There have been various Royal Season Review posts, but all have had one glaring weakness, and that is a failure to evaluate the lineup from the perspective of Jeff Francoeur. This post corrects that. Here is what you have been waiting for; Jeff's thoughts on the Royals lineup.
Lorenzo Cain/Jarrod Dyson, Center Field: Decent players, but they seem to rely too much on speed. Being "fast" is overrated. There were a couple of dozen times they drifted over into my territory and caught balls I could have gotten to. Stay out of my territory Dyson! All you advanced stat guys that think my defense stinks need to take this into account. Who wouldn't rather have me catching the ball than either of those two noodle arms? I talked to Dayton about this after the season and he assured me he would be having a heart to heart with both of them about the value of teamwork and knowing their place in the outfield.
Alcides Escobar,Shortstop: Nice guy, but it's hard to connect with him on an emotional level. Whenever I would give him a good hard tap in the nuts he always seemed a little mad. What's with the attitude, man? It's also a bit unfair that he got to hit in the same spot in the lineup almost all year long. My production would have been even better if I could have been penciled into the #3 spot day after day. I talked to Dayton about this after the season and he assured me he would have a heart to heart with Ned about giving me my rightful place in the lineup and not moving me around and messing with my head.
Alex Gordon, Left Field: Who does this guy think he is? A gold glove? That should be mine. Think of all the assists he robbed me of this year, always throwing people out at 2nd or 3rd base. If those guys would have been allowed their base, then I would have thrown them out. Consider that when voting for your precious gold gloves. I also have heard too many whispers that perhaps Alex is the best player on the team. What about intangibles? What about a good locker room presence? Sometimes leading by example and working hard aren't enough. Sometimes a good swift kick in the nuts is what's needed to get a guy going, and I didn't see Gordo doing that anytime this year. I talked to Dayton about this after the season and he assured me that he would leak more stories to the media about my grittiness and uplifting clubhouse presence.
Billy Butler, DH: That's right, a DH, not even a real baseball player. The one word I would use to describe Billy is selfish. How many RBIs would I have had if he hadn't knocked them in? Besides, Fatty never was on the cover of SI like me. And only 29 homers? Some power hitter. And don't get me started about his speed. I know, speed can be overrated, but yet we should all aspire to be faster than the Molina brothers. I mean, if he was on 2nd base I knew it would take a double to knock him in. Do you know what kind of pressure that puts on me? It's not fair. Alex and Billy never had to deal with somebody so slow on the basepaths. If we keep Billy on the team then pinch run for him if he gets on base and I come to bat. What's so hard about that? I talked to Dayton about this after the season and he assured me that he would talk to Ned about using a pinch runner for Billy more often.
Mike Moustakas, Third Base: He seemed to start out OK but tailed off at the end of the season. I'll have to give him some pointers about how to handle that. He could work on getting on base more often as that would create more run-producing chances for me. I talked to Dayton about this after the season and he assured me that he would tell Mike to get on base more often or be replaced by somebody else who would.
Eric Hosmer, First Base: Another guys who needs to get on base more often. When evaluating my season stats keep in the mind the two black holes and the block of cement ahead of me in the lineup. It was good however to see Eric get knocked down a peg or two. I mean, all that ridiculous talk at the beginning of the season of Eric being the future of the Royals and a perennial All Star? I mean, get real. He doesn't have a section of New Orleans named after him like a certain right-fielder on the same team. I talked to Dayton about this after the season and he assured me that Hosmer would never have a section of a major US city named after him.
Me, Right Field: What can I say? I would have liked to have a touch more homers this year, but with the lineup that I have been saddled with, what can you expect? I was pleased with my aggressive approach. Pitchers need to fear throwing me anything hittable. And don't forget my arm. My beautiful, golden, precious, life-affirming arm. With it I throw out runners from far-away distances and with it I tap the nuts of my fellow teammates and an occasional opponent. (I once tapped an umpire, but that didn't end well and I usually try to block it from my memory.) There is one problem, and that is next year I only have one year left on my contract. It can be hard to play with such uncertainty. I talked to Dayton about this after the season and he assured me it would be taken care of, perhaps somewhere in the 3 year, 29 million range.
Chris Getz, 2B: Gritty guy, but that word is used a little too much for Chris. If he's so gritty, how come he always gets hurt? You don't see me, the real captain of grit, missing games for injury, do you? He also needs to develop a little more power. How many more runs would I have scored if he could have driven me home more often? Also, I didn't get as many hittable pitches because they don't fear Chris. Ned should move me up in the lineup to hit in front of that tub of goo Butler. I talked to Dayton about this after the season and he assured me he would work on getting me adequate lineup protection.
Salvador Perez, Catcher: Another guy who gets hurt way too often. And what's with all the talk about his arm? Never forget, I have the best arm on the team. If I was a catcher I could probably throw out 70 - 80% of runners. And why are catchers so concerned about throwing out runners anyway? I mean, if a guy gets on base and gets a good jump on the pitcher, he should get the steal. Catchers shouldn't be so concerned with their personal stats in trying to throw out runners. I talked to Dayton about this and he assured me that I would always have the green light to steal.
Pitchers: I don't have much to say about any individual pitcher, other than they need to keep trusting their defense. I remind them of my arm and tell them getting a guy or two an inning on base isn't that big of deal because ol' Frenchy will bail them out with his gunslinging arm. I talked to Dayton about this after the season and he assured me he would always put a premium value on pitchers who allow lots of baserunners.
Wil Myers, Third Base: I am adding a special note for the supposed phenom, Wil Myers. It is hard to believe, but there have been some fans who have wanted Wil to replace me next year. It is clear those guys don't know what they are talking about. First of all, I have heard reports that Wil struggles with plate discipline and pitches out of the zone. You can't bring up a guy who will have those issues in the major leagues. I have also heard whispers about his defense, and well, every team needs a guy in right field with a cannon for an arm, so I think I will be OK. There could be a problem if the calls for Wil grow louder, and that could affect my concentration next year. I talked to Dayton about this after the season, and he assured me that I have nothing to fear. Either Wil will move to a different position (3rd base anybody?) or be kept down in Omaha. He said the good folks in Omaha deserve a good player to lead them to the playoffs year after year.
Well, that about does it. I know some thought I had a down year this year, but a lot of it was out of my control. I will work hard in the offseason and I am looking forward to getting back to having the typical Frenchy year next year.