With a fourth place (i.e. non-last-place) finish seemingly assured, what other modest goals might manage to pique our interest in this final month? Sure, there's the matter of getting to 63 wins, but that might happen by Tuesday. Moreover, a final push towards .500 seems too unlikely to be worth caring about, and Bell is on record as saying he essentially has no interest in playing any September callups. On September 1 the Royals brought up Neal Musser and activated Brandon Duckworth. Thats it.
What remains then, is a continuing opportunity to evaluate what exactly the Royals have right now, which on the offensive side of the ball means a few more chances to watch Shane Costa, Joey Gathright and maybe Mike Sweeney and play the "should they be around next year" game along with everyone devoutly hoping that Mark Teahen (fresh off the DL today) can flash that little extra boost of power that we've all been waiting for. I would put Tony Pena Jr. in that category, but I think he's a lock for another 400 out season at SS next year.
There is however, the continuing baseball story of tonight's starter Zack Greinke (5-5, 4.07 ERA). Can Greinke step into the #3 slot behind Brian Bannister and Gil Meche next season? No one loved Zack out of the bullpen more than I did, but if he can be consistently average or slightly above average in 2008, the Royals might really be onto something in the rotation. The nice thing is that thanks to his hiatus in 2006 and a gentle handling by the Royals in 2007, Zack is set to enter 2008 as a 24 year old with both plenty of big league experience and an intact, fresh right arm. There aren't many better things than that.
Zack Greinke is, The Lawnmower Man.
The Rangers send
Cameron Kameron Loe (6-10, 5.35 ERA) to the mound as their hero. Kameron posted a 2.16 ERA in three August starts, yet sadly decided once again to continue incorrectly spelling his name.
- Jeff Passan plugs Banny as his ROY choice.
- JQ breaks down the epic KU versus Croatia baseball matchup at Rock Chalk Talk.