Royals lose as trading deadline approaches...

Let us get this straight...The Royals win a great series against the team with the best record in baseball, and then they go to Tampa and lose a series -- and potentially get swept -- at the hands of what was the worst team in the American League. Talk about an emotional letdown!

Even worse is that due to the 6:15 pm (EST) starting time, RC was blacked out from watching the game. Zack Greinke had another disappointing outing, but since we couldn't see it, we have no idea if he was as bad as his line. Anyhow, we'll be able to watch Jose Lima try to salvage a win and avoid the sweep, so we'll report more on the big club tomorrow.

  • The trading deadline is tomorrow at 4 pm (EST). Thus far, there is absolutely no news coming from the Royals. The latest rumors had the Dodgers being interested in Matt Stairs, and the Angels still interested in Mike Sweeney. However, we don't expect much to happen between now and 4 pm tomorrow. If a trade does happen, we think it will most likely be Allard Baird inserting himself into a multi-team trade. Of all the veteran players the Royals could potentially trade, Stairs is probably the only one who might have trouble clearing waivers (because of his low salary), so tomorrow's deadline probably only actually applies to him.

    As soon as we hear anything, we'll relay it to you immediately.

  • The KC Star broke some more interesting news today about Billy Butler and Justin Huber:

    Current plans call for Huber and Butler to play in the Arizona Fall League with the expectation that each will get the chance to open next season in the big leagues.

    Actually, we had already figured both would go to the Arizona Fall League, but the interesting part of that story is that Butler will be given a chance to open next season in Kansas City. We already knew the Royals believe that Butler is ready to hit Major League pitching right now (RC agrees after seeing him last month), but this article shocked us.

    We always figured Butler would start next season at Wichita and move up to KC sometime in the middle of the season. Having him break camp with the club wouldn't make much sense, because it would burn a year of Butler's service time during a season in which the Royals really don't have much of a chance to compete.

    Will Butler be the opening day LF in 2006?

    We didn't object when the Royals broke camp this season with Mark Teahen, because Teahen really isn't the type of high-ceiling player who's likely to cost the Royals a lot of money down the road. But Butler is different. Butler could be a perennial All-Star, so his service time must be monitored and maximized carefully. If he's clearly ready, both defensively and offensively, at the beginning of next season, then so be it. But we'd hate to see the Royals lose a season of Butler's services to a developmental year in a lost season.

    Of course, it's far too early to worry about such things, particularly because the Star wasn't directly quoting Baird. It just blindsided us, and it's something we'll have to watch.

  • Shortly after High Desert's season began, we took notice of a relief pitcher who was putting up a stellar performance in a league and ballpark that are both extremely hitter-friendly. Having no idea where Chris Demaria came from, we checked his minor league stats and found that his early season statistics were perfectly in line with what Demaria has done throughout his career. We took note and decided to follow him throughout the season.

    Well, he has continued to dominate. As the Mavs' closer this season, Demaria has been unhittable. Check out his career statistics:

    Williamsportlow-A (short) 313464154.35
    Williamsportlow-A (short) 4736310482.68
    High Desert high-A55.253810692.26

    RC is confused on a couple different counts. First, we wonder how in the hell the Royals were able to snag a guy with such excellent control in the AAA portion of the Rule 5 draft. Second, we wonder why in the hell he's still in A ball. Demaria will be 25 in September, but he's still never pitched above high-A, despite his stellar performance.

    Demaria's career WHIP is right around 1.00, which is excellent. His career K/BB ratio is better than 5-to-1, and his ratio this season is 7-to-1, both incredible. His HR rate is very solid, and his ERA has been well below league-average in every season he's pitched.

    So what's the story with this guy? Why did the Pirates move him through their system so slowly? And why aren't we hearing about his imminent promotion to Wichita? RC has no idea (maybe he throws like a girl or something), but we hope to see him get a shot soon at facing more advanced hitters. Seems to us that he's earned it.

    At 7/31/2005 2:07 PM, Blogger ME said...

    I caught that comment in the Star also but I just don't see Butler being ready defensively. I don't think Butler will see KC until September '06 and then he'll be starting opening day in 2007.

    At 7/31/2005 11:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Demaria probably isn't well-regarded because he likely has weak velocity, a lame breaking ball, but a trick pitch that he uses to rack up strike-outs against minor leaguers. No idea beyond that, but call Shawn McGinn and ask him...

    At 8/01/2005 3:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Butler won't be ready until 2007 I don't think, unless he succeeds greatly in AA this year. I don't know how much time he'll get there but hopefully he does well. I'd like to see him start next year in AAA, and come here around May or June depending on if we are contending or not.


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