Some notes...

So Buddy Bell's record moves to 4-1, as the Royals dropped a 14-9 slugfest to the Rangers. The two teams combined for an amazing 36 hits on a windy, hot day in KC. Order should be restored today, however, as Royals ace Zack Greinke takes on Kenny Rogers, the 40-year-old with a ridiculous 1.65 ERA. It should be interesting. Seems to me that Rogers may be due for a beating. Moving right along...

  • Kevin has a great column today about his take on the Buddy Bell hiring and the beating Allard Baird took from the media and blogerati because of it. Kevin argues that Bell's career won-lost record is secondary to his ability to develop young players. RC couldn't agree more. Please check it out.

  • In his Notes article yesterday, Dick Kaegel scared a lot of people when he suggested that future RC favorite J.P. Howell may be summoned from Wichita to start next Saturday's game in Arizona. Baird reportedly indicated that someone would be called up from the minors to make the start, but there is no direct attribution that would suggest it was Baird who named Howell as a potential candidate. Rather, this seems to be yet another instance of Kaegel reporting his own unattributed speculation.

    I am assuming that Howell is not actually a candidate, so it leaves me free to speculate about who might get the call. The pickings are somewhat thin, as Omaha's core rotation of Chris George, Jimmy Gobble, Danny Tamayo, and Dennis Tankersley has been simply horrid, even for the Pacific Coast League. Among those four, Gobble is the only player currently on the Royals 40-man roster, so he figures to be the leading candidate out of Omaha. It's possible that Baird might take this opportunity to give Gobble one more chance to show he has what it takes to succeed at the major league level. Of course, it would help if he didn't have a 6.75 ERA in AAA.

  • But Baird could also go another route. In Wichita, big righty Kyle Middleton has been putting up some nice numbers:

    80 IP, 2.70 ERA, 70 H, 6 HR, 17 BB, 43 K

    Middleton has done an excellent job so far this season keeping runners off base and keeping the ball in the ballpark. The only glaring problem from his line is the same thing that has hindered him throughout his professional career -- his poor strikeout rate. Few major league pitchers have experienced success striking out just one batter every other inning, and there's little reason to think Middleton might buck the trend. But Middleton throws strikes, and he may be the best option for the Royals right now. He certainly can't be any worse than Jose Lima.

  • I've been working on a spreadsheet that lays out the Royals' salary structure, and I should have something ready for y'all in a day or two. Actually, right now it's just a matter of sitting down and banging it out, but I can already let you in on the conclusion: the Royals are in EXCELLENT financial shape for 2006 and beyond. I think that fact is largely lost by the constant whining among Royals fans about Baird's offseason acquisitions of Lima, Marrero, Long, et al.


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