RC Breaking News: DeJesus agrees to long-term contract!

The Royals and David DeJesus agreed to a five-year contract with a team option for the 2011 season on Wednesday, ending months of speculation about the team's interest in making a long-term commitment to their starting centerfielder. According to the Kansas City Star, the deal is worth a guaranteed $13.5 million, although the total package could be worth as much as $20 million if the option is picked up.

Needless to say, RC is thrilled with this development for a couple of reasons. First, the amount of guaranteed money is more than reasonable for a player of DeJesus' talents. Second, the Royals not only gained cost certainty through DeJesus' arbitration years, but also have a chance to lock him up for the first season in which he's eligible to become a free agent, one of our criteria for giving him a guaranteed salary.

RC would like to congratulate the Royals and DeJesus on getting this done and ensuring that one of the Royals' finest players will be patrolling the Kauffman Stadium outfield for the foreseeable future.


RC Spring Training Report - Part V

Today, RC has decided to discuss what we saw from nine pitchers who hope to make the starting rotation. Clearly, the injury to Mark Redman and disappearance of Zack Greinke has potentially opened up two additional spots in the rotation, giving new hope to pitchers such as Mike Wood, Denny Bautista, and J.P. Howell. It was reported today that the Royals are close to making a decision about who the first four starters will be when the season opens next month.

Spring training stats are especially useless when it comes to pitchers, particularly early spring training numbers, so everything they've done thus far really ought to be taken with a grain of salt. The same goes for our reports, which are based on very limited observations, often from a poor vantage point. Nevertheless, the reports below are our early impressions of how these pitchers look, based upon the little we actually got to see them throw. If nothing else, just enjoy the photos.

--Starting Rotation Candidates--

  • Denny Bautista

    Like Buddy Bell, RC was probably most impressed with the way Denny Bautista was throwing. His arm has completely recoved, and it's truly amazing how hard he throws the ball with seemingly so little effort -- just watching him play long toss while warming up was something to behold.

    We watched Bautista go through his entire warmup routine, including his bullpen, where he was popping the mitt with a nice, easy delivery (click here for video). From our vantage point directly above the catcher, it was difficult to get an idea of the horizontal movement on his breaking balls, but the lateral movement looked sharp. His performance in the games thus far has not been great, but like we said, there's really not much to be learned off of such a tiny sample size. He's throwing hard, he's throwing strikes, and RC believes he's a strong candidate for the rotation. Ideally, he'd probably be better off with more time in the minors, but losing two starters this early in camp isn't exactly conducive to ideal situations.

  • Runelvys Hernandez

    We saw Elvys throw twice -- first in the simulated game on Wednesday and then in the game on Saturday -- and weight aside, we were happy with what we saw. We first reported on Wednesday night that it looked like Hernandez was throwing harder, and sure enough, those suspicions were confirmed on Saturday when he lit up the Surpise Stadium radar gun.

    In the first inning of Saturday's game, Hernandez threw almost every fastball 93 mph, which was quite a bit harder than he threw last season in his first year back from Tommy John surgery. During the second inning, Hernandez was topping out at around 91 mph, which could have been caused by anything from fatigue to a lousy radar gun, or perhaps even a conscious decision to avoid overthrowing. Regardless, Hernandez's pitches had good movement, and he looked solid both times out.

  • Jeremy Affeldt

    We saw Affeldt twice -- once at Red Robin, and once on the mound, where he was pretty terrible. He didn't seem to be throwing hard at all, and we didn't see a single decent curveball leave his hand (although he might have not have even been throwing them -- Buddy Bell has said his stuff looks sharp in camp). He somehow made it through his inning allowing only two runs, but he went to a full count on almost every batter he faced, and he didn't come close to putting anyone away.

    Admittedly, it's not much to go on, but RC isn't optimistic about his chances of making the rotation. We just don't think he's the same pitcher who blew batters away three years ago. Frankly, he hasn't been that for a long time, and while we hope he can indeed find it again, we certainly wouldn't bet on it. Rather, we fear that we'll see a lot more of this, and a lot more of this from him in 2006.

  • Mark Redman

    Statistically, the lone Redman appearance we saw wasn't too bad -- one run on one hit (a solo HR by Phil Nevin) and no walks. But it was pretty clear that he wasn't throwing hard at all, even for a soft-throwing lefty like him. The Rangers had no problems making good, hard contact off of him, and he was lucky to escape his outing with such minimal damage.

    Of course, we later found out that he was sent back to KC complaining of knee soreness and swelling, and as we now know, he'll be out 4-6 weeks with torn cartilage. All told, our observation of Redman really didn't tell us anything. When he returns, his success and ability to eat innings will depend on whether or not he can change speeds effectively while keeping the ball down. If his recovery is a speedy one, he could return to the rotation in time to take over the fifth starting spot, since the Royals will only need four starters until mid April.

  • J.P. Howell

    Howell threw once while we were in Arizona, and he looked pretty sharp, the only mistake coming on a pitch he left up to Ian Kinsler, who promptly knocked the pitch off the back wall of the left field bullpen. He was working his fastball in the mid to upper 80s, and his offspeed stuff had nice movement. Howell tossed two innings, yielding two hits and a walk while striking out two.

    His second outing of the spring was even better, as he struck out four batters while walking none over three scoreless innings. Like Bautista, Howell would probably be better served by returning to the minors this season, but attrition, along with excellent spring command, may force the Royals' hand. It will be interesting to see how everything plays out.

  • Joe Mays

    We got our first look at Joe Mays during the simulated game on Wednesday, where he threw strikes and looked pretty good. He relieved Hernandez in Saturday's game, where he got knocked around a bit by the Rangers and failed to make it through his second inning of work.

    Joe Mays is what he is. If he throws strikes, he should be a decent placeholder until the young guys like Bautista and Howell are ready to take their permanent spots in the rotation. His fastball topped out around 88 mph during Saturday's game, and his control and ability to change speeds are vital to him eating enough innings to justify his $1 million salary. RC was neither encouraged nor discouraged by what we saw from Joe Mays in Arizona.

  • Scott Elarton and Mike Wood

    We lumped these two together because we didn't get a chance to see either perform in an actual game. Both threw during the simulated game on Wednesday, but neither appeared during the three spring training games RC attended. Their performances were about what you'd expect. Neither throws very hard, and both rely on an assortment of pitches and speeds to keep hitters off balance.

    Elarton is the rotation's only remaining lock, though he got knocked around by the Rockies in his first spring start. Wood's first appearance was considerably better, as he went three scoreless innings while striking out a pair of batters. RC assumes that Wood will be given every chance to snag a spot in the rotation, and right now, that's definitely our preference, especially with Elmer Dessens in the bullpen.

  • Bobby Madritsch

    Of course, the only thing we saw "Red Feather" do was sign autographs, as he's recovering from a blown out elbow. However, we're still quite intrigued by Madritsch, and if his recovery goes well, the Royals may have snagged a very good pitcher.

    The KC Star had a nice article about Mad Dog a few days ago, and RC highly recommends you check it out. One flaw exists in that article, however. Madritsch's hand tatoo is said to be on his left hand, but this photo tells the true story. Where else will you get that kind of information?

  • That's all for today. Be sure to stay tuned to RC in the coming days, as we plan to provide reports and photos of the bullpen candidates, as well as a new collegiate prospect update.

    Editor's Note: This week's Draft Prospect Update has been posted, including updated stats and rankings. Click here to view the update.

    Season in Preview: Outfielders

    As Opening Day 2006 is right around the corner, it's time to take a look at where the Royals stand heading into this season. With the help of two great player projection systems (Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA and Dan Szymborski's ZiPS), I'll be discussing the state of the organization position-by-position over the next few days. We've covered the catchers, the corner infielders, and the middle infielders, and continue today with a discussion about the outfield:
    DAVID DEJESUS  CF  AGE: 26             REGGIE SANDERS  RF  AGE: 38  
    ================================== ==================================
    PECOTA .286 .356 .430 PECOTA .267 .323 .458
    ZiPS .295 .372 .442 ZiPS .245 .308 .462
    ================================== ==================================
    AVERAGE .291 .364 .436 AVERAGE .256 .316 .460
    ================================== ==================================
    PECOTA .268 .321 .427 PECOTA .261 .350 .438
    ZiPS .283 .346 .440 ZiPS .254 .338 .412
    ================================== ===================================
    AVERAGE .276 .334 .434 AVERAGE .258 .344 .425
    ================================== ==================================
    PECOTA .249 .332 .414 PECOTA .266 .315 .386
    ZiPS .249 .351 .406 ZiPS .256 .314 .356
    ================================== ===================================
    AVERAGE .249 .342 .410 AVERAGE .261 .315 .371
    PECOTA .231 .297 .383
    ZiPS .248 .334 .425
    AVERAGE .240 .316 .404
    After the Royals played their final game of the 2004 season (a 5-0 loss to Jose Contreras and the Chicago White Sox), my roommate and I made our way to the players’ parking lot, hoping to end the mother of all disappointing seasons on a good note by getting a ton of autographs. Along with about 30 other folks, we were pleasantly surprised that almost every player on the roster signed and chatted as long as it took for everyone to go home happy. Zack Greinke, Mike Sweeney, Joe Randa, and the rest of the players were outstanding and very generous with their time.

    However, none of those guys were more outstanding than centerfielder David DeJesus, who came out of the tunnel with two fistfuls of game-used batting gloves and tossed them over the chain-link fence and into the crowd of fans. Like David settling under a fly ball, I caught one of those gloves before it hit the ground, and even got DeJesus to sign it later:

    If anything’s cooler than game-used memorabilia, it’s game-used memorabilia that comes straight from a pro baseball player. And if anybody’s cooler than a pro baseball player, it’s DeJesus, who’s on the fast track towards becoming one of the hippest athletes Kansas City has ever seen.

    Between rockin’ the sideburns and the shades like few others, DeJesus is as cool on the field as he is off it, blending improving power, solid bat manipulation skills, and above-average speed to make him one of the best overall centerfielders in the American League. In a division loaded with talents like Torii Hunter and Grady Sizemore patrolling center for their respective teams, that’s quite the compliment.

    In his one-and-a-half seasons since permanently replacing Carlos Beltran in June of 2004, DeJesus has given the Royals all they ever could’ve asked for out of their leadoff man offensively, as the 26-year-old has hit .290 with a .361 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage in 946 career plate appearances. Although he doesn’t really draw a lot of walks, he’s certainly patient, and he has a really good idea of what he’s doing at the plate.

    DeJesus essentially personifies Royals GM Allard Baird’s desire that his offensive players be "selectively aggressive." In other words, he can differentiate between a ball, a "pitcher’s pitch" strike, and a strike he can hit very hard. To illustrate that point, take a look at the chart below:

    2004 .116 .081
    2005 .152 .081
    As a general rule, for a spike that great in power to be legitimate, it has to be accompanied by a spike in the player’s walk rate. I think what we saw out of DeJesus in 2005 bucks that trend, as he’s most likely a perfect example of what happens when a talented player with a great swing grows into his natural power. Expecting a 20-homer season might be asking a little bit much out of him, but given the improvement he made from 2004 to 2005, it’s definitely within the realm of possibility.

    Also encouraging is the big step forward DeJesus took against left-handed pitching in 2005, as his OPS against southpaws jumped from a downright-pitiful .528 in 2004 to a decent .740 in 2005. Ultimately, that’s a tribute to his work ethic moreso than talent.

    Although DeJesus’ above-average wheels probably won’t ever translate into stolen bases, they serve him well in the outfield, a facet of his game in which I think he’s pretty underrated. In addition to making the diving, tumbling catch his forte, DeJesus threw out seven runners in 2005, tying him for the fourth-most assists among center fielders in all of baseball. He’s probably a grade below Beltran defensively, but he gets the most out of his instincts, range, and speed.

    The bottom line is that DeJesus is the most complete player on the team, and a guy whose skillset is nothing less than rock solid. If the Royals can convince DeJesus to sign a reasonable contract that would buy out the first year of his free-agent eligibility, they shouldn’t think twice about the long-term risks of locking him up. He’s almost a sure bet to continue marching towards becoming one of the elite leadoff hitters in the American League.

    Speaking of sure bets, none are more certain than Baird using the player-related term "dependable production" at least once in every interview. By now, Royals fans know that a "dependable production" player is, obviously, a guy who can be counted on to make positive contributions to the team in every single game. Baird has been seeking a guy like that to man right field in the long-term for some time now, but since every potential trade to acquire Austin Kearns or Jason Michaels fell through, he turned to 38-year-old Reggie Sanders, signing him to a two-year, $10 million contract this offseason.

    Bringing Sanders on board wasn’t a popular move, as many believed that a team in the midst of a rebuilding project has absolutely no business signing an aging outfielder to a multi-year deal. That would be a fair criticism if Sanders’ presence were blocking a young player who was ready to play at the Major League level immediately, but it isn’t, so the pickup makes sense already on that level.

    When it comes to his on-field performance, much shouldn’t be expected of him beyond providing opposing pitchers a reason to throw Mike Sweeney strikes. A number of obstacles are going to be in his way of hitting like he did for the Cardinals in 2005, most notably playing half his home games in a Kauffman Stadium that’s infinitely more pitcher-friendly than it was prior to the 2004 season. That he’ll also be facing American League pitching for the first time in his career will also slow him down, albeit probably for a short period of time before he makes the necessary adjustments.

    Sanders is one of the streakiest hitters in all of baseball, so Royals fans are going to have to be patient with him whenever he falls into a slump and can barely make contact. Once he pulls himself out of it, he’ll start hitting homers and drawing walks like crazy. As long as the hot streaks are longer than the cold ones, I think Sanders will slightly out-perform his projection average by a few points of on-base percentage. He’ll also be a big upgrade defensively in right field.

    Beyond that, the most important thing Sanders brings to the table is leadership and a winning attitude towards the game, two traits the Royals’ young clubhouse really, really lacked last year. I’ll qualify that statement by saying that winning baseball games happens because of talent and not because of any kind of magical veteran Jedi mind tricks. However, when a team has a ton of inexperienced players on their roster, it’s absolutely vital to have guys with legitimate track records around to keep the club’s spirits afloat when struggles come. Baseball ProspectusDerek Jacques agreed in an e-mail exchange about the team:

    There's a temptation -- particularly among the more sabermetrically-minded folks in the media -- to reflexively rankle when a team brings in "proven veterans" on a club that's considered too young. However, if ever there was an argument for more veteran players, it was probably the 2005 Royals. There were a couple of Royals games I saw where the Yankees staged big comebacks in consecutive games. [...] Each time, you could see these terribly young Royals players [...] with body language that spoke to such thorough defeat that even though I was rooting for the other team, I felt sympathy for them. [...] Maybe these new veterans won't turn the Royals around, but at least they'll be better equipped to deal with losing, and maybe take some of the heat off the youngsters.

    Sanders wasn’t first on Baird’s outfielder shopping list this winter. However, as one of the most respected players in the game, his presence in the clubhouse will be felt. Although they overpaid to get him, the Royals won’t regret investing a couple of years in Reggie Sanders while Billy Butler, Chris Lubanski, Shane Costa, and Mitch Maier continue to develop.

    The Royals targeted a right fielder also so they could move incumbent Emil Brown –- who struggled defensively in 2005 –- to left field, an easier position to handle. Still, as much as the Royals struggled last season, almost none of their on-field transgressions can be pinned on Brown, who came out of nowhere to lead the team in a number of offensive categories.

    Baird has a knack for finding players who are undervalued in the marketplace, and Brown was no exception. He won the right field job by blistering spring training pitching, and although he struggled to get out of the box early in the season (he posted a .593 OPS in April), the Royals stuck with him, believing they had another Raul Ibanez. That, or Raul Ibanez himself:

    ============MINOR LEAGUE STATS============
    EMIL BROWN 2922 .295 .365 .452
    RAUL IBANEZ 2323 .295 .365 .473
    It isn’t common for guys who’re picked up off the scrap heap to repeat career years, but the Royals are hoping Brown can follow Ibanez in another way and continue to hit after his breakout season, as they brought him back for another year and $1.4 million after Brown won his arbitration case.

    Can he do it? After seeing him hit for a full season, I’m pretty confident that he can have another .800 OPS year as long as he makes the necessary adjustments. This is a guy who, like DeJesus, is selectively aggressive, works the count, and can hit a pitched baseball a country mile because of his raw strength and solid hitting mechanics. Still, the Royals could lower their risk of Brown tanking by platooning him with righty-masher Matt Stairs.

    By no means is Brown an ideal starting left fielder, but in a world where inferior players like Quentin McCracken have made comparable money to produce quite a bit less, he’s a very good second-tier talent to have on a team. Like Sanders, he’s simply keeping the seat warm while the Royals wait for one of their outfield prospects to step up in the minor leagues.

    In fact, Brown would be the club’s fourth outfielder if one of those prospects was ready, but the competition for that job is between Aaron Guiel, who’s currently playing for Canada in the World Baseball Classic, and Chip Ambres, who’s already shown that he wants the job with two home runs in 13 spring training at-bats.

    While RC is pulling for Guiel to win the job, I’m firmly entrenched in Ambres’ corner. Despite his defensive shortcomings, Ambres is out of minor-league options, and the risk of losing the 26-year-old Ambres greatly outweighs the rewards of having Guiel (who provides the exact same things Stairs does) on the 25-man roster.

    Throughout his minor-league career, Ambres has shown a good knowledge of the strike zone, some base-stealing ability, and moderate power. In his 145 at-bat tryout with the Royals in 2005, he maintained his solid walk rate and showed decent power (.158 ISO) despite his .241 batting average.

    As RC pointed out in a recent spring training report, Ambres is still struggling even with catching routine fly balls, but I'm willing to put up with that just to get a longer look at his hitting ability. If the Royals give him a chance, he has a good chance of matching his projection average.


    RC Spring Training Report -- Part IV

    RC returned to Eastern Command this evening, and we immediately began compiling all the data and photos we collected during our five days in Arizona. All told, we took 969 photographs and collected over 100 MB of digital video. As you can imagine, figuring out how to organize the massive quantity of information and provide it to our readers in a coherent format can be a nightmare of a task, but it is truly a labor of love.

    After much internal debate, we've decided the best way to proceed is to break down our report over a few days -- there is simply too much information to digest in one post. Today we've decided to discuss the position players, including a breakdown of those who most impressed us. In the coming days, we'll report on the pitchers we saw. Most of the video we shot will be used for other RC features down the line, but we are including a few clips here.

    In addition, before the season begins, RC will unveil a revised top 30 prospect list, which will incorporate everything we saw in Arizona, as well as photos of nearly every top prospect in the organization. On Thursday, RC hit the photo jackpot, as we watched every minor league pitcher and catcher in the organization work out, and we can't wait to provide you with the first look (including some video) at players such as Brent Fisher, Billy Buckner, Kiel Thibault, Danny Christensen, Chris Nicoll, and many more.

    Anyhow, there's much more to come, but it's time to proceed with today's post:

    ---The position players who most impressed us---

  • Mark Teahen

    There are several rules when it comes to evaluating players during Spring Training, but perhaps the cardinal law is to not put too much stock in a player's March performance -- the numbers a player puts up during Spring Training have not historically correlated well with his performance during the season.

    Nevertheless, RC came away from the desert with a firm belief that the Mark Teahen of September will be the Mark Teahen of 2006. He looks much stronger this season, and he's pulled the ball with authority in batting practice and in the first four games of the Cactus League schedule. George Brett watches Teahen like a hawk during BP, and we think that -- along with the threatening presence of Alex Gordon -- have helped Teahen take his offensive game to a new, productive level. RC expects a major improvement from Teahen this season, and we're probably more excited about what we saw from him than anyone else on the Major League roster.

  • Shane Costa

    The knock on Shane Costa has always been that he doesn't use his natural strength to pull the ball (much like Teahen), instead being content with serving line drives to the opposite field. We saw Costa play extensively when he was with Wilmington, and we don't recall ever seeing him really get into a pitch. He began turning the corner last season with Wichita, improving his slugging percentage in the jump to AA, but his power numbers were still more indicative of a future fourth outfielder.

    For a short Shane Costa video, click here.

    After watching Costa launch home runs with ease during batting practice, and after seeing him knock the snot out of the ball to all fields in the games, RC now believes Costa may actually shed the fourth outfielder label this season. He looks like a completely different hitter this year, and when he connects, the ball jumps off his bat. Ironically, the two hits we saw him collect during the games were two of the weakest balls he hit, but it seemed like most of the outs he made were on hard line drives. He'll most likely head to Omaha this season, but we won't be at all surprised to see him make a lot of noise in the Pacific Coast League. We don't think 20+ HRs is out of the question. A bold prediction, yes, but Costa just has that look.

  • Mitch Maier

    RC made no secret in the past of our disappointment with Mitch Maier. We saw Maier play in Wilmington in 2004, and we were thoroughly unimpressed. For a player out of college with such a strong resume, Maier just didn't stand out at all, and we had doubts that he'd ever develop into the type of player that would justify a late first round pick.

    For a short Mitch Maier video, click here.

    Maier this week shook that pessimism to its core. The first thing we noticed is that he's a hell of a lot bigger and stronger than he was two years ago...And then we saw him hit. During batting practice, we saw impressive power, as his fly balls had good carry and his line drives had a nice zip to them. He was equally impressive in the games, showing good plate discipline and a sweet line drive stroke that produced his first spring training hit, a scorching triple down the RF line. We also got a good look at his defense, watching him effortlessly glide through the outfield while tracking fly ball fungoes. During one game, he even made a beautiful diving catch on a low line drive to right field.

    RC now believes that Maier may in fact have the tools to become a solid Major Leaguer. While we already expected to see improved numbers from him this season as he repeats AA Wichita, the massive physical improvement we saw from him has provided us with a renewed optimism about his chances of success at the big league level.

  • Alex Gordon

    There really isn't much more to say about Alex Gordon that we didn't already cover in our Arizona Fall League report. The bat speed is still there, as is the fantastic approach at the plate and the tremendous power to all fields. If anything surprised us about his what we saw from him this week, it's just how Major League ready he looks. Honestly, RC thinks the Royals could probably plug him into the lineup right now and get quality production from him. Of course we're not advocating that, but the presence and tools that he shows suggests to us that it won't be long before Gordon begins appearing in All-Star games.

    During batting practice, nobody hits the ball harder more consistently. In the first game, Gordon smashed a key two-run single to left with the bases loaded (video here), and he flew out to the left-center wall in the deepest part of Surprise Stadium. He seemingly never swings at a bad pitch, and he already looks like a Major League third baseman. During one game, Gordon snared a grounder on the line about 10-15 feet behind third base, and he threw a perfect strike to first base to nail the runner by a couple steps.

    We actually overheard one coach tell an onlooker that the Royals feel they may have drafted another George Brett. It's far too early to make that comparison, but the excitement that Gordon generates throughout the organization is very real, and very justified.

  • ---Also Impressive---

    David DeJesus is another player who reported to camp looking much stronger, and he's off to a great start. As we mentioned on Friday, DeJesus hit a 420 ft. bomb (RC's guess) to right center, and we don't recall ever seeing him hit a ball that far.

    Esteban German's speed is every bit as advertised, and he figures to be a near lock at the utility infield position. We saw him easily swipe two bases during the games, including a steal of third base on Saturday. He played at both second and third, and he looked comfortable at both positions.

    Reggie Sanders is more physically fit than 99.9 percent of his fellow 38-year-olds, and he looked solid in the few at bats we saw, pumping two singles through the hole between third and short. Let's hope he can stay healthy.

    Doug Mientkiewicz had a nice game on Saturday, collecting two hits (including a double to right center off the wall) and three RBIs. We didn't, however, get a chance to see any of his dandy glovework.

    ---Other Notes---

    Chip Ambres certainly hasn't impressed anyone with his glovework thus far, and his baserunning has also been a problem early this spring. He dropped a fly ball during the simulated game, and he just hasn't looked comfortable tracking fly balls. He had a nice game on Thursday, reaching base four times, but he'll need to show improvement if he wants to make the team as the Royals' fourth oufielder. We only saw Aaron Guiel play in the simulated game before he departed for the WBC, but he's a better defender, and he was hitting everything hard. RC gives the early edge to Guiel, but that can still change.

    The Kerry Robinson "craze" in the KC media is a joke. Anyone who has ever seen the ridiculous swings by Robinson while trying to hit a decent offspeed pitch knows there is no way that Buddy Bell and Allard Baird are going to put him on the roster. With the exception of an opposite field line drive single, none of Robinson's hits were hit hard, including his well-placed triple down the LF line.

    John Buck also has us mildly concerned. With the exception of his towering home run in the intrasquad game, he's looked pretty bad at the plate thus far. Of course, it's so ridiculously early that it's probably silly to even bring it up. If he had a track record of offensive success in the Majors, we wouldn't have even mentioned it. But he doesn't, and we haven't noticed any difference in his approach at the plate.

    Well, that's it for today. Stay tuned for our report on the pitchers, which will appear in the next couple days.