I have to be honest, settling on a topic for this morning’s column apparently became an impossible task for this lowly writer. The reasons are many: it is Monday, it is August or, gasp, even a lack of talent. At any rate, some bullet points from the past weekend for lack of a better idea.
- Excluding Saturday night’s home run derby, the Royals held the Yankees to just eight runs in the other three games of the series. Even including Saturday, the sixteen runs allowed by Royal pitching was really pretty impressive considering Zack Greinke did not start any of the four games.
- A lot has been written about Bryan Bullington finally securing his first major league win (and looking very good doing so). Without question, Bullington deserves more starts down the stretch and frankly I do not care at whose expense those starts come. Just a cautionary tale, however, Bobby Keppel in his first two starts as a Kansas City Royal allowed just 3 runs in 14.2 innings – the same number as Bullington’s first two Royal starts – and Bobby was gone a month later.
- Kila Ka’aihue went 3 for 10 with 2 walks in the first three games (that’s a .416 OBP by the by) of the series and was out of the lineup on Sunday. As an aside, last Thursday I compared the start of Kila’s career to Travis Hafner. Rany did the same in his column yesterday. Now, if we can two more bloggers to do the same and then all click our heels together at the same time, it will come true.
- Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer were a combined seven for ten yesterday in the minors. I have cooled on the idea of bringing Moustakas up in September this year, given his struggles in Omaha – particularly his walk to strikeout ratio. Given the state of the starting rotation, even with some recent solid performances, it is hard to see any reason to rush Moustakas at this point. A mid-June debut should work out about right.
- A few weeks back, one of our commentors noted that Blaine Hardy was starting in Omaha. At the time, I theorized that it was just a way to get Hardy more innings of experience and that his future still was as a reliever. Now, it appears that the Royals are intending to convert Hardy to a starting role. In his last two starts, Blaine has gone six innings in each and allowed just two earned runs in both. Although he struck out a batter per inning in both rookie and A ball, Hardy’s strikeouts have declined in AA and AAA. Still, he remains effective. Anyone adverse to seeing a couple of September starts out of him this year?
- Wilson Betemit’s name was mentioned, however minorly, in a blurb on MLBTradeRumors regarding the Cardinals’ search for a third baseman. If the Royals received an offer for Betemit, likely no more than a 20-25 ranked prospect in the low minors, would you take it? Or does it make more sense to continue to give Betemit regular duty and see if he can be a classic late bloomer?
- The new over/under on number of starts by Luke Hochevar before the end of the season has now been officially set at ONE.
Finally and just for fun, here is my projection for the Royals’ starting rotation on July 1, 2011:
- Zack Greinke
- Luke Hochevar
- Mike Montgomery
- Blaine Hardy
- Sean O’Sullivan
I’m not saying that’s necessarily good, just what I think it might be.