Here are the Royals top five contributors this season as ranked by WAR:
David DeJesus – 2.9
Billy Butler – 2.6
Jose Guillen – 1.4
Scott Podsednik – 1.3
Alberto Callaspo – 1.2
You don’t need me to tell you, but three of those guys aren’t playing for this team anymore.
As such, we need to adjust our expectations. With those guys, the Royals were a fourth place team. Without them, the Royals are a fifth place team.
(The Royals were probably a fifth place team even with those guys. Check their run differential. They’re at -113. Granted, they weren’t that low before their epic string of beatdowns this week. Still…)
For those of you who concern yourself with the standings (which, if you truly are a Royals fan is so 1988… get over it.) this is a huge loss. Those of you who follow The Process and prefer to look at the big picture, this isn’t a big deal. While I don’t fully buy into The Process (I remain unconvinced GMDM can construct a 25-man roster – we’re on version 3.0 of the eight man bullpen.) I subscribe to the latter. Yes, the Royals are going to lose a lot of games over the final two months, but this is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to look forward.
(By the way, I know Clark linked to Minda’s post sampling Facebook reaction to the Podsednik trade, but I’m going to serve it up again. Not only is it hilarious, it serves as a reminder those of us in the blogosphere are serving a niche of a niche. The majority of fans see Scotty Pods’ .310 batting average and 30 steals and wonder why the guy isn’t talked about as a candidate for MVP. It’s true.)
Going forward, here’s what I’d like to see from The Process for the rest of 2010:
— The release (because a trade seems unlikely) of Jose Guillen. He serves no purpose. He’s not part of the future. He’s a sunk cost in that if the Royals were to deal him away, they’d have to pick up a chunk of his salary.
The Royals should put him on waivers after the deadline and hope that one team is dumb desperate enough to claim him. In the likely event he goes unclaimed, cut him.
— Alex Gordon has to play in left field every day the rest of the way. He can have one day off – August 11 when the Royals finish up a nine game west coast road trip with a day game against Los Angeles. The way the rest of the schedule sets up over the final two months, that’s all he’ll need for rest.
— Willie Bloomquist needs to be traded or kept in a utility role where his appearances are limited. Credit to Yost for taking this long before falling for Wee Willie’s obvious charms. If he gets 100 plate appearances between now and the end of the season, it will come at the expense of Maier and Gordon. This cannot happen.
And batting him leadoff is inexcusable. I don’t care we don’t have a “true” leadoff man now that Podsednik is gone. (Pods wasn’t a “true” leadoff man either, but now that he’s gone that’s the Dodgers problem.)
— Play Chris Getz everyday. While I’m pretty sure I know what the Royals have in Getz (not much), I’d still like to see him for the final two months. Move Aviles over to short – his arm has to be able to handle it by now – and let Getz play out the season at second. If anything, you would improve the defense up the middle.
— No clue what to do about the pitching. The Royals hands are kind of tied there. This has to be the end of the line for Kyle Davies who surrendered four walks in five innings to the team who takes the fewest walks in the AL. It’s gotten to the point where if he’s pitching, I’m watching something else. I would probably be fine just pitching Farnsworth, Tejeda and Soria out of the pen for the rest of the season if only because I don’t want to watch Wood groove fastballs anymore.
— Free Kila. ‘Nuff said.