Remember when Dayton Moore disregarded how Daniel Lynch is underachieving and Zach Greinke can’t strike anyone out and Carlos Hernandez was a dumpster fire and Kris Bubic’s ERA is almost 10 by being all “Hey now, you better give Cal Eldred credit for Brad Keller!”
So, about that.
Brad Keller was a disaster on Sunday, getting lit up like a Christmas tree by the Baltimore Orioles. The Royals, winners of the first two games of a four-game set, faltered an opportunity to win just their second series since the last week of April. They did make a comeback after falling behind 7-0, but the final score was 10-7, Baltimore.
Keller, whose ERA is now nearing 5.00 and has lost a league-worst eight games this year, was blown up to the tune of five earned runs while only picking up five outs. The Orioles led 5-0 when he departed, and they led 7-0 and 10-2 throughout the game. The Royals did pick up some garbage-time runs, but it was never competitive.
There just isn’t much to say about Cal Eldred except for the fact that he’s a terrible pitching coach. The Royals’ pitching staff is 14th or 15th out of 15 league teams in literally every category. J.J. Picollo went on Soren Petro’s show the other day and was like “hey, he’s been great with Brady Singer!” Let’s just disregard that Singer has given up 10 runs in 10 innings in the last couple of weeks, which lines up perfectly with when Eldred would start coaching him again.
I’m going to word this very simply - the Royals are going to ruin all of these young arms - the same young arms that they’ve vowed will save the franchise and lead them to the promised land - if they keep entrusting Cal Eldred to coach them. Daniel Lynch is brilliantly talented but has broken mechanics and zero control. Brady Singer looked great for a couple of weeks but has slipped back into mediocrity recently. Brad Keller is bad, Kris Bubic is mostly terrible, and Carlos Hernandez is chilling in the minors. The offense has been noticeably better since making a coaching change. What in the world does this organization feel they owe Cal Eldred to risk the future of all of these high draft pick pitching arms for him?
The offense had a couple of highlights, albeit ones that were inconsequential to the final outcome. Bobby Witt Jr. hit his eighth home run, second on the team only to Salvador Perez. Hunter Dozier and Michael A. Taylor both hit their fifth homers. Dozier had four hits. The bullpen did ok, save for Amir Garrett, who gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning when the Royals started to battle back a bit. Taylor Clarke also gave up a run.
Things got a little interesting in the bottom of the eighth, when Emmanuel Rivera hit an RBI single and Michael A. Taylor had a run-scoring groundout to make it 10-7. Whit Merrifield walked, bringing Andrew Benintendi to the plate as the tying run, but he lined out to extinguish that threat. The Royals brought the tying run to the plate again with two outs in the ninth, but Carlos Santana, in shocking news, made an out to end the game. He was 0-for-3 on the day. I can’t believe he’s still here and Vinnie Pasquantino isn’t.
Mike Matheny and Dayton Moore talk about Ryan O’Hearn like he’s the game’s ultimate weapon when it comes to pinch-hitting. They act like they have a prime Barry Bonds on the bench, ready to pinch hit in any clutch spot. Yet you don’t even use him as the tying run for CARLOS SANTANA in the ninth inning? Get them both off my team forever.
The Royals’ record in their last 13 series: 1-10-2. One series win in 13. And J.J. Picollo is really going to go on the radio and be all “nah I think we’re just a few years away.” Still stuck in that “you have to suck for years and years before you can reap rewards of a rebuild” mindset, aren’t we? Picollo also said that he doesn’t think that there’s a need to blow it up because the Royals have a nice young core. Hey, buddy, we don’t want the core blown up - we want the front office blown up. YOUR JOB is what we want changed! We know the pitchers are talented - we want a competent pitching coach instructing them on a daily basis! We know the young core with MJ Melendez and Bobby Witt Jr. is bright - we want a GM that can be trusted to make positive trades and piece together the right roster to help them thrive. We want a manager that will actually play the young guys and not lose the team in his third season. J.J. Picollo is Mini Dayton Moore. Just when you thought one Dayton Moore was bad enough!
The Royals are 20-39. Remember my line about how if you had $1 for each win they have, you wouldn’t be able to afford Kauffman Stadium parking for a game? One more win and you’d have just enough! And it’s only going to take until the third week of June to get there!
Tomorrow: a three-game interleague set in San Francisco starts, beginning with an 8:45 pm first pitch at Oracle Park. Kris Bubic is up next.