A couple of quick Royals notes before the weekend hits… By the way, when I’m elected commissioner of baseball, I’ll work with Congress to make every week a four day work week. And more daytime baseball.
– Following Thursday’s game, the Royals optioned Danny Duffy to Omaha.
That sounds strange, given he threw six solid innings against the Tigers. But something else is going on… The Royals say they are keeping him on his schedule, but I have to be honest… I thought they were gaming his service clock.
Duffy isn’t going to pitch in the majors until the 19th. That’s 12 days away. But in order for Duffy to lose major league service time, he has to stay in the minors for 20 consecutive days. (Thanks to Jeff Euston at Cot’s Baseball Contracts for reminding me.) We went through a similar scenario a couple of years ago with Alex Gordon. As long as Duffy is back by the 27th – he’s going to continue to compile major league service time.
Maybe I’m an idiot, but I think sending him down is a good move. Duffy is developing into a really good starter. The results aren’t all the way there yet, but they’re coming. He just needs to fine tune a few things. (I examined his development this week for Sports Radio 810, WHB.) It does make some sense for the Royals to keep him on a set schedule. The innings and pitch counts need to be monitored, but they can shut him down in September if they feel he’s thrown enough in 2011. Giving him a week of rest (essentially skipping one start over the break) doesn’t really give him much in the inning count. Maybe six innings and 100 pitches. Not a big deal.
It only becomes a big deal if he doesn’t return when the Royals say he’s going to return.
– Jason Kendall’s career is almost assuredly over, as an exam revealed two new tears in his right rotator cuff.
I know there are several who will celebrate the fact that Kendall won’t wear a Royals uniform in 2011.
I’m not one of them.
Sport is cruel sometimes in that it won’t let you leave the field on your terms. While I’m not a fan of Kendall and what he could have contributed if healthy, it sucks that the guy has played so many years, yet has no say about when his career ends.
This gets the Royals off the hook, as they were going to be facing a potentially sticky situation. Collectively, Brayan Pena and Matt Treanor are hitting .237/.336/.346 with an sOPS+ of 99. The numbers aren’t great, but they are certainly passable. And if Kendall was in the mix instead of either one, I’m convinced the offensive output would be much, much worse. We know the code that says an injured player can’t lose his job, and we know how the Royals are when it comes to veteran players they’re overpaying… If Kendall could have played, he’d be in KC. This injury prevents the Royals from having to DFA either Pena or Coach T. Both are better options behind the plate than a healthy Kendall. The Royals were going to get worse, and now that won’t have to happen.
That’s a very good thing.
– The way the Royals Universe came together to push Alex Gordon for the All-Star game was really great. And the way Gordon responded was even better. According to the Royals PR department, the Northland gathering was his idea and was pulled together with some help from his wife and some of his friends as a thank you for the support. For him to stop and mingle with the fans after a nine game road trip was fantastic. He didn’t need to do that, but he did, and the fans that showed up won’t forget that.
This has been a breakthrough season for Gordon in more ways than one.