Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Royals
Posted on: January 24, 2012 1:15 pm
 

AL Central Preview

I have had a hard time keeping up with this blog the past year or so, but that does not mean i haven't kept up with baseball. I have vigoursly been working on my 2012 MLB Prediction and now that they have been completed I will start releasing them division by division in order of weakest to strongest division. So lets start with the division i think to be the weakest; the American League Central.

The AL Central has one dominant team that none of the other teams really come close to in the Detroit Tigers. The Indians are on the rise but i dont see them improving drastically over their 2011 season and the Royals don't have the pitching yet. Its also strange looking at these divison rankings as the two teams that used to be the class of the division are now securly in the bottom 2 slots. Here is a look at my rankings followed by each teams current depth chart and breif analysis of their strengths and weaknesses.

1. DETROIT TIGERS

C- Alex Avila
1B- Miguel Cabrera
2B- Ramon Santiago
SS- Jhonny Peralta
3B- Brandon Inge/Don Kelly
LF- Ryan Raburn
CF- Austin Jackson
RF- Brennan Boesch
DH- Delmon Young

Pitching-

1. Justin Verlander
2. Doug Fister
3. Max Scherzer
4. Rick Porcello
5. Jacob Turner/Andy Oliver

CL- Jose Valverde
SU- Joaquin Benoit
SU- Octavio Dotel

They have the strongest offense and rotation in the division although this is a relatively weak offensive division. The loss of Victor Martinez to injury is going to hurt, but they may be able to find a "servicable" replacement pretty cheap on the free agent market. The Rotation is solid across the board and they have a legitimate Ace but are they willing to role with Turner as their 5th starter or will they add another arm? All in all this is a solid playoff team although i dont think they are a world series contender.

2. CLEVELAND INDIANS

C- Lou Marson/Carlos Santana
1B- Carlos Santana/Matt LaPorta
2B- Jason Kipnis
SS- Asdrubal Cabrera
3B- Jack Hannahan/Lonnie Chisenhall
LF- Michael Brantley
CF- Grady Sizemore
RF- Shin-Soo Choo
DH- Travis Hafner

Pitching-
1. Ubaldo Jimenez
2. Fausta Carmona?
3. Justin Masterson
4. Josh Tomlin
5. Derek Lowe

CL- Chris Perez
SU- Rafael Perez
SU- Tony Sipp

This is definitely a team on the rise. There are some intriguing rising stars in Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson that will keep this team in the playoff hunt. While there offense is close to the Tigers now with the loss of Victor Martinez, their starting rotation is a notch or two below that of the Tigers, Ubaldo is unpredictable and Fausta Carmona's status (and name) are in question. This is a team that if everything goes right for them could be in a tight race with the Tigers but in all likelyhood are just a .500 team.

3. KANSAS CITY ROYALS

C- Salvador Perez
1B- Eric Hosmer
2B- Johnny Giavotella
SS- Alcides Escobar
3B- Mike Moustakas
LF- Alex Gordon
CF- Lorenzo Cain
RF- Jeff Francoeur
DH- Billy Butler

Pitching-
1. Luke Hochevar
2. Bruce Chen
3. Jonathan Sanchez
4. Felipe Paulino
5. Danny Duffy

CL- Joakim Soria
SU- Jonathan Broxton
SU- Aaron Crow

We have been talking about the Royals farm system for several years now and the those prized prospects are finally starting to emerge. While the pitching prospects struggled last year, the offensive ones have begun to take their spots on the roster. The entire infield is made up of top prospects that all have all-star potential with the exeption of Alcides Escobar (although a gold glove may not be out of the question). As it was this was a very good offense in 2011, and I expect it to continue to improve in 2012 but the pitching staff is where this roster needs improvement. The addition of Sanchez provides depth but they still lack top of the rotation arms. With this pitching staff i doubt they can do better than sub .500 but if some of their prized arms come up and contribute they could be a .500 team. I still think this team is about 2 years away from true contention.

4. MINNESOTA Twins

C- Joe Mauer/Ryan Doumit
1B- Justin Morneau/Ryan Doumit
2B- Alexi Casilla
SS- Jamey Carroll
3B- Danny Valencia
LF- Ben Revere
CF- Denard Span
RF- Josh Willingham
DH- Trevor Plouffe

Pitching-
1. Carl Pavano
2. Francisco Liriano
3. Scott Baker
4. Nick Blackburn
5. Brian Duensing/Jason Marquis

CL- Matt Capps
SU- Glen Perkins
SU- Alex Burnett

Once the class of the division the Twins now are struggling to get to .500. This is what happens when your top stars become injury prone and you have a poor supporting cast around them. The offense is weak unless Morneau and Mauer can return to MVP form and the pitching staff is mediocre to bad. They lack a top of the rotation starter and the bullpen is a mess as well. I dont think they will finish any lower than fourth but i dont think there is a lot of potential to finish better than that either.

5. CHICAGO White Sox

C- A.J. Pierzynski
1B- Paul Konerko
2B- Gordon Beckham
SS- Alexei Ramirez
3B- Brent Morel
LF- Alejandro De Aza
CF- Alex Rios
RF- Dayan Viciedo
DH- Adam Dunn

Pitching-
1. John Danks
2. Gavin Floyd
3. Phil Humber
4. Chris Sale
5. Jake Peavy

CL- Matt Thorton
SU- Jesse Crain
SU- Will Ohman

Another team that once dominated the division but has fallen on hard times. Unlike the Twins I think there is more room for improvement as the roster is younger and has more upside. That being said they have to prove it first, thats why have put them this low. It's not the roster that has changed but they have changed to a very inexperienced manager which could lead to some issues. The pitching staff is actually decent but the offense is what needs work. 5th place is a starting point for the White Sox but I could see them finishing ahead of the Twins and ahead of the Royals would be a best case scenario.


So there is my 2012 AL Central preview, look out for my next preview later this week.



Posted on: August 22, 2010 8:58 pm
 

Best Teams AL Central

In case you missed my first post of this series, the idea of this series is to put together the best team of players of the modern era for each franchise. This week we take a look at the AL Central.

White Sox
1. Minnie Minoso-OF-        4.7 WAR  1.1 FLD
2. Nellie Fox-2B-              3.8 WAR  8.1 FLD
3. Magglio Ordonez-OF-   2.9 WAR  -1.8 FLD
4. Frank Thomas-DH-       4.6 WAR 
5. Paul Konerko-1B-         2.4 WAR  1.7 FLD
6. Harold Baines-OF-        2.2 WAR  -.3 FLD
7. Robin Ventura-3B-        4.2 WAR  11.1 FLD
8. Carlton Fisk-C-             2.6 WAR  .1 FLD
9. Luis Aparico-SS-           4.0 WAR  10.9 FLD

#1 Starter- Billy Pierce

Cleveland Indians
1. Kenny Lofton-OF-         4.5 WAR  10 FLD
2. Omar Vizquel-SS-         2.6 WAR  2.1 FLD
3. Manny Ramirez-OF-      4.0 WAR  -4.2 FLD
4. Jim Thome-1B-             4.0 WAR  -3.3 FLD
5. Larry Doby-OF-             5.3 WAR  4.3 FLD
6. Al Rosen-3B-                4.8 WAR  -.6 FLD
7. Victor Martinez-C-          3.2 WAR  -1.7 FLD
8. Travis Hafner-DH-          2.6 WAR
9. Bobby Avila-2B-             3.2 WAR  -1 FLD

#1 Starter- Bob Lemon

Detroit Tigers
1. Alan Trammel-SS-          3.7 WAR  4 FLD
2. Lou Whitaker-2B-           4.2 WAR  4.3 FLD
3. Al Kaline-OF-                  4.8 WAR  7.4 FLD
4. Norm Cash-1B-               4.3 WAR  2.6 FLD
5. Kirk Gibson-DH-              2.6 WAR
6. Bobby Higginson-OF-       1.9 WAR  -3.2 FLD
7. Travis Fryman-                3.4 WAR  3.8 FLD
8. Chet Lemon-OF-             3.6 WAR  7 FLD
9. Bill Freehan-C-                3.5 WAR  1.8 FLD

#1 Starter- Mickey Lolich

Kansas City Royals
1. Carlos Beltran-OF-           3.5 WAR  6.7 FLD
2. Amos Otis-OF-                3.4 WAR  -2.5 FLD
3. George Brett-3B-             4.6 WAR  2.4 FLD
4. Mike Sweeney-1B-           1.8 WAR  -.6 FLD
5. Hal McRae-DH-                2.3 WAR
6. Darrell Porter-C-              4.5 WAR  2.5 FLD
7. Willie Wilson-OF-             3.1 WAR  7.6 FLD
8. Frank White-2B-              2.0 WAR  6.7 FLD
9. Freddie Patek-SS-            2.5 WAR  1.7 FLD

#1 Starter- Bret Saberhagen

Minnesota Twins
1. Rod Carew-2B-                5.2 WAR  1 FLD
2. Kirby Puckett-OF-             4.1 WAR  -1.2 FLD
3. Joe Mauer-C-                  5.3 WAR  -.2 FLD
4. Harmon Killebrew-3B-       4.6 WAR  -4 FLD
5. Kent Hrbek-1B-                3.2 WAR  1.4 FLD
6. Tony Oliva-DH-                3.7 WAR  
7. Torii Hunter-OF-               2.5 WAR  3 FLD
8. Bob Allison-OF-                3.8 WAR  3.6 FLD
9. Greg Gagne-SS-               2.1 WAR  6.6 FLD

#1 Starter- Bert Blyleven


White Sox-  31.4 WAR  27.5 FLD
Indians-       34.2 WAR  6.6 FLD
Tigers-          32 WAR  27.2 FLD
Royals-         27.7 WAR  24.5 FLD
Twins-            34.5 WAR  14.5 FLD




This analysis took a little longer than the NL Central but thats partially due to the fact that i know a lot more about the NL Central(Im a Cubs Fan) than the AL Central. Although the Royals are my second favorite team mainly because of George Brett. Looking at the numbers this is a very close division. The Twins have the highest WAR just barely ahead of the indians. The Sox have the highest FLD barely ahead of the Tigers. But you have to remember that WAR includes fielding in its calculations so i would say the Twins are the best team. Followed by the Indians, Tigers, White Sox, and Royals. I dont think any of their number one starters really stand out against one another. I personally think Bret Saberhagen is the best of the bunch but they are all pretty equal to each other. Again please give me feedback so i can continually improve these posts. The next post will be the NL East but it may not get posted till next weekend.  
Posted on: January 23, 2010 11:27 pm
 

2010 MLB Preview-AL Central

I realize that the spring training hasnt even begun yet, and the rosters might still change but i really wanted to start on my 2010 baseball preview. Every year around the end of January i start working on my preview for the next year. So today i am releasing my AL Central preview. Really when you look at the division on paper it may be the weakest division in baseball, any one of these teams could make a run at the division (that dosnt meen that they are all good teams). But if you delve into the statistics its actually pretty easy to rank these teams.

1. Minnesota Twins
2. Chicago White Sox
3. Detroit Tigers
4. Kansas City Royals
5. Cleveland Indians

The top 2 teams will slug it out for the division, but in the end i really think the Twins will pull it out again. They have the best hitters in the division, a solid/average pitching staff and a dynamite closer. The Tigers will me safely in the middle, not to close to the top or the bottom. And the Royals will be competing for last place again, although i think the Royals are a better team than last year and if they dont have as many injuries they could be competitve. Lets take a look at each team.

Minnesota Twins-

Aquired (Notable Players)- Clay Condrey, JJ Hardy
Departed- Boof Bonser, Carlos Gomez, Mike Redmond

The Twins havnt changed that much from last years team, the only major changes would be the aquisition of JJ Hardy for Carlos Gomez. The Twins strength right now would have to be the middle of their order which consists of #3 Joe Mauer. #4 Justin Morneau, #5 Jason Kubel, and #6 Michael Cuddyer. Mauer is clearly the best Catcher in the game right now, and is what i would consider a "Franchise Player". Justin Morneau is a great middle of the order hitter who will drive in 100+ each season. Kubel and Cuddyer are solid 20+ HR hitters and should drive in plenty. Hardy has been a good hitter but he has to rebound from a rough 2009 in which he lost his starting job to Alcides Escobar which spurred the Brewers to trade him. But if he can hit like he did before 2009 he could become a force in this lineup. Denard Span and Delmon Young are above average top of the order hitters who should score a lot of runs in front of their Mauer and Morneau. The only weak are in their hitting would be at 2nd and 3rd. The pitching staff is somewhat weak which is what will make the division competitive. Scott Baker is the only guy that i like in this staff, but he is being forced to be their #1 pitcher and he is more of a middle of the rotation guy. Liriano hasnt looked the same since 2006 and was awfull last year (5-13  5.80 ERA) and Slowey, Blackburn and Pavano round out a very average rotation. The bullpen on the other hand is pretty good anchored by one of the best closers in the game in Joe Nathan. John Rauch, Jesse Crain, and Matt Gurrier are some of the good arms that are in this pen. My overall opinion of this team is that they'll have to hit their way into the postseason. The Twins cannot rely on their pitching to win games for them, but with reigning MVP Joe Mauer they should be fine. If they can find some pitching they could become the class of this division.


Chicago White Sox-

Aquired- Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre, JJ Putz, Omar Vizquel
Departed- Octavio Dotel, Josh Fields, Chris Getz, Scott Podsednik, Jermaine Dye?

The White Sox look significantly better than last year. Thier offense may be a step below the Twins but its still fairly potent. Juan Pierre is a great leadoff hitter and Gordon Beckham is developing into a great all around player and will hit 2nd. Quentein, Konerko and Rios make up the middle of the order. Quentin had some injuries, but Konerko had another good year, Rios struggled and was released by the Blue Jays and the White Sox got decent production ( He did put up good numbers in 07 and 08 so theres some room to be better). Teahen, AJ, and Aleixei round out the back of the order. Teahen has been a solid hitter in Kansas City for years and is extremly versatile (por mans Mark DeRosa), AJ Pierzynski is the heart and soul of this team other team hate him and Sox fans love him, and Aleixei has been called a Alfonso Soriano clone he has good power and speed but strikes out a lot. They dont have a clearly defined DH but Andruw Jones may get the job if he performs well. The Rotation has been the biggest improvement as they finally have a bonifide ace in Jake Peavy. He wanted to go to the north side and held out until he realized that the south side was his only winning option and he should be a great fit for a full season. Buehrle is another good veteran arm who compliments Peavy will, and Danks and Floyd are two good young arms. Freddy Garcia is going to try and make it a full season and be the fifth starter. The pen has been restructured a bit all though Bobby Jenks is still the closer. But Linebrink, Thorton and Putz make up a great set up corp for Jenks. If they White Sox can get more out of Teahen, Rios and Andruw Jones they might have a shot at the Twins. This is a solid team that has serious post season potential.



Detroit Tigers-

Aquired- Phil Coke, Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Jose Valverde
Departed- Curtis Granderson, Aubrey Huff, Edwin Jackson, Brandon Lyon, Placido Polanco, Clay Rapada, Dusty Ryan

The Tigers have entered a rebuilding faze, but they should still be able to field a competitve team for 2010. Their offense really struggles last year and they probably will again with the exeption of Miguel Cabrera (as long as he isnt getting drunk in the dugout). They lost the explosive Curtis Granderson in CF and now have the top prospect Austin Jackson. It will be interesting to see how he plays this season, im guessing he leads off? They'll have another rookie starting at 2nd with Scott Sizemore, and will probably star Ryan Raburn at LF all season. The Tigers are going to have to rely on fading veterans Magglio Ordonez, and Carlos Guillen to help carry their offense. Deffensivly they should be okay. I do think the pitching staff improved with the trade of Edwin Jackson and the Aquisiton of Max Scherzer. Edwin Jackson was at his ceiling and some have said he is a clubhouse problem, Maz Scherzer on the other hand is a young strikeout pitcher who still has some potential. The biggest suprise last year was the emergence of Rick Porcello, he is only 20 or 21 and proved that he could go a full season. His strikeouts should continue to go up as he matures and should become a force. The backend of the rotation is rough with Bonderman and Galarraga (although Galarraga was good in 08 so maybe he can bounce back. The bullpen is decent led by a pretty good closer in Jose Valverde and Joel Zumaya when healthy. The Tigers probalbly wont compete this year but they should be ready in a year or two.

Kansas City Royals-

Aquired-Brian Anderson, Rick Ankiel, Noel Arquelles, Josh Fields, Chris Getz, Scott Podsednik, Jason Kendall
Departed- John Buck, Coco Crisp, Miguel Olivo, Mark Teahen, Josh Anderson

The Royals are no where near as good as the top 3 teams in the division but they do have some potetial. They have a very different offense from the start of last year. The outfield for instance, the only remaining starter from last year is David DeJesus who is a good fielder and a solid #2 hitter. The Royals added Scott Podsednik in left to be their leadoff hitter (although he does not hav the speed he once had.) and Rick Ankiel in RF (A pure power hitter who was once a pitcher). The infield is anchored by emerging first baseman Billy Butler and Alex Gordon (who has been a bust since being the best prospect in baseball). The rest of the offense will consist of Yuneisky Betancourt at SS, Chris Getz/Alberto Callaspo at 2b and the weak hitting Jason Kendall at C. Jose Guillen will DH and hopefully will not be injured. Some guys are going to have to step up if the Royals want to be competitive, my prediction is that Alex Gordon will finally break out this year and Billy Butler will continue to improve thus giving them the lift over the indians. The rotation i think will be fairly good. Zack Grienke is a stud and has a CY Young to prove it, if Gil Meche and Brian Bannister can stay healthy the Royals have a solid 1-2-3 punch. Kyle Davies is a marginal starter right now but the biggest breakout canidate on the Royals is Luke Hochevar. He should his talent when he threw that shutout last year, he makes me think a lot of Homer Bailey (top prospect that takes a while to develop). By the end of the season he should be set to have a good career. And the Bullpen is fairly mediocre outside of dominant closer Joakim Soria (The Mexicutioner). Farnsworth and Cruz are mediocre set up guys in the fact that they are strikeout/HR pitchers, either they baffle hitters or give up games. The Royals might be better than last year but dont be mistaken they have a bad GM (to put it nicely) and are a while away from the postseason.

Cleveland Indians-

Aquired- Brian Bixler, Mike Redmond, Mitch Talbot
Departed- Jamey Carroll, Zach Jackson, Masa Kobayashi, Kelly Shoppach

The Indians are also rebuilding, and they are rebuilding the right way unlike Kansas City. They traded their aces for good prospects which will make them competitve down the road. They still have a star in Grady Sizemore in CF although he could be delt this year but he is the face of the franchise. Travis Hafner has become very injury prone so the offensive load rests on Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-soo Chooand Matt LaPorta. Michael Brantly should provide some speed and Jhonny Peralta has some power but this year is not going to be great offensivly but they do have an awesome catching prospect on the way. The staff is a mess also, Masterson is the only guy i think we'll be consistently good this season. Carmona, Huff, Westbrook and Laffey all have their issues. They need to improve the staff. Kerry Wood was also a bust for the Indians last season, mainly to injuries and few save oppurtunties. I have always been a big Kerry Wood fan so i hope he can return to his 08 form. Chris Perez will step in if he cant and they do have a pretty good bullpen. Overall they could come in 4th if the Royals dont meet my expectations, but thats as high as they'll go. But this is most likely their low point and they should be on the rise from now on.
 

Posted on: January 1, 2010 10:40 pm
 

MLB- Past Decade In Review

Now that another decade has come and gone i figured it was time to take a look at how each baseball franchise has faired over this past decade. This morning i went on to baseball-reference.com and poured over statistics for several hours and compiled a list ranking every franchise in order of their success this decade. The top 4-5 are pretty obvious, but the lower rankings were tougher and are partially my opinion.

1. New York Yankees - No real suprise here, they started and ended the decade with World Series titles. Appearing in the playoffs every year except 2008, they have been the dominant franchise over the past 10 years.

2. Boston Red Sox - These 2 teams from the AL East have really dominated baseball this decade, the Red Sox finally broke their curse and went on to win 2 World Series titles. They have created a steady foundation to be competitive for the next decade also.

3. St. Louis Cardinals - They have been the dominant franchise of the NL, making 7 post-season apperances and win a World Series title. The Cardinals dominance has been highlighted mainly by the emergence of one of the greatest baseball players of a generation in Albert Pujols.

4. Los Angeles Angels - It has become a common occurence to see the Angels in the post-season. They won the first World Series title in 2002, and have accended to the top as one of the dominant franchises in the league.

5. Atlanta Braves - Although the Braves are considered the team of the 90's they have still been very succesfull in the 00's. They made 6 post season appearences and have recently begun to get back to their formula of dominant pitching. Look for them to see even more success in the coming decade.

6. Chicago White Sox - The White Sox also broke their curse in this decade, winning their first World Series title since 1917 in 2005. They made 3 post-season appearences and have thrived under the leadership of manager Ozzie Guillen.

7. Philadelphia Phillies- They slowly built themselves up over the corse of the decade to the point that now they have back to back World Series appereances one of which they won. They have created a model of success that many teams are going to try and repeat.

8. Oakland Athletics- They started off the decade with 4 straigth post-season apperances and made another in 2006. They have struggled lately, but they have one of the best GM's in baseball in Billy Beane.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers- They have had a winning record every year except the 2005 season, and have made the post-season 4 times. Most recently, under the guidance of Joe Torre they have made it to the NLCS in back to back years with a youthfull roster that should dominate for years to come.

10. Minnesota Twins- They have only had 2 losing seasons over the course of the decade and have appeared in the playoffs 5 times. They have been in constant competition with the White Sox through out the decade.

11. Arizona Diamondbacks- Only 3 years old when the decade began the Diamondback franchise has seen it ups and downs throughout its short life. They started off the decade very well, winning the World Series in 2001 with the dominant dou of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They have eratic the second half of the decade though.

12. Houston Astros- Since the NL Central was first formed the Astros and Cardinals have been the main competitors for the division (Although the Cubs have taken their place as of late). They were great the first half of the decade, culminating in an NL Pennant in 2005, but have faded in the second half.

13. San Francisco Giants- The Giants were another team that started the decade strong earning the NL Pennant in 2002. But struggled mightly in the second half, failing to win more than 76 games from 2004-2008. But with the arrival of stars such as Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Pablo Sandoval they showed promise in 2009.

14. Florida Marlins - They havnt been flashy, only making the post-season once, but they made it count winning the franchises 2nd World Series title in 2003. They have managed to stay competitve through out the decade with a small fanbase and budget.

15. Chicago Cubs- Another decade has gone, and the curse still remains. THe first half of the decade they were erratic, although in 2003 they came within a game of winning the NL Pennant. Most of their success came in the last 3 years of the decade, with 2 post season apperances and 3 straight winning season the Cubs may break the curse in the next decade.

16. Seattle Mariners- The first four years were great, with 2 post season appearances and a 116 win season in 2001. But they also had 3 season with fewer than 70 wins. They have looked better near the end of the decade although Ichiro is starting to slow down ( Only in speed, he still collects 200 hits a season).

17. New York Mets- They started the decade off with the Subway series (Although they lost to the Yankees). But since then they have only made 1 post-season apperances. The latter half of the decade has been defined by end of the season collapse, and the team self destructed in 2009. The future is uncertain for the Mets.

18. Cleveland Indians- The late 90's were good for the Indians, but the 00's were not as good. They only made 2 post-season apperances, although they did have four seasons of 90 or more wins. 07 showed promise winning 96 games and making it to the NLCS but their record worsened in 08, and 09.

19. Colorado Rockies- The young franchise struggled for most of the decade. Until in 2007 they won the NL Pennant, losing to the Red Sox in the World Series. They had a down year in 08', but made the playoffs again in 09'. The next decade holds a lot of promise for the Rockies.

20. San Diego Padres- They have struggled for most of the decade, with only 4 winning seasons from 2004-2007 during that span they managed to make the post-season twice and never made it past the NLDS.

21. Detroit Tigers- The first half of the decade the Tigers were awfull, in 2003 they posted their worst record going 43-119. But in 2006 they came out of no where to win the AL Pennant, and have posted winning records 3 out of the last 4 years, although only 1 post-season appearance.

22. Toronto Blue Jays- The Blue Jays could go higher on this list if it werent for the fact that they did not make the post-season at all this past decade. They havnt been bad, but they have played in a very tough division with the Yankees and Red Sox the top 2 teams of the decade. They have posted a winning record 5 times in the decade.

23. Texas Rangers- The Rangers have been a mediocre team most of the decade, never losing more than 91 games in a season in the decade. They have only had 2 winning seasons and did not make the post-season at all this decade.

24. Millwaukee Brewers- The Brewers have been succesfull recently, but the earlier part of the decade they were awfull, posting their worst season in 2002 going 56-106. But in 2008 they made the playoffs for the first time since 1982 and the Franchise looks poised to be a contender in the next decade.

25. Tampa Bay Rays- I guess the name change from Devil Rays to Rays turned the franchise around (LOL). Up until 2008 they had never won more than 70 games in a season. They sure turned around fast going from having 10 straight losing seasons (from 98-07) to winning the AL Pennant. They were not as good in 09 but still had a winning record.

26. Cincinnati Reds- They started the decade off with a winning season, but have failed to have one since. While they have not been awfull they havent done much right either. There are some signs of hope for the next decade though.

27. Washington Nationals- Im including the Expos in this analysis. They have had 3 winning seasons, but they did not make the post-season at all in this decade. They had 2 consecutive 100 loss seasons to end the decade and they are still a while away for contention in the next decade.

28. Kansas City Royals- Although they have the worst record of the decade i still rate them higher than the other 2 because they haeg had a winning record as recently as 2003. The other 2 franchises are on record long losing streaks.

29. Baltimore Orioles- Their last winning record was in 97' and they have failed to win win more than 78 games in the decade. Their are signs of life and they have the potential to break out of thier drout in the next decade.

30. Pittsburgh Pirates- It is well known that the Pirates are on a streak of 17 consecutive losing seasons. This past decade they were especially bad winning more than 72 games only once (75 in 2003). They are in a complete rebuilding process and it may take a while to break that streak.
Posted on: October 14, 2009 7:36 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2009 9:38 pm
 

MLB Team Analysis- Kansas City Royals

Welcome to part 2 of my MLB Team Analysis series, today we will take a look at the Kansas City Royals. A franchise that has flirted with futility for a while now. At the start of last season i really thought they had a chance to make a run at the weak AL Central. I was right that the AL Central was weak, but the Royals flopped after a strong start. Now when i go back and look at their roster i realize i was living in a fantasy world if i thought they were going to compete. I am not exactly sure what Dayton Moore is doing in Kansas City, similar to the Reds they are a team that cant decide wether to build through young talent or veteran free agent, they are sending mixed messages to the fan base. But despite all of that the Royals saw a solid rise in their attendace, probably attributed to Zack Grienke's should be CY Young season.

Kansas City Royals  2009 Record  65-97 (T-5th AL Central)

Rotation +++

Zack Grienke ($7.25 mill) ......that's all i have to say about this rotation. Grienke was sick this year posting a 2.16 ERA and coming 2 strikeouts away from tying the Royals strikeout record with 242. He was a work horse picking up 6 complete games and 3 shut outs over 229 innings. Behind Grienke there is a significant drop off in talent.
Gil Meche (12 mill)  had a disasterous season tying his career high ERA with a 5.09. A lot of his struggles were due to a multiple injuries. He put up solid numbers his previous 2 seasons in Kansas City and when healthy him and Grienke form a solid 1-2 punch.
Brian Bannister (1.74 mill +) recovered from an awful 08 season, but he is an injury concern next year with a shoulder injury that may require surgery which wouuld put him out for the year next season. If he is able to play consider him a solid back of the rotation guy. He dosnt strike guys out but he out thinks them and induces a lot of ground balls.
Luke Hochevar (1.32 mill)  is one of the many Royals prized prospects that has failed to live up to the hype (see Alex Gordon below) . But he has shown flashes of brilliance, for example his complete game shut out in which hw threw under 100 pitches. His walks have gone down and should he continue to improve he could become a viable starter but right now he is not major league material.
Kyle Davies (1.3 mill +) is a guy who looked good last year and he was horrible this year but he really struggled with his command. He posted a 86/66 strike out to walk rate over 123 innings. He could bump Hochevar to the 5th spot if he can regain his command. But have no doubts this is Zack Grienke's staff, none of the other starters are any where near Grienke's talent level.

Bullpen ++

CL- Joakim Soria $3 mill
SU- Juan Cruz $3.25 mill
SU- Kyle Farnsworth $4.5 mill
MR-John Bale $1.2 mill +
MR- Robinson Tejada $437,000 +
MR- Roman Colon $435,000 +

The Royals have a bonafied closer in Joakim Soria who is 72/78 in save/oppurtunities over the past 2 years. He has a good strikeout rate and has a career ERA of 2.09. He is the Zack Grienke of thier bullpen. Juan Cruz just flat out stunk last season but his career numbers show that he tends to have bad years every once and a while and recovers pretty well. Cruz is also a pretty good strikeout pitcher but struggles with walks. Kyle Farnsworth a hard throwing pitche but is very inconsistent, but both he and Cruz are a bit overpaid for a team that perennialy is near the bottom of their divison. John Bale really dosnt have that much value and is more of a mop up guy, same goes for Roman Colon , Neither pitcher has much potential. Robinson Tejada on the other hand was impressive this year, in a few spot starts he looked great and has an outside shot to make the rotation. He posted a 3.54 ERA along with 87 strikeouts in 73 innings. This isnt an awful bullpen but there isnt a lot of depth after a couple of decent pitchers and a great closer.

Infield ++

C- John Buck $2.9 mill +
1B- Billy Butler $421,000
2B- Albero Callaspo $416,000
3B- Alex Gordon $457,000 +
SS-Yuniesky Betancourt $2 mill
DH- Mike Jacobs $ 3.25 mill +
IF/OF- Mark Teahen $3.57 mill +
IF/OF- Willy Bloomquist $1.7 mill

The Royals have found the teams offensive leader in Billy Butler . He is only 23 and he is putting up .300/.362/.492 stat lines. He also drove in 93 runs and played decent defense. Now the Royals just need a couple more players like him. John Buck is a solid catcher, he dosnt hit for a great average but he does have some good pop and Bryan Pena is a solid backup . The biggest suprise on this team to me was the emergance of Alberto Callaspo , a solid contact hitter who can be a steady number 2 hitter. The Addition of Yuniesky Betancourt helped soften the blow of losing Mike Aviles although he wasnt really contributing before he got injured. Betancourt isnt a long term solution and i almost like Willy Bloomquist better here than Betancourt. Willy Bloomquist has good speed and could steal around 30 bags and hit for a little better contact last season and is significantly better deffensivly in my opinion. At third there is the royals formerly prized prospect Alex Gordon who has not lived up to the hype of succeding George Brett as the Royals great 3rd baseman. He has all of the tools to be a great player but was hurt most of last year with a broken hip. If he can play a full season look for him to be a break out player. He had showed improvment his previous 2 seasons. Mike Jacobs was also very disappointing in his first year as the Royals DH. He has pop in his bat but his .228/.297/.401 stat line is not impressive at all. For the Royals to be good at all they will need a break out year from Alex Gordon, a rebound year from Betancourt and Jacobs and continued success from Butler and Callaspo.

Outfield ++

LF- David DeJesus $4.7 mill
CF- Mitch Maier $401,000
RF- Jose Guillen $12 mill
OF- Josh Anderson- $400,000

This is a spot the Royals really need to improve on, they thought they had done that last year when they signed Coco Crisp. But when they lost him for the season that hurt. They obviously will not bring him back for the 2010 season. David Dejesus has really been the heart and soul of this Kansas City team for quiet some time. He provides steady numbers and solid defense. Jose Guillen on the other hand has been dissapointing, he was injured for a significant amount of time this year which was probably a huge part ( It seems like every team had a lot of injuries this season.). But he needs to stay healthy so the Royals can have that RBI guy in the heart of their order. Mitch Maier seems like he could project to be another David Dejesus, and Josh Anderson is a speedster. This is still a pretty thin outfield.

Overview ++

The Royals have a ways to go to contend. The Rotation is their best asset and Zack Grienke will be able to draw crowds. But they have a lot of issues offensivly. They dont have that big bat/RBI guy. The Royals thought they had gotten that in Jose Guillen but he has yet to prove he can be a true cleanup hitter. There are some nice pieces such as Billy Butler and Alberto Callaspo but they dont have that game changing hitter like they do on the pitching end with Grienke. This is a bottom end of the division team until they get a true power hitter and add better depth across the board. If they are out of contention by the trade deadline which im sure they will be they should trade guys like Jose Guillen, Mark Teahen and Mike Jacobs for younger guys with more potential. I like the idea of a Mike Fontenot and someone else for Mark Teahen. But overall this is a team that needs some work and is 2-3 years from contention.

Tommorow's Post- MLB Analysis San Francisco Giants




Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com