Pirates, Mariners, D-Backs, and Orioles down. Just 26 more to go, and let’s start in Kansas City.
The Royals were not expected to make the playoffs, but a lot of people had them finishing third in that division. The Royals could not and did not deliver, and that does not look to change anytime soon.
If you look at this roster, it is just awful. Their infield is Kila Ka’aihue, Mike Avalies, Yuinesky Betancourt, and Wilson Betemit. Ka’aihue was a KC top prospect, and they have been waiting for him to develop for years. He did not exactly break through, hitting .217 and hitting 8 home runs in 180 at bats. Mike Avilies did have a good year for himself, hitting .304 with 8 home runs, but only 32 RBIs. He beat out Chris Getz for the second base job midseason. Betancourt hit only .259, but did have 16 home runs. Wilso Betemit also had an OK year, hitting .297 is 276 at bats, but he is certainly not the third baseman they want going forward. The third baseman they really want is in left field.
Alex Gordon was going to be the next big thing in baseball. But after four years having a career batting average of .244, he was sent to triple A. He was called back up, but moved o left field. Gordon could still not get it done, and may now be considered one of the biggest busts in baseball.
The rest of the KC outfield is not so flashy. Gregor Blanco, who was acquired from Atlanta midseason, hit .283 with only 1 home run. And then Mitch Maier, who hit .263 with five home runs and 39 RBIs. But the Royals will get David DeJesus back for next season, so that should sure up a mediocre outfield.
Kansas City did make one good move last offseason, and that was acquiring Jason Kendell. He hit only .256 and slugged only .277, but he was an important backstop and veteran presence in Kansas City. He did not homer, but he was never really a home run guy. His stats may not show it, but Kendell was an important part of that team.
Now the pitching. In Kansas City, it’s Zack Greinke and everyone else. And this year Greinke had a 4.17 ERA, and made some interesting comments about the organization, saying he does not see them improving anytime soon.
The rest of the staff gets worse from there. Kyle Davies had an ERA over five, Bruce Chen identical to Greinke, Sean O’Sullivan at 5.49, and Bryan Bullington at 6.12. The rotation was one of the worst in baseball, and the bullpen ain’t better.
Blake Wood had an ERA of 5.07, Robinson Tejada had a WHIP of 1.33, Gil Meche had an ERA of 5.69, and Greg Holland had an ERA of 6.75. The only bright spots in the bullpen were Dusty Hughes and Joakim Soria.
What moves can Kansas City make to improve? Actually, not many. Kansas City has three top prospects, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Mike Montgomery, who could be ready in a few years. But what can bridge KC to those three? The Royals will probably re-sign Wilson betemit, to bridge to Moustakas. There is a possibility that KC may trade their DH Billy Butler to make room for Hosmer.
Bottom Line: Kansas City will not compete for a while. But it may be sooner than you think.
Yeah remember that article I wrote bitching to Theo? I may need to remove that. I am Theo’s biggest critic, but I must say so far his moves look good. Marco Scutaro so far for me has been a very pleasant surprise. Solid in the field and is hitting all over the place. John Lackey has been better of late as well. Adrian Beltre- wow. I did not like the pick up as much as first, but he has been great. He may even be an MVP canadate right now.
One thing that worries me is the overuse of Daniel Bard. He is very good, but he is on pace for the scond most appearences in the AL. That worries me. They need another bullpen guy to rely on. I’d love for that to be Hideki Okajima, but they may need to look elsewhere. Maybe Matt Thornton or Phil Coke could be options. Or calling up Robert Manuel.
Last night the Red Sox beat the Diamondbacks 6-2. Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis hit two run homers.
The Yankees lost to the Phillies 6-3. Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard went back to back.
The Rays lost to the Atlanta Braves 6-2. Our old friend Eric Hinske had an RBI.
Tonight is game seven. Read all about it a BBS.
I made my before-Spring Training predictions, here are my Opening Day Season predictions. Plus, check out the player to watch feature which gives you a player to watch on each team during the reaguler season.
AL East Player to watch:
Boston Red Sox (Jacoby Ellsbury)
New York Yankees (Marcus Thames)
Tampa Bay Rays (Ben Zobrist)
Baltimore Orioles (Nolan Reimold)
Toronto Blue Jays (Adam Lind)
Minnesota Twins (Orlando Hudson)
Chicago White Sox (Jake Peavy)
Kansas City Royals (Rick Ankeil)
Detroit Tigers (Austin Jackson)
Cleveland Indians (Micheal Brantly)
Seattle Mariners (Chone Figgins)
Anaheim Angels (Kendry Morales)
Texas Rangers (Neftali Feliz)
Oakland Athletics (Brett Anderson)
Philadelphia Phillies (Jayson Werth)
Atlanta Braves (Jason Heyward)
Florida Marlins (Mike Stanton)
Washington Nationals (Nyjer Morgan)
New York Mets (Kiko Calero)
St.Louis Cardinals (Colby Rasmus)
Chicago Cubs (Randy Wells)
Cincinatti Reds (Aroldis Chapman)
Milwakee Brewers (Alcades Escobar)
Houston Astros (Hunter Pence)
Pittsburgh Pirates (Garrett Jones)
Colorado Rockies (Jason Hammel)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw)
San Fransisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner)
Arizona D-backs (Justin Upton)
San Diego Padres (Clayton Richard)
1. Evan Longoria
2. Joe Mauer
3. Kendry Morales
1. Albert Pujols
2. Chase Utley
3. Ryan Braun
AL Cy Young
1. Jon Lester
2. Cliff Lee
3. Zack Greinke
NL Cy Young
1. Roy Halladay
2. Chris Carpenter
3. Tim Lincecum
1. Brain Matusz
2. Austin Jackson
3. Desmond Jennings
1. Jason Heyward
2. Mike Stanton
3. Madison Bumgarner
1. Don Wakamtsu
2. Ron Gardenhire
3. Joe Maddon
1. Bobby Cox
2. Tony LaRusa
3. Freddi Gonzalez
AL Comeback Player
NL Comeback Player
Those are my predicitions. My Internationl League predictions will be sometime next week.
Last year I went to roughly 15 spring games. I’ll go to about the same amount this year, I’ve seen Ft.Lauderdale, where the Orioles used to play. Ft.Myers, home of the Red Sox. Bradenton, where the Pirates play. Orlando, with the Braves. In Viera beach for the Nats. Lakeland, home of the Tigers. I’ve seen the Cardinals and Marlins in Jupiter. And Pt.Charlotte for the Rays. This year I will go to games in Ft.Myers(Red Sox and Twins) Pt.Charlotte(Rays), Dunedin(Jays), Kissimmee(Astros), Bradenton(Pirates) and Sarasota(Orioles). My first game is this Friday at Twins. It’s the first time I’ve seen that park. After this year the only parks I won’t have seen in the grapefruit league are the Yankees, Mets, and Phillies. I am right behind the Red Sox dugout for most games. Best seats I;ve ever had at any sporting event. I hope to get some player autographs. Last year I got Joe Maddon in Ft.Myers, and Cesar Cedeno in Viera.
I will see Lester/Wakefield Friday, and I’ll see Buchholz Sunday in Sarasota. I really want to see Kelly pitch this year. That would be so awesome! Anyways, I love spring training games. It gets you so pumped for the reaguler season. Go Red Sox! Remember to ask questions on the mailbag! I’ll post any pictures I get here at the blog! I had some I wanted to put here, but the computer is not coroperating!
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
New York Mets
San Fransisco Giants
San Diego Padres
AL MVP Top 3:
Evan Longoria- Rays
Joe Mauer- Twins
Kendry Morales- Angels
Red Sox MVP:
AL Cy Young Top 3:
Jon Lester- Red Sox
Zack Greinke- Royals
Cliff Lee- Mariners
Red Sox Cy Young:
NL MVP Top 3:
Albert Pujols- Cardinals
Jayson Werth- Phillies
Ryan Braun- Brwers
NL CY Youn Top 3:
Josh Johnson- Marlins
Tim Lincecum- Giants
Carlos Zambrano- Cubs
Desmond Jennings- Rays
Jason Heyward- Braves
The Baltimore Orioles will compete with the Rays for the #3 spot in the AL East
The Royals will have a record around .500
Mike Cameron will hit 25 HRs
The Reds will finish over .500
The Blue Jays will have the second worst record in baseball, ahead of only the Mets
I will be right about at least one thing here(I told you, bold predictions)
As most of you probally know, the Winter Meetings in Indianappolis begin on Monday. Most of the time little to noting happens, but you never know. Here is a list of what you may see happen this week.
- Jason Bay’s destanation: I feel that Jason Bay may sign this week, possibly with Boston, Anaheim, or Seattle. I feel the Red Sox LF problem will be resolved, whether that be from Jason Bay or a possible platoon with Jeremy Hermida and Xavier Nady. I feel Bay’s chance of signing with Seattle has dimmed with their siging of Chone Figgins. Look out for the Cubs as a sleeper here as well.
- Trades? Some players that may be used as a trade chip: Manny Delcarmen, Casey Kotchman, Gary Matthews Jr, Matt Capps, Fransisco Cordero, Heath Bell, Milton Bradley, Pat Burrell, Josh Willingham. The Mets are in on Willingham, the Marlins with Bell and Delcarmen, and you all know the Rays-Bradley rumor by now.
- Spenders Revealed: This week the major free agent spenders may be revealed. I can see Seattle, Boston, Both New York teams, Baltimore, and Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are looking for a closer, and their name has been conected to Mike Gonzlaez, matt Capps, and Matt Lindstrom. Baltimore is belived to be a serious contender for John Lackey, and Jason Marquis is interested in the Mets, though it is unknown if the Mets are interested in him.
- Recent Trades and Signings: Some recent trades and sigings that mey affect other deals: The Rays aquired C Kelly Shoppach, Greg Zaun signed with the Brewers, The Braves signed Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, The Athletics traded for Jake Fox and Aaron Miles, The Rangers aquired Joe Inglett off waivers, and the Red Sox signed Marco Scutaro.
Here is a list of every MLB free agent signing to this point. You can also see this list at Soxtime.com. I will update this with every signing.
Name: Position Old Team Rumored teams: Signed with: $:
Erik Bedard SP Seattle Boston, Baltimore
Paul Byrd SP Boston None
Aroldis Chapman SP Cuba Boston, NYY
Jose Contreas SP Colorado Colorado
Doug Davis SP Arizona Milwakee
Justin Duchscher SP Oakland Oakland, Boston, CHC
Kelvim Escobar SP Anaheim Boston
Jon Garland SP Los Angeles Baltimore, Anaheim
Mike Hampton SP Houston Atlanta
Rich Harden SP CHC Boston, Seattle
Livan Herndandez SP Washington Washington
Randy Johnson SP San Fransisco None
John Lackey SP Anaheim Boston, Texas, Baltimore, Anaheim
Brandon Looper SP Milwakee Milwakee
Jason Marquis SP Colorado NYM
Pedro Martinez SP Philadelphia Philadelphia
Brett Myers SP Philadelphia NYY, Boston
Vincente Padilla SP Los Angeles Houston
Carl Pavano SP Minnesota Minnesota
Brad Penny SP San Fransisco San Fransisco
Andy Pettitte SP NYY NYY
Joel Pinero SP St. Louis St.Louis, Boston, Seattle
Ben Sheets SP Milwakee Boston, NYY, Texas
John Smoltz SP St.Louis St.Loius, Texas
Jarrod Washburn SP Detroit Seattle
Todd Wellemeyer SP St.Louis None
Randy Wolf SP Los Angeles LA, Texas, Atlanta