Blog Entry

Reasons to be upbeat about '08 Royals

Posted on: September 16, 2008 12:09 pm


This year has been hard on all of us.  Hopes were high going in to Spring Training and then we follow it up with a pretty decent April.  It all went to hell after that, but there have been some glimmers of hope in an otherwise dissappointing year.  Here are some of them, in no particular order.

  1. Joakim Soria is at 38 saves at this moment and should reach 40 by the end of the year, something that has only been done 3 other times in Royals history.  (Quisenberry '83, '84;  Montgomery '93)
  2. Jose Guillen has hit 20 HR this season.  That hasn't happened since 2005 (Mike Sweeney-21).  He also has 93 RBI, so a 100 RBI season isn't out of the question.  That hasn't happend since 2003 (Carlos Beltran-100).  Those aren't great numbers, but when your offense is as bad as ours was this year, it's a decent accomplishment.
  3. We found out that Billy Butler actually does have a glove and he even knows how to use it.  He has played first base this year better than anyone could have expected.  In my opinion, he should have received way more starts at that position than he did.
  4. Kila Ka'aihue might actually be the power corner infielder we have longed for since Sweeney was in his hay-day.  Time will tell, but given a shot he could man first base for years to come.  You can't argue with 37 HR between AA and AAA.
  5. Zach Grienke has made a very good transition back into the rotation.  At the beginning of the season, there were alot of questions about how he would handle only pitching every 5th day.  He's handled it wonderfully and between him and Gil Meche we have a great 1-2 tandem at the front of the rotation.  Both innings eaters with great command, lively fastball and nasty breaking stuff.
  6. Our bullpen has performed well this year after being a big question mark going into the season.  Ron Mahay was one of the best lefty relievers in the game until his injury.  Ramon Ramirez (Ram Ram) has shown that he can pitch in late-inning situations and he wasn't even on our roster until late in Spring Training (aquired from Rockies in trade).  Leo Nunez started off hot until his injury derailed his season.  He should be another good bullpen arm next season.
  7. Mike Aviles tore it up in Spring Training and hasn't stopped yet.  After a few weeks in the minors and a move to shortstop from 2B and 3B, he has performed very well with the bat and has even surprised people with his defensive skills.  Whether he is playing short, second or third, he should be a big part of Royals teams for years to come.
  8. Joey Gathright has finally learned how to steal a base.  Under the guidance of first base coach Rusty Kuntz, he's stolen 21 of 25 attempts this year.  That is way up from his 9 of 17 from last year.  If he can get on base consistently, he is a huge distraction to the opposing pitcher.
  9. The pitching in our farm system is comparible to any other club.  We don't have anyone who can make an impact right away, but several years from now we should start seeing these guys in the bigs.  "Pitching is the currency of baseball" according to Dayton Moore.  If that is the case, we are sitting on a pile of money and it's time to spend some of it to aquire something we fancy.

There have been a number of things to forget this season.  Tony Pena Jr's struggles, Jose Guillen's tantrums, some questionable calls in terms of pitching usage by our manager, taking a walk about as often as Matthew McConaughey is seen with his shirt on.  We all knew that when Dayton Moore got here, it was going to be several years before we started competing.  Well, I don't know about you, but I haven't seen as many butt-whoopings this year as I have in the past few years, have you?


Category: MLB
Tags: Royals
Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: September 19, 2008 4:38 pm
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Since: Jun 26, 2008
Posted on: September 18, 2008 8:16 am

Reasons to be upbeat about '08 Royals

Great blog PowdrBlue,

This past week has finally got my Royal blue blood stirred up again.   Wow, if we would have just done this back in May or June.   There's the top entry on my "ifs" list.   You have a very good point about the walks.  I think that in big part is lack of plate discipline but also a big part of it is our lack of power threats in our line-up.  The only home run threat in our line-up is Guillen, but most of the time he isn't hitting them either because he gets most of his in bunches.  I'd love to see Shealy bring that home run bat into next season with him.  Six home runs in a little over two weeks is awesome.  I kind of wish we'ld get more of a look at Kila Ka'aihue before the end of the season.  I think he hit 37 homers in the minor leages this season.  He may be ready for the majors soon.  I wouldn't be too surprised if the Royals trade either Butler or Shealy in the off season since we seem to have 3 major league ready 1B/DH now.  I'd have to say Gload for sure is gone and I think the Royals could get a good return on a Butler trade.  I really don't want to see Bam Bam traded as he's become one of my favorite Royals but we have a log jam at first and we have needs to fill in the outfield, middle infield and starting rotation.  We can't just buy free agents to upgrade all these positions, some will have to be done in trades and we're not going to get much value trading the likes of Pena, Gload, Gobble, Buck or German. 

Well, there's my 2 cents worth.  Keep  up the good work PowdrBlue.

ROYALS 09!!!!!    

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: September 17, 2008 2:06 pm

Reasons to be upbeat about '08 Royals

Take a look at these stats.

  • Oakland's OBP - .317
  • KC's OBP - .317


  • Oakland's BA - .241
  • KC's BA - .267


  • Oakland's BB - 530
  • KC's BB - 357

Looks like crap, doesn't it?


Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: September 17, 2008 2:01 pm

Reasons to be upbeat about '08 Royals

KidDude, that is quite a bit of "if's", but when you've been in an extended funk like the Royals have been, there's bound to be quite a few. 

I want to add to the Gathright stealing first thing, or for that matter anyone.  We are 10th in MLB with a .267 average, but tied for last with a .317 OBP.  Guess where that come's from?  You guessed it, WALKS!

Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: September 17, 2008 1:25 pm

Reasons to be upbeat about '08 Royals

Nice blog PowdrBlue,

Thats an impressive list of positives for a last place team, but I agree, although it may not show so much in the standings, this is a better team than the 2007 version.  Our pitching has gotten much better as of late and the bats are waking up too.  I understand that our pitchers have set a team record in strikeouts this season already, breaking the old mark from 1990.  Although strikeouts doesn't necessarily equate with wins, it shows they're becoming more aggressive and throwing strikes.  Omaha has also sent us three players, Aviles, Maier and Shealy who have all been impressive since being called up.  With alot of "ifs" working out positively next year, we could have a very good season.  Here's my "if" list....

  • If Gordon and Butler start looking more like 1st round picks rather than undrafted free agents.
  • If Bannister's 2009 resembles 2007 more than 2008
  • If we saw the real Mike Aviles this season
  • If we're seeing the real Ryan Shealy now
  • If Alberto Callaspo hits as well as an everyday player as he has as a role player
  • If Joey Gathright learns how to steal first base (OBP over .300 which still isn't great)
  •  If the back end of our bullpen gives us what they did this season
  • If Gil Meche pitches like the post all-star break Meche
  • If Kyle Davies minor leagues success finally rolls over to major league success
  • If we can either find Mark Teahen one position and leave him there or use him as an upgraded utility player and unload Gload
  • If we can find a way to keep Estaban German out of the outfield. 
  • If we can find a way to get Jose Guillen to just shut up and play.  (this one may not be possible)
  • If David DeJesus gives us as good of a season as this year, better would be great!
  • If Tony Pena Jr. is in a different organization next year.
  • If our long relievers/specialists do a better job next season

Maybe I got a bit carried away with my "ifs" list but if over half of those things happen, we'll be in better spirits this time next season.




Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: September 16, 2008 7:10 pm

Reasons to be upbeat about '08 Royals

     Nice blog!  I can't really be upbeat aout '08, but can feel better than I have for a long time about next season.  Usually, by this time of year, I'm so disgusted with the Royals, I don't even want to hear about them until the following March.  But, as you stated above, we haven'thad our @$$e$ handed to us as much this year.

     I can think of one Tigers game, where they ran up some 19 runs on us, and the no-no by Lester as the two worst defeats of the season.  Other than that, we've played pretty competitively all season.  Two BIG losing streaks really stung, but we played well against the Tigers early, swept the Cardinals, and finally won a series in Chicago.

     Let's see who we can pick up in the off-season, and hopefully not lose anyone, and we COULD be pretty good next year.

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