Blog Entry

Mid Season Report Card - Royals Pitchers & Trey

Posted on: July 1, 2008 5:23 pm

The end of Saturday's game spelled the midway point in the 2008 season.   So I hereby submit my grades to each of the pitchers for their first half performance.

Brian Bannister -  C   He's giving us about what you'ld expect out of a 3rd or 4th starter.  He's 7-7 with a 4.88 ERA.  His 57/30 SO/BB ratio is decent.  He's allowing 12 1/2 base runners per 9 innings has surrendered a .326 OBP and he's averaging 6.1 innings per start.  Pitching is a little less than what I was hoping out of him.

Kyle Davies -  B-   He's 3-1 with a 3.34 ERA which at face value looks very good.  However his SO/BB ratio is 15/16 and he's allowed 14.5 base runners per 9 innings and allowed a .369 OBP.  His ability of pitching his way in and out of jams has been incredible but a practice that is not possible to maintain.  He's been our luckiest starter and he'll have to pitch much better to maintain his low ERA and keep his record above .500.

Zach Greinke -  A-  He's been far and away the ace of the rotation in performance.  He's 7-4 with a 3.65 ERA.  He has the glossiest SO/BB ratio at 89/34 and has allowed only 11.4 base runners per 9 innings.  He's averaged 6.5 innings per start and .307 OBP allowed, both best of all the starters.  His biggest drawback that kept me from giving him a clearcut A is his 16 home runs allowed.

Luke Hochevar -  C+   If I were grading him against what I expected of him I'd give him a higher grade, but I'm using the same standards for Luke that I'm using with everyone.  He's 5-5 with a 4.60 ERA with a SO/BB of 48/36.  His runners allowed/9 innings is high at 13.9 and he's allowed a .350 OBP.   He's averaged exactly  6 innings per start.  Whats impresses me with Luke is that I think the umpires have given him a smaller strike zone than others and he's kept his cool.

Gil Meche -  C+  Gil's not pitching as well as last season, nor is he getting good run support.   Meche is 6-8 with a 4.66 ERA.  He's got a nice SO/BB ratio of 82/35 and he's allowing only 11.9 runners per 9 innings.  His OBP allowed is a decent .313 but he's only averaged an even 6 innings per start.   My main knock on Gil is that he seems to be pitching too carefully which is running up his pitch count.  We need him to come closer to giving us 7 innings per start.

Ron Mahay -  A-  Out off all Royals pitchers not named Soria, Mahay has been the Royals most reliable pitchers this season.  He's been called upon as a middle reliever, situational left and as a set up man and has excelled at every one of those tasks.  He's 4-0 with a 2.13 ERA, 29K/18BB, he's allowed only 11.9 runners  per 9 innings with a .305 OBP against.  He's allowed only 7 XBH in 42 1/3 innings.  The one thing that kept  me from giving him an A is the fact that he's not done well with inherited baserunners as he has allowed 11 of them to score which is a team high.

Ramon Ramirez -  B+  Anytime you read that your team has aquired a pitcher in a trade with the Rockies, you have to be suspect of it.  Well, Ram Ram has sure disspelled that theory for me anyway.  He's been an excellent set-up man.  He's 0-1 with a 2.68 ERA.  His 43/17 SO/BB ratio is impressive and he's allowed only 11.2 runners per 9 innings and his OBP against is only .303.  He's only allowed 4 XBH in 40 1/3 innings pitched.  The only drawback to Ramon is that he's 0 for 2 in save opportunities.  So you can't really say he'd be the man to step into the closers role if heaven forbid, Soria were to get hurt.

Joakim Soria -  A   The Mexicutioner has probably earned more man crushes than any Royal in the last decade...count me in!  He's 0-1 with a 1.25 ERA and has converted 22 of 23 save opportunities.  SO/BB ratio is a sick 39/9.  Batting average against?  .146.  he's allowed only 7.8 runners per 9 innings and his OBP against is .228.   He's allowed only  5 XBH in 36 innings.  I've been thinking all day about what to say about drawbacks in Soria's game.  Only one...we have to keep him as a closer, because we don't have a real good alternative so that we can see what he can do as a starter.  But then again, that isn't Soria's fault either, is it?

Yashuhito Yubuta -  D-  1-3 record, 5.46 ERA, 20/17 ratio.  Allowed a whopping 15.8 runners per 9 innings and a .377 OBP.  14 XBH in 31 1/3 innings.  He's been demoted to Omaha as he should have been, but I'm not going to give up on him just yet.  Hopefully he can get it worked out.  If he were a lefty he'ld likely still be here in Kansas City.

Joel Peralta - D  0-2, 6.00 ERA, but his SO/BB ratio is an impressive 17/4.  he's allowed 12.0 runners per 9 innings and a .323 OBP which isn't all that bad.  What's killed Peralta is the 14 extra base hits allowed in only 24 innings, 8 of them being home runs.   Here's what I think about this dude...He's done great in AAA ball and he does throw strikes.  If he learns to mix his pitches better and work on the corners more, he can be a servicable ML pitcher.   I like his aggressive style but he doesn't have the stuff to blow away major league hitters the way he does in AAA.

Leo Nunez -  A-  This kid needs to stay healthy.  He's 3-1 with a 1.71 ERA.   His SO/BB ratio is 14/7 in 21 innings.  He's allowed only 3 XBH in those 21 innings which has really been nice.  he's allowed only 9.9 runners per 9 innings and his OBP against is only .284.  He's not a big strikeout guy but once he gets healthy, he'll add to what's become an already good bullpen and he may be they guy we want to use to close games on the occasions when Soria isn't available. 

Jimmy Gobble -  F  Listen up Jimmy, Neal Musser is doing real well in Omaha, and I think you're about one more bad outing away from you switching places with him.   If Gobble wasn't a lefty, he'd already be in Omaha.  He's 0-2 with a fat 7.32 ERA.  His SO/BB sucks at 17/12.  He's allowed 15.6 runners per 9 innings and his OBP against is a whopping .366.  He's allowed 10 inherited base runners to score and has given up 12 XBH in only 19 2/3 innings.   Gobble's been every bit the disappointment as Mahay and Ram Ram have been pleasant surprises.  One redeeming stat for Gobble.   He's got the only save by a Royal pitcher not named Soria. 

Thats all the Royals pitcher's I'm going to grade.  The rest of the pitchers on the current 25 man roster haven't logged 10 innings yet, so its too early to judge them.   Tomko has been released, and his performance was pretty much an F.  Bale only got 3 starts before being put on the DL and then later through his own dumb-ass actions earned the 60-day DL.  Nomo was an F- during the few games he pitched.

One more person to grade here, just for the hell of it...

Trey Hillman -  B-  I think judging managers is much more difficult than judging players because you really don't know if Dayton Moore is pulling some of his strings.  I thought that Hillman went way too long with putting Tony Pena in the line-up when Aviles was mashing the ball in Omaha, but then again, Hillman doesn't make the ultimate call on roster moves.  I think he's moving players around too much.  Teahen in left one day, right the next, then first base?  I was also POed the day Trey started German in left and had him as the lead-off hitter.  However, I must say that I like the way he's handled the pitching staff.  He seems to go longer with an effective starter and he brings the hook on a struggling starter at about the right time.  I'll give him a break with all his different line-ups as he's a new manager with a group of everyday players who many are young with not alot of major league experience.  He's still in process of evaluating the talent he has and where they best fit defensively and in the line-up.   That being said, I do expect more stability in the line-up and the defensive alignment.  Successful teams usually send the same 8 to the field every day. 

I'll do a mid-season report on the Royals position players and utility players in my next blog entry, and thanks to each and all of you who read and contribute to my blog....its why I take the time I do.


Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: July 6, 2008 7:21 pm

Mid Season Report Card - Royals Pitchers & Trey

SUp KID! Hey got have to give it to you about GIL i mean this guys is the ACE in "thats right dollar signs" not on the mound. All for exept those couple starts over the Tiggers this season he's been a shakey Not only that you would think he would at least have the most Innings pitched for the squad but he doesn't! whats up with that?

Since: Nov 24, 2006
Posted on: July 3, 2008 8:21 pm

Mid Season Report Card - Royals Pitchers & Trey

Dude - as always, your opinions and ratings are dead on, and your research is impeccable.

Gobble has worn out his welcome - it used to be fun to watch him come in and get one left handed batter out, but lately, he can't even do that.  I still think that Leo Nunez is a key to the Royals bullpen.  We have very much missed him, and I look forward to his return.

Davies has pitched way better than I would have expected.  Meche not as good.  I think he is trying to be too fine, instead of just trusting his stuff.  Zack is having the kind of year I envisioned when he first came up in the bigs.  I was expecting a decline in Banny, and Luke Hochevar is driving me crazy - he looks like a dominant young pitcher at times, then he yacks up at the worst times.

Soria is the man, the best closer we've had since Montgomery and we have to be pleased with the Ramirez brothers, I love Ram Ram - is that yours?  Mahay is this year's Riske, very much under appreciated.  Yabuta needed to go down to Omaha after the 2nd week of the season.

I give Trey a C - I think he's the right guy for this job, but some of his managerial decisions make me question what he is thinking.  He is a way better manager than Buddy Bell, but he has to get out of his Japanese mindset and start focusing on keeping players where they are comfortable.  You can't have 8 utility players starting on a major league roster.  Find a home for Teahen and keep him there.  Of all the players he has, that is the one guy I feel sorry for.  Leave him in RF, Guillen in LF, and DeJesus in CF.  Gathright is nice, but as a late inning PR who can play any OF position.  We aren't going to win this year, put Butler at 1B and leave him there, if he doesn't learn how to play, fine.  Ross Gload can come in after the 7th inning of a close game - same with Pena.  Utility players are on a roster for a reason, if they were 5 tool players, they'd be starting somewhere else.  Gload and Pena for defense, Gathright for defense and baserunning, Callaspo, well, I still haven't figured him out yet, and German is just wasting a spot on the bench that would better be served by a power hitting outfielder.

My 3 cents anyway.   Thanks Dude for keeping it real, and keeping it real accurate.


Too many moves - that's my only gripe.  I know he's looking for the perfect lineup, but he isn't gonna find it with the 25 man roster he has. 

Since: Jun 29, 2008
Posted on: July 3, 2008 3:10 pm

Mid Season Report Card - Royals Pitchers & Trey

most of the times i am very critical however i think your ratings are perfect except i think trey deserves a little better if they get their acts together they could be a world series contender in the near future

Since: Jul 25, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2008 12:09 pm

Mid Season Report Card - Royals Pitchers & Trey

Great work on these pitchers but the grading may be a little too generous with Meche. 6IP per start and a near 5 ERA while collecting a double digit Million dollar paycheck should be considered a dissapointment at best. C- The league ERA avg is around 4.50 or so ( can someone confirm ) so anyone higher than that cannot be given higher than that

KC is 11th in ERA out of 14 teams so obviously somebody is WAY below average.

I know Tomko contributed to most of that but Yubuta and Gobble Deserve solid F's

I know its not all about numbers, there are things that are good indicators of good/bad things to come but like I mentioned if there are 14 teams and you're 11th in ERA..something is not right.

Again, great job..interested to see the hitters....

Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2008 8:25 pm

Mid Season Report Card - Royals Pitchers & Trey

     Ill give you an A+ for your  grading of the pitchers, and cant wait for the position players.

     One thing I want you to add in is an overall grade for the Royals, and throw Dayton Moore in there too.  Hopefully he can pull a rabbit or two out of his hat before the trade deadline?

Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2008 7:45 pm

Mid Season Report Card - Royals Pitchers & Trey

Yes, I'll rate the position players within the week.   I would have done it with this entry, but I thought it was just a bit too much at once.  I'm even considering rating Dayton Moore... but don't hold me to that yet.  I will say now without putting any deep thought into it that I prefer Dayton Moore so much more than Allard Baird.    

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2008 7:27 pm

Mid Season Report Card - Royals Pitchers & Trey

I am actually an A's fan. But since they used to play in KC, I love baseball in general, and Rob Neyer (a noted Royals homer) is my favorite baseball columnist, I am going to chime in.

Brian Bannister - C+ After the first quarter of the season he would have had a B+, but he has come back down to earth some. He is a serviceable 4-5 starter.

Kyle Davies - B There is a reason they got this kid from the Braves. He has the potential to be a solid #2 and so far he has been lucky and received some run support. His K/BB ratio is disconcerting and he'll need to improve on that to maintain his current performance

Zack Greinke - A He has been the ace of the staff. It is good to see him overcoming his demons, As far as the dingers go, KAufman stadium can be a bandbox at times. He is going to give up some longballs but I like him better staying aggressive and going after hitters.

Luke Hochevar - C-  I guess I expect more from someone drafted as highly as he was. I would like to see him fulfill his enormous potential. If he develops properly, this reminds me of a young Atlanta Braves staff that took its lumps together several years ago and became the top staff in the majors with 3 sure fire HOF'rs.

Gil Meche - C+ He is what he is. I watched him in Seattle and he has always had good stuff. If only he had the baseball IQ to go along with it. If he was more aggressive he might be a completely different pitcher (Better??)

Ron Mahay - A- I will have to agree with you on this. His stats are solid but I haven't seen much of him due to living in the Pacific NW.

Ramon Ramirez - A- Hey he is a great set-up man. Don't kid yourself. As far as closing, give it some time. JJ Putz of the Mariners was horrible in his first couple of attetmpts at closing. And the Rockies have been developing some pretty good pitching for a while now.

Joakim Soria - A+ He is an All-star. Lights out stuff and not afraid to use it.

As far as the other 4 pitchers you have rated I will just have to concede. Unfortunately I haven't seen any of them pitch. SO I can't really do much more than conjecture about them.

Great post. Are you going to rate the position players next?

Since: Jun 26, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2008 7:22 pm

Mid Season Report Card - Royals Pitchers & Trey

I'm inclined to be sort of a critical person, but I can't find much of your article to be critical with.  If I were to grade the pitchers, my grades would be rather close to the way you graded them.  I thought Davies was an A or high B until I read your narrative about him.  You're right, he's been skating on thin ice.  He is doing much better than last season though. 

Overall I think you have a fair report card here and I'm afraid you're so much on the money with this that you won't get much response because people are more inclined to voice a disagreement than an agreement.   I just wanna say...good work.   Keep your blog going and now I'm looking forward on how you rate players like Gordon, Guillen and Teahen. 

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