It's Monday. The Royals are 45-62: fourteen games out of first. They own the worst record in the American League and the fourth worst in baseball. There are either a myriad of topics to write about this morning or not much to say at all. It's August in Kansas City.
Sounds like 'multiple topic/limited analysis' day to me.
Over the weekend, Doug Sisson was dismissed as first base coach. Among his other duties, Sisson was also in charge of coaching baserunning. I would not get too excited, the Royals have been a bad baserunning team through two managers, four third base coaches and at least two 'baserunning' coaches.
Despite an almost nightly display of 'Royal Free Outs', Sisson had not taken a ton of heat publicly for the teams' remarkable ability to run into outs. In the early days of Royals Authority, I lambasted Luis Silverio, who had a tendency to stop runners from heading home as he stood about 12 feet from home plate and then wondered why the trail runner (usually Emil Brown it seemed) kept running. Craig was almost disemboweled by Royals' brass for writing a column urging the firing of Dave Owens. Maybe I'm getting old, but the thought of writing a column on Doug Sisson seemed, well, boring.
This move was likely less about baserunning gaffes and more about message sending. I appreciate sending messages, no matter how late they may be.
Old Man Duggan talked of the Yuni Betancourt release, but at least one Dayton Moore love affair has come to an end. The somewhat dark side of all this is that Betancourt was not released because he was hitting .228/.256/.400, but instead for not being a team player. Listen, I appreciate the need for decent clubhouse chemistry, but really? You can post a .256 OBP and still have a job as long as you are nice?
I did find it interesting that Tony Abreu was given the call to replace the Yunigma instead of Irving Falu. I thought Falu did a decent job in his limited time as the utility man (a role he likely could have played beginning in April and saved the Royals some money), but I don't mind having a look at Abreu. Pretty sure that back in the Octavio Dotel trade days, I brought up Abreu as a possible return for him, so see: it all worked out.
Eric Hosmer currently has a triple slash of .234/.304/.366. That is not exactly save-the-franchise type numbers. Chris Getz is outslugging both Hosmer and Jeff Francoeur, which is a fair portion of the reason the Royals are 45-62. Anyway, sophomore slumps happen and, if you want a little comfort here are the current top three comparables to Hosmer courtesy of Baseball Reference: Eddie Murray, Freddie Freeman and Greg Luzinski.
The Greinke trade continues to evolve. I made a quip about winning the Royals winning the trade this weekend based on Jeremy Jeffress having back to back scoreless outings against Texas. Given a few of the comments made in response to that, I am obviously not as funny as I think I am.
At any rate, who is winning this trade to date?
As of this weekend, the Royals have gotten 3.6 fWAR from Alcides Escobar, 0.9 from Lorenzo Cain, 0.0 from Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. The Brewers got a total of 7.7 fWAR out of Greinke before shipping him to the Angels for three prospects. They also got 0.5 from Yunieksy Betancourt in 2011 (I know, who'd have thought!).
When push comes to shove and barring Jean Segura becoming, well, Alcides Escobar, I think the Royals will end up winning this trade, probably on just Escobar alone. However, right now, the Brewers have 8.2 fWAR to show for the acquisition to the Royals' 4.5. Time is on the Royals' side and should Cain continue to produce as he has since coming back and they get anything from Odorizzi, this will likely be one of the best deals in Dayton Moore's tenure.
For fun, I am already setting the following 2012 over/unders.
Jeff Francoeur plate appearances: 198
Bruce Chen starts: 7
Johnny Giavotella plate appearances: 0 (billybeingbilly rejoices)
20122013 debut: June 17th.