Late start for me this morning, early start for the Royals (11:30 Central), so I am just going top touch on some random topics to get us primed for the getaway game.
- The Royals left eleven runners on base last night and were an overall 5 for 20 with runners in scoring position. That has been a common thread for much of the season, but surprisingly, Kansas City is tied for ninth in the AL in team OPS with runners in scoring position. Ninth is not good, but it certainly is not as bad as I thought it would be. For the record the American League average slash line with RISP is .254/.345/.392/.737. The Royals’ line is .255/.328/.366/.694.
- Currently, Kansas City is 7-11 at home and 9-14 on the road. While the records do not reflect it, does is just seem like the Royals play a little better on the road? While the jury is out on that and the statistical sample is small, Kansas City is average 4.3 runs per game on the road versus just 3.9 at home. Over the course of 81 games, that comes out to 32 runs – how much would Zack Greinke give for 32 more runs this year?
- While ignoring some problems I have with lineups, pitcher usage and pinch hitting, Ned Yost is off to a nice 4-2 start as manager of the Royals. So far, Yost is a refreshing change from Trey Hillman if for no other reason than he does not unload a theosaurus of crap on us each time he opens his mouth. Be wary, however, Buddy Bell also started off 4-2 as manager and Hillman jumped out to a 6-2 start.
The Omaha Royals had an off-day on Wednesday, so Alex Gordon’s line remained at .385/.536/.750/1.286. I might have managed that type of line…once…in slo-pitch….over 35 league…when I was really just 32. Anyway, Gordon has been raking and, at least by the organization’s reports, playing a pretty solid left-field. However, I was wondering what type of pitching Gordon has encountered along the way, so here is a quick look at the opposing starting pitchers:
- Guillermo Moscoco – 2.95 ERA in AAA this year. Pitched half a season at this level in 2009, plus logged 14 passable major league innings, too.
- Michael Kirkman – 2.68 ERA in AAA, his first at this level and sixth season overall in the Rangers’ system.
- Jorge Sosa – 3.76 ERA this season in AAA. Sosa has 736 big league innings under his belt and has fashinoned a 4.72 ERA during that time.
- Brad Stone – Has bounced between AA and AAA the last two seasons. Basically pretty dominant at AA and below, but has a career 4.70 ERA at the AAA level.
- Bryan Augenstein – Last year, in nine AA starts, Augenstein fashioned a 0.99 ERA. That got him promoted to AAA, where he allowed a 5.50 ERA in eight games. This season, similar numbers – 5.76 ERA and .290 opponent batting average.
- Billy Buckner - The formal Royals prospect has a fairly unimpressive 130 major league innings (5.66 ERA), but has been decent in 367 AAA innings.
- Kevin Mulvey – Has a 4.38 ERA this year and was part of the Johan Santana trade. He’s been blasted in 27 major league innings scattered over the past four years, but owns a career minor league ERA of 3.61.
- Matt Torra – Currently sports a 2.83 ERA in AAA after posting a solid 3.75 mark in 180 innings in AA last year.
- Brad Mills – Got two starts with Toronto last season and did not fare well. Posted a combined 1.95 ERA across three levels in 2008 (147 innings) and has a 3.93 ERA over the past season and a quarter at AAA.
- Reidier Gonzalez – Solid numbers in his first five years in the Blue Jay system, but has allowed 36 runs in 41 innings this year in AAA.
- Lance Broadway – Has logged 55 innings in the majors with a plus five ERA. He has 448 AAA innings, almost all of them below average.
- Mark Rzepcynski – Was on a rehab start gone bad (11 hits, 9 runs in 2.1 innings) when the O-Royals faced him. Last year, posted a 3.67 ERA in 11 starts for Toronto and has owned every minor league level in his quick rise to the majors.
Obviously, Gordon has faced a slew of relievers in his time in Omaha as well, but the above list of starters gives you something of an idea of who Alex is beating up on right now. You have some journeyman AAA types, some great young arms and a couple of guys who have seen their share of big league action.
It is worth noting that twelve of the Gordon’s fourteen games have been played against pitching staffs that rank eleventh or below in ERA in the Pacific Coast League. In addition, Omaha opens a home stand against Salt Lake (13th in ERA), Colorado Springs (15th) and Round Rock (10th), so we may not see Alex taking on the top tier of AAA pitching for a while yet.
As for now, what’s better than day baseball in Cleveland?