We owe you a player profile or two. Maybe this week. Also this week, we can expect to get the details and breakdown of the Ian Kennedy contract. Of course, we thought the same thing at this time last week, so what do you really know? The contract isn’t really official until Kennedy takes a physical and Mellinger tweeted at me the other day that the new Royals pitcher is on a scheduled vacation with his family, which accounts for the holdup. Completely understandable. It’s just not something we see every day.
Feels like we haven’t seen this lately:
In the meantime, there’s not a helluva lot to discuss. The Star’s Royals webpage has gone close to dormant. Which will happen when you’re between beat writers. Looks like despite my best efforts to lobby for an internet writer (blogger feels like such a dirty word) the Star stayed internal and assigned the job to Rustin Dodd. Dodd currently holds the KU beat, which from my understanding, was the same path Dutton took. I’ve read a few of Dodd’s stories from when he was bouncing around The K on various assignments, and he seems like a logical hire.
Hey, the Royals signed Peter Moylan to a minor league deal. Moylan joined the Braves organization way back when Dayton Moore was there. If anything, it’s nice that despite the Royals recent success, it seems like we will always be able to make lame jokes about Moore’s connection to Atlanta. And here I thought almost 10 years removed, the pipeline of former Braves players who played under Moore was almost dry. Anyway, Moylan is another lottery ticket. He joins other intriguing non-roster invitees to camp including Dillon Gee, Chien-Ming Wang, and John Lannan. After seeing the contracts former non-roster invitees such as Ryan Madson and Joe Blanton, that lottery ticket thing is a two way street.
Speaking of Moylan, he’s a submarining Australian (!) right-hander who is returning from his second Tommy John surgery. He got back to the big leagues last summer and threw 10 innings total in 22 appearances. For his career, he has a 2.83 ERA along with an 18 percent strikeout rate and 10 percent walk rate. As you would expect from a submariner, he keeps the ball on the ground. His career ground ball rate is almost 62 percent. He features a fastball in the low 90s and a slider that comes in around 78. The good news about his recovery from the Tommy John was his velocity seemed to have fully returned and his command (0 walks) was spotless.
The Royals have assembled a decent collection of arms with a little bit of upside. There will be a few storylines in Surprise and how they handle all these pitchers will be one of them.
Over at the official dot com, Flanagan chimes in with a mailbag that has a few interesting morsels of info, including speculation the Royals may again carry five outfielders. We know the names of four: Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, and the proposed Jarrod Dyson/Paulo Orlando platoon. Flanagan speculates the versatility of Christian Colon means the 25th man could be that fifth outfielder or it could be another arm in the bullpen. Definitely, early in the season, there isn’t as much need for a 13 man bullpen. (I would argue there’s never really a need for that many relievers, but I digress.) It looks like we have spotted another spring storyline.
Speaking of which, here’s how I see the spring intrigue ranked from most intriguing to least:
— The Omar Infante/Colon battle for second base.
— Will the right field platoon actually happen?
— Where will Danny Duffy start the season? Rotation? Or bullpen?
— How will the Royals handle all of their non-roster invitees?
— Who will be the backup catcher?
I’ll leave you to ponder those. Until tomorrow.