Well, here we are on May 13th, 2010… the royals are 12-23 and 11 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central Race and Zack Greinke just picked up his first win of the season despite having one of the best ERA’s in the American League… and we fired our Manager Trey Hillman. So, I will try to make a quick wrap up of what has happened in the season so far, and what I think needs to happen for the Royals to have a better final 3/4 of the season.
Well, the Royals started out the season much better offensively than we have in as long as I can remember. After the first month they were atop the AL in batting average and slugging percentage. The starting pitchers were also among the league leaders in ERA… we had come to expect good things from Greinke, and we were hoping that Luke Hocheaver and Kyle Davies would come around. Both started out the season well and Brian Bannister added some solid outings. There was still a problem with this team… the bullpen. Our bullpen blew 7 games in the first month of the season. And that may be a generous number, it could have been one or two more games. Good outings by the starters going to waste… good hitting going to waste… A season from the start going to waste. Another weak point… third base coach Dave Owen has a knack for getting some of our slowest runners (Jose Guillen and Jason Kendall) thrown out at home plate. I think that happened 5-6 times in the first month of this season with just those two runners alone. You gotta be able to tell if a guy will get thrown out when the ball is getting to home plate when the runner is only half way to home plate. That’s just common sense and I could do a better job than him and I’m not a professional by any means. Soria has been a solid closer, but hasn’t had as many opportunities has he should have been given. It’s just been a very sad start to another sad season for the Royals. After today’s game, Managers Trey Hillman was given the pink slip. Here are some reasons why I like the move.
1) New coach Ned Yost was a pretty good manager for the Brewers up until 2008. I think he will be a better manager and make better decisions for the Royals.
2) Trey Hillman didn’t seem to know how to utilize the young players they have. It seemed like every night there was a different line up out there. In order to be successful you need to have a solid line up of 8-9 guys who are your “regulars”. It didn’t seem like Hillman had a formula down on when to play/sit players. I think Yost will have a better handle on that situation. Only time will tell, but I think that he will and it will be a positive. If I were the manager, I would go with a younger line up with a few veterans to help out. Here would be my “regular” line up from now on for this season:
Catcher- Jason Kendall (Solid Veteran player)
First Base- Billy Butler (Become a pretty solid 1st basemen over the last year and a half… and a great, young bat!)
Second Base- Chris Getz (Solid D player and can at least make a decent plate appearance)
Shortstop- Mike Avilles (Great young player with a hot bat… KEEP HIM IN THE LINE UP! BETANCOURT CAN SIT!)
Third Base- Alberto Callaspo (A little shaky defensively, but if he’s an every day player he’ll work it out. Great bat!)
Outfield- David Dejesus, Scott Podsednik, and Mitch Meier… all can play the OF and can hit the ball.
DH- Kila Ka’aihue (Young player who has dominated the minor leagues with his bat. Give him a shot… and trade Jose Guillen for money or whatever you can get…)
This would be a pretty solid line up if they could get some chemistry playing day in and day out together. If the starting pitching can keep playing well and if our bullpen can figure something, ANYTHING, out, then the Royals should have a decent second half of the season. We’ll see how it all plays out, but I think there is reason for optimism because you really can’t get much worse.
Feel free to comment and leave me your thoughts.