Wednesday, March 02, 2005


2005 Season Preview: Kansas City Royals

*sigh* I had such big hopes for the 2004 squad, but then God chose to smote them. I know the 03' Royals weren't as good as their record had shown, but was it as bad as the 04' team suggests? I hope not, since I have a soft spot for this team.

Kevin Appier, SP: Minor league contract. If he’s healthy it won’t hurt them and Kansas City needs to do SOMETHING to attract some more fans after their 2004 campaign.

Jose Lima, SP: Lima Time! Did well enough in 2003 and 2004, so maybe he can get away with pitching decently enough in 2005. If the Royals luck is anything like 2004’s then Lima is going to have a career high ERA, and that is saying something considering some of his past seasons.

Chris Truby, 3B: .256 MjEQA…I know Rob & Rany didn’t sound too pleased.

Via trade: Acquired Eli Marrero. Royals RF and LF had league worst AVG/OBP/SLG…Marrerro isn't the best hitter in the world, but is sure to be an upgrade over the worst in the league.

Also traded Benito Santiago for Leo Nunez. Rany Jazayerli says that he is a B- prospect, but B- prospect beats Santiago at this stage in his career. John Sickels says he is a C+ prospect, but he also says he is hard on grading most of the time.

Terrence Long and Dennis Tankersley for Darrell May. Tankersley adds another interesting arm to the mix of 7,200 potential 4th and 5th starters the Royals have assembled, and Long was apparently the price for this. Then again, as bad as Long as, he is somehow better than their corner OF's from last season.
  1. David DeJesus
  2. Angel Berroa/Andres Blanco
  3. Mike Sweeney
  4. Calvin Pickering (if the Royals have any sense left whatsoever)
  5. Matt Stairs/Abraham Nunez
  6. Eli Marrerro/Terrence Long
  7. John Buck
  8. Mark Teahan/Chris Truby
  9. Ruben Gotay/Tony Graffanino

There are some potential good bats in this lineup. I expect better production from David DeJesus, and Teahan and Buck will be allowed full years to play hopefully. Pickering needs to start at DH, not Ken Harvey. Never Ken Harvey. Well maybe occasionally against a lefty or something, but not as a starter. Pickering's PECOTA projection basically says he will be the best hitter on the Royals this season, with a .272/.400/.543 line. Harvey has a .306/.347/.489 line against lefties, so this should be a platoon between the two. It would give the Royals a serious threat in the order and some protection for Mike Sweeney. What will happen though? Harvey will start and make way more outs than he should be given chances to get. Pickering needs to be given a chance in KC this year, or traded elsewhere to be appreciated for what he has. The Sox already took a chance on him, but they got what they wanted out of a massive lefty first basemen who can't play defense out of David Ortiz.

  1. Zach Greinke
  2. Jose Lima
  3. Brian Anderson

Three spots are set in the rotation, and if Anderson is not as bad as last year (a hard thing to duplicate I might add) and Lima is Lima Time rather than just Lima, those are good enough for a last place team. As for spots 4 and 5...

Kevin Appier, Runelvys Hernandez, Dennis Tankersley, Jimmy Gobble, Mike Wood, Denny Bautista, and possibly Kyle Snyder, who missed 04' with a torn labrum.

Appier is there for emotional reasons, but the rest have the potential to be good pitchers. Runelvys Hernandez was doing excellent in 03' before he revealed he had a torn ligament in his elbow. He had a 3.05 ERA in 62 IP before his injury, so if he can produce anywhere near that the Royals will be more than overjoyed. Then Ken Harvey will ground out to end a rally. Tankersley is supposed to be better than he has been to this point, and Gobble, Wood, and Bautista are all in the B/B- range of pitching prospects. Snyder had a torn labrum, so only time will tell in his case.

The bullpen is a collection of everyone who doesn't make the rotation and is sent to Omaha and others like Jeremy Affeldt, Mike MacDougal, Scott Sullivan, and Andy Sisco, picked in the Rule 5 draft from the Cubs. It is tough to pay for a very effective bullpen when your goal is to finish above last, so the fact that the Royals have assembled even those few arms is a good thing. Of course the rotation and lineup are going to have to get them some leads on occasion, so we'll see how things go. I'm just not feeling this year for the Royals. Now watch as they magically play 30+ games over their heads, just miss the playoffs, leave the roster the same for 06', and fail even more miserably than in 04'.

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