Sean O’Sullivan remains Exhibit A as to why The Process cannot be fully trusted. How can you believe in an organization that sees the value in a pitcher of his caliber? Enough value that they traded one of their everyday players for him last year?
This is a question that has to be asked: What was Dayton Moore thinking when he decided he would like to add O’Sullivan to his team?
Remember, the Royals unloaded Alberto Callaspo to acquire O’Sullivan. The thinking at the time was someone needed to be moved because Mike Moustakas was tearing up the minors. To the Royals, Callaspo was the obvious candidate because he would be in line for a first year arbitration deal of $2.5 million (he signed for $2 million). The company line was, the more expensive the contract, the more difficult it would be to make a trade.
Here’s what GMDM had to say about O’Sullivan:
“We got a young pitcher we think can be part of our future.”
As my blogger brethren know from attending a couple of those behind the scenes events, GMDM specializes in speaking, yet saying nothing. That quote is quintessential Moore.
Callaspo had no future on this team. Solid hitter who made contact, but his defense was a serious liability. And the Royals figured with the young bats developing, they could jettison an older one who was below average with the glove. Can’t find fault with that. Besides, everyone in the universe knew the Royals number one priority as last year wound down was to get stronger up the middle defensively. Can’t fault the idea.
We can fault the execution. The fact is, by being “proactive” and unloading Callaspo before he became eligible for arbitration the Royals sold low and came away with a lemon of a pitcher.
On Thursday, O’Sullivan blamed his poor performance on introducing a change in his delivery where he shortened his stride. Apparently, he’s only tried this in one bullpen session. Wow. That’s a great idea… Change your delivery and try to get major league hitters, not to mention little leaguers like the Minnesota Twins, out. That’s probably not a way to be successful. And when you are “talent challenged” to start… It’s just not going to end well. If this was truly the case, I can’t believe that Bob McClure or Ned Yost didn’t notice and put a stop to it. If you want to work on mechanics during a game, there’s a place in Arizona in March…
I can’t speak to his change in mechanics, but the one thing I noticed from his outing was O’Sullivan was really missing his spots. Coach Treanor would set up inside, and he’d deliver several inches outside. Coach Treanor would call for a low pitch and it would be at the letters. And so on, and so on. Also, it just seemed that none of O’Sullivan’s called balls were close to the zone. Brooks Baseball confirms he was locating his pitches like a drunken blind man throwing darts.
Looks like he was getting squeezed a bit on the low strike, but he compensated for that by elevating several pitches. Not a good night.
We’re still going to get the postmortem that the Royals didn’t have anyone else to turn to for their rotation. Yes, we are aware the starting pitching is thin. Yes, we know injuries have played a factor. No, we don’t want to endure another O’Sullivan start.
— Good to see Joakim Soria enter in mop-up duty and pitch two effective innings. He needed just 19 pitches to get six outs and threw 15 strikes. One thing to note: He didn’t get a single batter to swing and miss at a pitch. Of his 15 strikes, six were called, three were fouled off and six were put in play for outs.
For those interested, he threw three curves. And he only threw those when he was ahead in the count. Two were put in play and one was fouled off. It was a good outing, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s still work to be done.