While we wait for the Royals to resolve nine arbitration cases today, let's answer some reader mail!
I think its 50/50 Hochevar will be ready to go Opening Day. He was supposed to begin throwing off a mound this month, but we're halfway in and I haven't heard anything on this yet. There are bound to be some minor set-backs. Recovering from Tommy John surgery ain't a picnic, but I wouldn't panic just yet. If he's not ready to go Opening Day, he should be ready shortly thereafter and I would bet he's in the pen by May.
The Royals will have a rotation of Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy, Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, and Edinson Volquez with Kris Medlen and Brandon Finnegan as options later in the year. There is no room for Hochevar as a starter, even if they wanted to start him.
I am 99% certain that Brandon Finnegan will begin the season as a starting pitcher in the minor leagues, but the Royals have a way of confounding me by doing what I am 1% certain of sometimes. The Royals have to do what will be best long-term when it comes to Finnegan, and that is to see if he can be a successful starting pitcher.
Its great that Dayton has finally developed a starting pitcher eight years into his tenure (two, at that - Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy). But let's not forget he's dropping $25 million on three starting pitchers next year - Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, and Edinson Volquez. Small-market teams need to be able to constantly produce cheap talent, meaning the next wave has to get here soon because the last wave is getting pricey. Finnegan really needs to be part of the rotation in the near future.
@royalsreview how much of an asset is Nick Kenney and the entire training staff? I'm convinced of a big rebound for Morales because of them— Jeff Cooper (@RehamGornan) January 15, 2015
That's a really good question that I don't really know the answer to. I know Rany Jazyerli sings Kenney's praises, and the team was remarkably healthy last year. However, we don't know whether the health was due to Kenney's work, or just dumb luck. I don't think, for example, if the team suffered a lot of injuries next year it would suddenly be Kenney's fault.
But it does seem like the Royals front office is counting on Kenney keeping these guys healthy. Kris Medlen is a two-time Tommy John surgery survivor. Edinson Volquez has had his fair share of injuries over his career. Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios weren't hurt, but there poor performance in part may have been a training issue. And let's not forget Luke Hochevar is trying to recover from Tommy John surgery. Kenney certainly has his work cut out for him.
If forced to guess right now, how many games do you think the 2015 KC Royals will win?
Do you think the 2015 Royals will likely a) make a large profit, b) make a moderate profit, c) make a small profit, d) essentially break even, e) take a small loss, f) take a moderate loss, g) take a large loss?
Let’s say it is July 1 and Kris Medlen is healthy and ready to start for the Royals. Let’s say the other Royals starters are all healthy and pitching as you expect them to pitch in 2015. What would you do with Medlen? If he goes into the rotation, who would you move out of the rotation?
Its hard for me to see them as much more than a .500 team. I want to believe, but they are due for some regression in the pitching staff, and I'm not much of a fan of their off-season moves. The American League should be much more difficult all around, especially in the Central Division. It is still a talented team, and I still think Eric Hosmer has some upside to have a random breakout year, and I think Mike Moustakas won't be quite as worthless as he was last year, but I don't expect to re-live the magic. I know, I'm a critical spirit.
I think the Royals will basically break-even next year. I think ticket sales will go up, but not by a ton. I think fans are still a bit skeptical. It takes years of winning to really build up the ticket base. I'm already wary of articles this summer criticizing the Royals fan base for not coming out to see the American League Champs with a snarky comment from an anonymous front office executive.
What would I do with six healthy starting pitchers? Put Kris Medlen in the rotation and Jeremy Guthrie to the pen. Medlen's upside is much, much higher, and Guthrie is obviously the worst starting pitcher they have (unless Volquez just collapses). What would the Royals do? They'd say they like Medlen's experience as a reliever and use him as a long-man. Ned's still the manager, man.
-Do any of the HDH trio retain last year’s form, or do they all regress? Which of the 3 is most likely to repeat that success?
-Was Dean Taylor forced out of the Royals front office to make room for Chris Getz?
-Is there any chance QPR will upset Manchester United on Saturday?
-Is there life on Mars?
Kelvin Herrera's strikeout rates scare me. People will be calling for him to go to Omaha in May if that continues. Holland seems pretty likely to keep it going as a shut-down closer, you can set your watch to to him now.
I don't think Dean Taylor was forced out for Chris Getz, but Dean was kinda youngish to retire, so I do suspect he was asked to step aside for some of the younger execs. The Royals are league champs, teams will come poaching talent if you don't give them title bumps.
I said I was going to follow more EPL soccer this year, and adopted Everton as my team, and then....I've been too busy to really follow much. Man U is down this year, right? But Queens Park is....ugh. So, no.
I don't think there is life on Mars, but my six-year old did learn the terrific elementary school rhyme this week of "girls go to Jupiter to get more stupider, boys go to Mars, to get more candy bars." Is he right?
@royalsreview Which 2015 Royals player is most likely to be regarded as a Ho-scaled misanthrope?— Jay Soloff (@jsoloff) January 15, 2015
The Royals will shock the world and acquire Marshall Lynch this July.
Yes, if Madison Bumgarner were pitching.
Why is it THE Ohio State?
Is there a chance one could confuse it with another Ohio State? I do not accept the answer given in the FAQs section of tOSU’s website.
Also, does Ohio State’s membership in an athletic conference that seems unable to count beyond their fingers and thumbs undermine the "national stature" which the university wishes to reflect with their moniker?
Hey, you know you're in Big 12 country, the home of ten elite academic institutions, right? Math is hard.
I graduated from THE Ohio State University in 2000, and we didn't do the "THE" thing back then. I think I remember first hearing it in the 2002 National Championship Game when they played Miami and it has really picked up traction once NFL games had players introduce themselves on camera.
When I was in school I do remember litigation between Ohio State and Ohio University over trademarking. So maybe it has something to do with that. At this point, its more of a point of pride than anything. "See, we know how to spell three-letter words!"
Hey that was fun. Remember to tip your waitresses and we'll see you next week!