Tuesday’s buzzword: Command.

As in lack of.

That would apply to Robinson Tejeda and Kyle Davies. Both couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat to borrow a phrase from Crash Davis.

Tejeda faced 12 batter, walked three, and allowed four hits, including a moon shot to Jack Cust. He also didn’t record a ground out, retiring three A’s on fly outs, two via the strikeout and one on a pickoff at first.

Although we don’t want to go down the road of freaking out over two spring innings, weve been through this before with Tejeda. When he’s on, he’s really, really good. When he’s not You get games like we had on Tuesday. This is exactly the kind of start we will get from Tejeda on occasion during the regular season if he makes the rotation. It’s extremely dangerous to hand the ball to such an erratic pitcher in the first inning.

And would it have killed him to entice just one A’s batter to hit the ball on the ground? On a gusty day, why not try and give yourself a sliver of a chance of succeeding.

Davies was just as rotten. He faced 16 batters and allowed seven to reach – five hits and two walks. He struck out a pair and got five ground ball outs. And he kept the ball in the park – no small feat with the wind blowing out to right at 30 mph. Although the elements did seem to come into play on a couple of fly balls that turned into doubles.

It is slightly insane to get bent over a handful of innings in the Cactus League. Sure. But in this case we’re not talking about Zack Greinke or Gil Meche working on a new pitch or tinkering with their delivery. This isn’t a couple of veterans getting in game shape. We’re talking about two pitchers who are competing for a spot in the rotation. Big difference. These guys have to throw. They don’t have the luxury of working on a new pitch or whatever. They’re pitching for life in the majors.

Not that I’m expecting greatness – or even mediocrity – from either Davies or Tejeda in the rotation. But I’d at least see them do something worthwhile given they’re fighting for a job.

Davies insists It’s not about his stuff. It’s his command that’s killing him. Money quote from Davies:

“It was all about consistency and command for me, that’s all it is. It’s never been about stuff. If I had Greinke’s command, I’d have his stats.”

Holy cow, was he serious? A couple of things are wrong with this statement. First, Davies doesn’t have Greinke’s stuff, so there’s no point in worrying about how Greinke’s command is better. And second, if I had Greinke’s stuff and command, I’d be pitching for the Royals instead of sitting in my basement, writing about them. (Although I probably wouldn’t be pitching for the Royals. I’d hire Boras as my agent and we’d be kicking some serious ass. No hometown discount here.)

Davies had better see the trainer. Delusion is apparently contagious in the Royals camp.

Today’s Hillmanism:

This is inspired by a friend of mine who has taken a large measure of delight emailing me daily pearls of wisdom from the Royals manager. Needless to say, it hardly ever makes sense.Hillman2010

Like this gem on Aaron Crow’s first outing:

“I’m glad he did what I thought he would do, but I thought he would do what he did. That make sense?”

Today is a bonus. You got an example of a Hillmanism and you get today’s on Davies and his lack of command…

“(Davies has) got great stuff, he typically holds his stuff very well. But it’s a matter of being more consistent in the strike zone. Kyle’s really competitive — it doesn’t have anything to do with his competitiveness or have anything to do with stamina or stuff.

Davies is competitive, but it doesn’t have anything to do with competitiveness. Got it?