Interesting article. It’s interesting to me that this team’s two “better” hitters are catchers in a day in age where teams value defense behind the plate more than offense. It’s a little arbitrary because Melendez is now playing other positions. I dunno if its good or bad actually from a roster configuration. Probably doesn’t matter with position flexibility anymore.

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Joel Goldberg recently claimed that the Royals have "five MLB-ready catchers." If that's true then two of them should be traded for prospects at positions of need immediately!

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Jun 24, 2022·edited Jun 25, 2022

Superbly well thought-out, David. Thank you for this!

If DM weren't in charge I'd say there's another argument in favor of extending Melendez: if Salvy is somehow able to reestablish decent trade value, MJ's presence would presumably(?) make it possible to trade Salvy before he falls off the inevitable cliff.

Unfortunately, DM is still in charge. For now, at least.

Added later: I wrote that before we got word that Salvy's surgery will keep him out for at least 8 weeks. If they believed in MJ as much as they claim, last offseason was the time to trade Salvy - as I was screaming at the time. (To a chorus of boos and hisses from all the experts over at The Athletic. Haven't heard much from them today, for some reason.)

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I apologize, I know this has nothing to do with the MJ article. But I wanted to put it out there while the most recent game is still fresh in everyone's mind...

There's a decent chance that Keith Law will ultimately be proven right: Daniel Lynch will end up being the best of the Royals' class of 2018. But to me, for a guy to be a legit top-of-the-rotation starter he needs to pitch into the 7th inning very consistently, and needs to complete the 7th roughly half the time. That's where my doubts start to creep in…

Wednesday night was a perfect example: Lynch required 77 pitches to get through the first 4 innings. To his credit they were scoreless, but still that's not sustainable if you want to go 7 IP. (Just ask Danny Duffy.) Or - perish the thought - even pitch into the 8th once in awhile.

(Lynch compounded the problem by throwing his 104th pitch with just one out in the 5th inning. That's 8 pitches per out, and that's not gonna work.)

Ohtani, by contrast, required only 57 pitches through his first 4 IP, and that's with 9 K's! (More than twice as many as Lynch.) Now THAT is a top-of-the-rotation starter.

Is it "unfair" to compare Lynch to the uber-talented Ohtani? I don't think so - they both pitch in the same league. But even if it is unfair, it's not unfair to point out that elevated pitch counts can prevent a moderately competent pitcher from becoming anything more than just moderately competent. Lynch needs to fix that. I wish I could feel more confident that he'll get genuine help from his pitching coach.

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I don't think it is wise to have too long a contract for too much money since you never know how successful a player will be in the long run. Of all the comparisons, I think the Paul DeJong figure makes a lot of sense. He has proven experience, while MJ is at the beginning of a promising career. Six years is a plenty long contract and the Royals are not the wealthiest of teams. In reality, $26 million is more money than most people with any sense could ever spend and if, like Salvador Perez, he likes playing for the Royals and enjoys his teammates, he might be happier where he is with a decent and fairly long contract that could have sweeteners in it for good performance.

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Jun 25, 2022·edited Jun 25, 2022

David - in your opinion, which is a truer indication of the real Nicky Lopez? What he did at the plate last year or what he's doing this year?

I anticipated a bit of a regression this year, but I'll admit it: I expected considerably better than this... maybe something along the lines of .265/.325/.660 - which (I think) is about halfway between where he was last year and where he is now. Yes, he could still reach those numbers this year, but he's going to have to be pretty damn good for an extended time in order to do it. As skeptical as I've become as I've embarked upon my curmudgeonhood, sometimes I still have trouble taking those Royal-blue glasses off.

And on another topic: Olivares missed 43 games, then hit a 430 ft HR on the first pitch he saw upon his return. Then, just for fun, he hit another HR his next time up at the plate, to raise his season OPS to 1.126. So we can safely assume that he'll soon be headed back to Omaha, correct?

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Any theories about why MJ has such absurdly backwards lefty-righty splits? Just random noise in a small sample size? Or is something more going on there?

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You're probably right, but Salvy was an exception. I'm just saying that liking your teammates and enjoying being with them should count for something.

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Speaking of extensions... It's looking more and more like they should have given BWJ the Evan Longoria treatment: extend him before he ever sees a single MLB pitch. Their reluctance to do that may end up costing them a whole lot of money and/or several years worth of his services.

"More transactional," Dayton? I believe that would have been a transaction, would it not?

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Jun 26, 2022·edited Jun 26, 2022

On Sunday Brady Singer pitched much more effectively than his stat line would indicate. He deserved far better than he got from his defense.

The good news is that even when his defense let him down he kept it together, didn't lose focus, and limited the damage. Sunday may have been the first time I've genuinely thought, "Singer pitched like a grown-up today."

Progress never proceeds in a perfectly straight line. But I find myself hoping that Singer turned some sort of a corner Sunday afternoon.

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I think your arbitration estimates are a bit high. $19 million if he is a very good player? Judge just got that with 26.4 WAR in his rearview mirror. The only Royal to exceed that in the past is George Brett. $23 million as an estimate for upside? The only guys that got that had over 30 WAR prior to the arbitration.

I like Melendez, but I don't think he is going to be the best player in Royals history.

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