Odds & Ends: Royals, Red Sox, Astros

Here are some Duraflame logs for the Hot Stove…

  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reviews the Kansas City offseason, and let's just say he makes "Old Dogs" look like it got raves from the critics by comparison.
  • MLB.com's Ian Browne answers questions about the Red Sox, ranging from where contract talks stand with Josh Beckett (spring training is critical) to whether David Ortiz could be traded (not without his consent).
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports that despite the apparent signing of Brett Myers, the Astros still prefer to develop pitchers themselves.
  • MLB.com's Mark Bowman addresses whether the Braves have improved their offense, or if position player moves are still to come, in his latest Inbox column.

Leave a Reply

4 Comments on "Odds & Ends: Royals, Red Sox, Astros"

5 years 7 months ago

That’s a ridiculous statement.

The Sox did fine doing that in 2004.

Every team needs to develop young talent, period. Including the Yankees.

They wouldn’t have a 200 million dollar payroll if everyone outside of Rivera in the bullpen, Cano, Gardner, Hughes and Chamberlain weren’t being paid like recently developed, homegrown players.

Not to mention, without young “talent” the Yankees can’t trade for guys like Swisher, A-Rod (the first time), Granderson and Vazquez.

And had they not spent last decade developing lifers like Jeter, Rivera, Posada and Pettitte, they would have those holes to fill on the team as well. Though, they would also have about 60 million dollars to fill it.

5 years 7 months ago

The only thing Jeff Passan did in that article is for one copy a Joe Posnaski article about OPS and the Royals, but he made it even worse.

He fails to mention, though obvious, that the 5 Royals signings he mentioned, of Scott Podsdnick, Jason Kendall, Chris Getz, Brian Anderson, and Josh Fields are obviously not power hitters. (With the exception of Fields) Most of what OPS and OPS+ measures is the power numbers of a hitter. (SLG + OBP; OPS+ Being adjusted to league avg), obviously the worst statistic to measure a player who isn’t a power hitter.

It’s like measuring the on-field performance of a ground ball pitcher based on the number of strikeouts. (Take a look at Joel Pinero)

Second, he fails to mention that Brian Anderson and Josh Fields will mostly be used as bench players, both of whom with upsides. (Brian Anderson’s career numbers off the bench 364 OBP/800+ OPS) and Josh Fields’ possible power numbers (23 HRs in 300 ABs his Rookie year..has gotten less than 300 ABs since, and with those numbers he doesn’t deserve much more, but does have an upside)

Finally, the number one reason why Dayton Moore grabbed Chris Getz and Jason Kendall is defense. Passan likes to note how Royals were 2nd worst in Runs scored, but doesn’t mention the defensive differences between Alberto Callapso and Chris Getz, as well as Jason Kendall and Miguel Olivo (he seems to forget to mention Royals led, as called by others “the world” in passed balls and wild pitches).

Even with Scott Podsednick, his defense at times has been avg, at other times a little below avg, yet just as good or better than some of the combination we had out there last year (Mitch Maier, Josh Anderson, Willie Bloomquist, and others).

Also he fails to mention the speed of Podsdnick (75% career ratio, stole 70 bases a few years ago) and Chris Getz (If I were to tell you who had the highest stolen base percentage in the MLB last year, who would you say?). And hell, you can even toss Jason Kendall in there, possibly the best running catcher in the MLB.

Why doesn’t he compare last years statistics to the Royals new additions?
Compare Chris Getz’s defense and Speed to Callapso’s. (Something not said much, but it’s a joke how slow Callapso is. Turns himself into a DP machine). Not to mention, Chris Getz is a Rookie.

Compare Jason Kendall’s defense and OBP to Olivo’s. The only thing Olivo provided was his 24 HRs. You could argue which one is better, but it’s obvious that with how bad olivo’s ball blocking skills are along with his 290 OBP, Kendall is a much better choice.

Compare Scott Podsednick’s statistics with who we had out there last year, Mitch Maier.
350 OBP vs 330.
Speed isn’t even comparable, Maier isn’t fast at all.
Defense doesn’t change much there, none of them are amazing. I like Mitch Maier and he should remain with the 25 man roster, but there’s no doubts the additions this year has improved the team.

5 years 7 months ago

I will admit, Passan is a bit too harsh on some of the players- Getz and Fields in particular still have some upside and might become above average players with a bit of seasoning. Then again, they might be total flops. Either way, I’d say those are good bets for the Royals who need to catch a bit of lightning in a bottle (i.e. the Rays acquisition of Carlos Pena a few years ago).With that said, I do think that signing Kendall and Pods is pretty indefensible. Are they bad players? Eh. Not awful. Are they better than who would replace them this year? Quite possibly, given the vagaries of young talent. Even in that case, how much better? Not much. Plus they cost more and they keep younger, cheaper talent off the field. It’s not a move that kills a franchise but it is just a waste. Neither guy is going to make them competitive and they could buy “veteran leadership” a lot cheaper. Even the Padres and the Pirates seem to have figured out the right path on this- if you’re going to suck, play the young guys.

Basically, if you’re not improving your standings much and you’re spending more money and you’re blocking giving younger guys a shot to pan out- that is not improving the team. It’s wasting money and talent during an already lost year.

5 years 7 months ago

With regards to the Brian Anderson signing – I hate it myself. Could’ve spent the 800k on adding a little more to bring in another SP or MR here (latest word is Royals are interested in Washburn, who seems to be seeking over 5M?). But it’s not a ”Bash Dayton Moore” move. Financially, it has no toll on the team. The worst part about it is the roster spot could be used in a better way, but a solid defensive outfielder, who is still young and a former top prospect with some upside.

With regards to Jason Kendall – Someone his age won’t be getting unlimited play time, so you could almost guarantee Brayan Pena will be getting more time with Kendall than he would have with Miguel Olivo. In addition to that, a veteran presence to help Wil Myers (ranked #3 Royals prospect today by BaseballAmerica) will be part of his job.

With regards to Scott Podsednick – This could probably be the most ‘questionable’ move, though at the same time it depends how you look at the team (read below). He didn’t cost much, 1.75MM or so, which is a damn good bargain for someone who hit 300/350/30SB last year (which wasn’t even his career year) (yet you can look at people like Joel Pinero who has never had much too success [especially to that degree] other than last year, yet he’s asking for what? 7-10m for 2-4 years?).

It would be nice to see Mitch get more play time, if you look at his statistics he did MUCH better in the 2nd half last year (also where most of his play time came from), and he’s always done good in the farm system, it would be interesting to try him out.

It all comes down to how you view the team. In 2008, it was only a few games below 500.
2009 came around, some questionable moves were made (Farnsworth), but the team acquired a power hitting 30 HR Mike Jacobs, a fast – gold glove type CF in Coco Crisp, a young hard throwing set up man in Juan Cruz, a solid utility man in Willie Bloomquist (people bashed that move as well, but he turned out to be quite handy eh?)
But overall the team was pretty improved in 2009. Going from a few games below 500 to that, and playing in the AL Central, you could see why many people (not just Dayton Moore) believed Royals would hit 500+ and maybe contend.

Obviously that did not happen, but the team did not fall apart. It’s still a team that could “pretty easily” reach their 2008 standings, and better. So taking a look at Scott Podsednick (whom from what I heard so far is not going to be out there 150 games either), it’s a cheap yet reliable option at trying to compete.
The Pirates are a team whom, in all reality, have nothing to play for. They can, more than the Royals, afford to put out random guys. (Also Royals aren’t a BROKE team, they have some money to spend). With 75 wins in 2008, and a division that was won with 87 games last year (and looks to be getting weaker?), the word competing doesn’t sound all that off for the Royals if certain other players can perform (last year it was really Juan Cruz and Mike Jacobs). Every year, it’s almost certain for some players to have breakout years. (Banny in ’07, Aviles in ’08, Butler and Greinke in ’09, and so on).

To wrap this one up, when taking a look at Dayton Moore, there are some things to bash him on. It’s more of the lack of moves he makes. For example, not giving Kila Ka’aihue more/any play time, especially after his 08 year. But Passan seems to bash Dayton and his “process”, yet he fails to look at what he’s doing. He’s traded none of his young stars (unlike the Pirates and Padres), he’s constantly improving the farm system. (In the top 10 Royals prospects list that came out today, three of them were drafted 6 months ago, those being Aaron Crow #2, Wil Myers #3, Chris Dwyer #9. When he came in in ’06 he changed the Royals farm system from being ranked #24 to #14 and still going strong.

But it is true, there can’t be excuses like Mike Jacobs and Juan Cruz every year. Some results hopefully will come soon, but the farm system is coming along strong. It’s a balance of the financial situation, along with the want and the ability to contend, and also with handling a young farm system.