Friday

Royals outclass champs, take series...


Oh yeah!!!

RC had a feeling about this game. Curt Schilling just hasn't been himself all year, and we figured the Royals had a decent chance of laying a pretty good midwestern whoopin' on him. And sure enough, the boys in blue hung nine hits and six runs on him, forcing Schilling to live with the embarrassment of being outpitched by Jose Lima.

Hopefully the Royals can carry the momentum from two straight series wins with them as they head to New York this weekend to take on the hated Yankees. As much as we dislike the Red Sox, we hate the Yanks about seven times as much, and it would be a shame to see their victories over the Sox help propel New York back into the playoffs. If they can take a game or two off the Bronx Bombers, then we won't have to feel guilty in October if the Yanks manage to fight their way back into the postseason.

  • The Royals made a couple roster moves, calling up Aaron Guiel yesterday and J.P. Howell today to replace the injured Donnie Murphy and Runelvys Hernandez. Howell gets the start on Saturday, and the injury to Murphy means that the Royals will roll with a pretty depressing platoon at 2B of Joe McEwing and Denny Hocking for the foreseeable future. From now on, RC will simply refer to this albatross as "McHocking."


    Call us Dr. Frankenstein...

    Another roster move could be forthcoming, as Matt Stairs injured himself tonight when he lunged at a ball down the first base line and wound up doing the splits in a very painful-looking contortion. The smart money would be on either Justin Huber or Calvin Pickering getting the call up to KC, if Stairs winds up on the DL. We already know that Huber is scheduled for a September call-up, so he would probably be the guy, although Pick has been crushing the ball lately.


  • The Arizona Fall League rosters were announced today, and six Royals have been assigned to the Surprise Scorpions: Huber, Billy Butler, Matt Tupman, Jonah Bayliss, Chris Demaria, and Brian Bass. The Scorpions look to have perhaps the best offense in the league, as Huber and Butler will combine with Angels farmhands Brandon Wood, Kendry Morales, and Howie Kendrick to form a ridiculously good lineup.


    Butler (.348/.419/.636 - 25 HR) and Wood (.323/.385/.681 - 41 HR) were the California League's best hitters in 2005.

    In addition to the power those five provide, the team also promises to have great speed, as the Phillies' Michael Bourn (36 SB), the Astros' Josh Anderson (48 SB) and Charlton Jimerson (26 SB) will form perhaps the fastest outfield in the league.

    If there's any glaring weakness to the team, it is in the starting pitching. The staff really only has two quality starting pitchers: Jason Hirsh (159.1 IP, 153 K, 39 BB, 3.11 ERA) from the Astros and Jared Weaver (64.2 IP, 77 K, 22 BB, sub-4.00 ERA) of the Angels. Of course, starting pitchers in the AFL don't throw a whole lot of innings, and the team has a nice assortment of very good relievers. You can view the entire Scorpion roster here.


  • As we mentioned yesterday, RC was in Woodbridge, Virginia, tonight for a game between the Salem Avalanche (Astros) and the Potomac Nationals (Nationals). Lucky for us, tonight just happened to be "Hairiest Back at the Ballpark Night." No, RC didn't win, but we did receive an honorable mention for eyebrow growth. The "winner" of hairy back competition was none other than 47-year old Master Sergeant Jim Coffey (pictured at the top of this post), a resident of Fairfax, Virginia. For his trouble, Sgt. Coffey will receive a laser hair removal treatment valued at $2,500. Thank God.

    As for the game, we left early because unbeknownst to us beforehand, it was also "Dollar Night." And if you've never been to a Dollar Night in Woodbridge, you've missed what could have perhaps been the most frustrating experience of your life. That is, unless you like shuffling past the mass of cheap people who paid $1 for their tickets in order to wait four innings for a chance to buy a beer or a cold $1 hot dog.

    Of course, before our exit, we snapped a few photos of a couple top Astros prospects. The guy we originally went to see, Hunter Pence, is perhaps the oddest-looking prospect we've ever seen. The guy is clearly strong, but he's just so damned gangly that it's funny.



    Ugly swing, but the guy does hit the ball hard. He might be someone to watch. The other guy we looked at is a 24-year old shortstop who is currently sporting an OBP over .500, Ben Zobrist.



    Zobrist has an odd stance, but a nice swing. He doesn't have much power, but he's done nothing but hit since he was drafted.

    Up next for RC is another Carolina League game on Saturday between the Frederick Keys (Orioles) and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Braves). The Pelicans have a catcher that we really like, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, so we'll try to snap a few photos of him at the game.

  • 7 Comments:

    At 8/26/2005 9:53 AM, Blogger KO said...

    Is Hunter Pence an illigit child of Dave Kingman?

     
    At 8/26/2005 1:56 PM, Anonymous Brian S. said...

    A belated response to some of the Alex Gordon comments from 8/24 and David Glass comments from 8/25, I don't think it is about money anymore. It IS about Gordon wanting to be placed on the 40 man roster upon signing. Glass says he WILL NOT sign any player and immediately put him on the 40 man. This is due to future negotiating desires on Glass' part in the next labor agreement.

    Does anyone know exactly what's at stake other than dropping a scrub from the 40 man that doesn't even need to be there?

     
    At 8/26/2005 3:30 PM, Blogger Dave said...

    In a word, Brian...

    Principle

    Glass doens't want to be a hypocrite like Mike Ilitch. The fact is that the ONLY hope for small market teams in the future is to radically restructure the draft. How long will it be before more agents adopt the strategy of Scott Boras, rendering the draft useless for all but the richest teams?

    In today's game, the ONLY way for small market teams to attain top notch talent is to draft top notch amateurs. If that's taken out of the equation -- which is what Boras wants -- then teams like the Royals might as well fold shop.

    Glass is smart to recognize this, and he may even be heroic for trying to do something about it.

    Of course, that being said, I'm still not all that worried about Gordon signing. I'll bet it happens very soon, maybe even next week.

     
    At 8/26/2005 3:36 PM, Blogger ksuim4u said...

    OK, I gotta know something about Hernandez. Why didn't he just drop the appeal of his suspension instead of going on the DL? Then he could have come back SOONER if he felt better, if not, we could put him on the DL after he got back from suspension. Now we may lose him for the rest of the season (or darn close).

     
    At 8/26/2005 6:50 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

    ksuim4u - I know I don't have a problem with Runelvys being out longer, because coming off Tommy John, he's probably at a good stopping point as far as innings thrown anyway.

    He's pitched enough to prove the surgery was a success, and that he should be able to fulfill his potential, such as it is, without worry.

     
    At 8/27/2005 2:20 AM, Blogger royalsbeliever said...

    Were going to have too many outfielders to know what to do with them in 2007.

    Lubanski
    Butler
    Gordon

    How many OF'ers do we need?!!??!?!

     
    At 8/27/2005 12:57 PM, Anonymous Brian S. said...

    Dave,

    I understand the "Principle" concept of why Glass is sticking to his guns. What I am asking you or your informed readers is what the big deal is about putting him on the 40 man roster? ie. What's in it for him?

    I mean does it mean he becomes a Rule 5 type guy faster than the regular 6-7 years in the minors? Otherwise, who cares? If Gordon isn't in the bigs by at least late 2007 if not sooner, you would have to call him a disappointment of a pick.

    Mark Teixeira should be the measuring stick for Gordon.

    In response to Royalsbeliever, you can never have enough good players no matter what the position. Also, don't be so sure Gordon will move off of 3rd or that Butler won't wind up at 1st.

    When Gordon signs, he should be playing 3B no matter what league he plays in. If by the time Gordon is ready to progress to the majors, if Teahen isn't hitting at a Joe Randa/ Corey Koskie level, they should cut bait with him and bring up Gordon. Again (and not comparing Teahen to Blalock) but this isn't unlike the situation in Texas were Blalock was struggling and Teixeira was ready to come up. He played 3B before his glove and Blalocks bat forced him to OF and eventually 1B.

    GO ROYALS! Kick some Yankee but this weekend.

     

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