FSN KC telecast, and will buoy the already rock-solid bullpen. Hopefully no one believes superstitiously in cosmic equilibriums or the sort, because the last thing the Royals' bullpen needs is some sort of dilution. Hideo Nomo: we'll call him a colloid.
POSTSCRIPT 2: "Cerebral" count in this Yahoo column about Brian Bannister: 1. But not the first and won't be the last.
POSTSCRIPT 3: Who cares, really?
POSTSCRIPT 4: This just can't be left un-linked: as reported by Jeffrey Flanagan of the KC Star and coming to us via Chris Rasmussen of Bugs and Cranks, this T-Bones promotion has the chance to be an all-time great.