The first homestand couldn't have gone much worse. But it has gone worse before, so at least we have that.
We all know that BA isn't as important as we once thought it was. Still, I have to say that running a lineup out there Wednesday night with only one guy hitting better than .154 was both depressing and embarrassing. When Manoah saw that lineup card he must have been salivating in anticipation.
Thursday's lineup wasn't much better, with only one guy hitting over .182 at game time. Four of the nine guys in the lineup were hitting under .100, plus one was at .111, another was at .118, and another was at .125. Gausman must have been as ecstatic to see that lineup card as Manoah had been.
Meanwhile, despite all the transparent excuses and rationalizations that Hud reflexively throws out there, Toronto had five guys in their lineup at .320 or better. So it really is actually possible to hit well during the first several games of the season. Once Toronto scored 3 runs in the first two innings I figured we were in for a very long day despite the pitch clock. I don't get to say this very often but it turns out I was right.
Patience is normally a good thing in a hitter but he also has to be ready to attack the first hittable pitch he sees even if it's the first pitch of the AB. It appears that nothing has changed from last year in this regard for Nick Pratto who continues to take hittable pitches for strikes, thus getting behind in the count and putting himself in a position where he has to chase.
He may turn out to be the quintessential AAAA player. We know he can hit in the minor leagues but at the MLB level he just seems unable and/or unwilling to swing that bat until disadvantageous circumstances force him to. Maybe he simply doesn't see MLB pitches as well as he needs to in order to pull that trigger on hittable pitches. Thus his high strikeout rate. His two additional strikeouts on Thursday merely reinforce the point.
Pratto is proof that there really is such a thing as too much patience at the plate.
Sigh, I’m a little torn over here Lesky. I picked 75 wins…..so your absolutely right that I should have expected 1-6 or known this was going to happen during a season. But damn, I’m disgusted with this team. I turned it off yesterday in the 7th saying I didn’t wanted to spend my time watching this right now and then they score a few runs. So maybe it’s me….but I’m disgusted with this product at the moment. I’ve been watching baseball for years….I’m not a baseball exec, or a scout, but when I can see how horrific this defense is on this team they should be able to see that. Maybe I expected a little more of an identity of pitching and defense like the Rays or Gaurdians and we aren’t seeing that which is fueling this. I’m done with Melendez behind the plate. Done. Don’t want to see it. Put him in left and just let him try to hit. Because the truth is he has barely figured that part of it out yet for all the promise we see. Witt Jr, I understand what you are trying to do but he sucks defensively. I’ve seen enough….and that’s probably not fair. But he had 10 days to make a decent throw yesterday and he bounced it on a double play. Ugh, ultimately, I know what they are doing and maybe I just wasn’t prepared for this bad this quickly. But this is a terrible product to watch right now and I don’t know how the team expects people to pay attention when some of the most loyal fans are questioning why they should pay attention as much 7 games in. The frustration has me leading to Picollo is not the guy. Love Q and the hires he made…but I don’t believe in him and his evaluations of guys. Nothing on the defense of this team tells me Picollo can evaluate where these guys should play. Zero.
Anyway, no real need to respond. Just getting a little rant off my chest. They will play better going forward during some stretch. Just feels like a familiar cycle that I really would like to get out of. If that’s getting rid of Picollo as a fall guy. Do it. Lol.
Same old sinking feeling is sooo spot on! And man, have we ever wasted some good pitching efforts and that's what really hurts. Not much to say about what I've seen thus far that anyone else can't see: we can't get on base, hit or play Defense, and Lyles is perplexing - is he going to lead our team with most strikeouts and highest ERA too?
So this seems like a good spot for a Veteran PSA if you don't mind Lesky: for those that are out of market fans and are also Veterans: the MLB package is 35% off for vets. That makes it under $100 for the whole year. Hell, even if you're in the KC market and like to watch other teams that is a helluva deal for those who served. I used gov.id to prove my vet status and MLB TV verified it in under 10 minutes.
Now, can we get the bats going please!
Do not put me in the group for tickets for any games. I’m an usher so I’ll be there anyhow. I’m very glad that Cain is retiring as a Royal.
Insert a date: Maikel Garcia will be back with the big-league club by __________.
On a more positive note, I like the improvement on the pitching side. We need a couple starter upgrades but that trajectory turned around faster than I expected. I think that makes the offensive woes feel even worse.
With all the disclaimers included about how early it is and how small the sample size, I will say this. Whether we win 60 or 80 this year, this team is not good enough or proven enough to not run hard and play hard. That is something you can choose to do regardless of talent or experience. I’ve been disappointed by that in the early going. I’m a big Nate Eaton fan, but he was pretty lethargic on the single allowed to be stretched into a double, MJ looked pretty nonchalant to me failing to catch the pop up yesterday, and Olivares acted like he knew he hit a homer on his double and got lucky that didn’t bite him. I hope the new staff is addressing these little things. Hitting big league pitching may be hard, but deciding to give max effort should not be. Maybe I’m just venting too and overreacting to the rough start, but it has stood out to me.
Yes...2012...thanks for that walk down the Royal Dark Ages memory lane.
My moves ...yes start flip-flopping the releavers between Omaha and the big league team as you have depth there... Chapman, yes start the conversation....cut Dozier and Reyes and bring up Garcia to play short...bobby to third... leave Pratto on the big league team...go all in on the youth.... have faith in your process...and pray!
If we are gonna make a trade, it needs to be Melendez. I'm tired of seeing this guy in the outfield !! Its embarrassing!! He definitely looks like a catcher out there. The routes he takes in attempt to make some of these plays is horrendous. Ball is ALWAYS going over his head or bouncing off his glove. He's a catcher ,not an outfielder. Plus we have backup catchers in Omaha. I would definitely ship him asap. Only issue with that is, it creates two holes, you would need a catcher and an outfielder. But the guy is a liability out there. It's not like his bat makes him a necessity to have in the lineup regardless of his outfield play.
One other tweak is to stop hitting Witt as lead off. Doesn’t everyone remember how terrible he was last year at lead-off in April? Move him down, let him get hits, & start moving him back up to the 3 where he belongs. He is not a lead-off hitter. I’m not certain MJ is either, but definitely not Witt.
I find it so interesting how almost everyone had so much faith in this young lineup to start the year and near zero in the pitching. Of course, its a very small sample size, but if what we've seen from the pitching staff as a whole is real, I'm very excited. The more games go by that we are in but cant squeek enough runs across, the more encouraged I will be. Bubic looks completely different. Keller looks completely different. Chapman. Pitching is what matters and so far we are seeing REAL improvement. The lineup is concerning. But its full of young hitters. They've been pressing from opening day. Bobby still can't hit fastballs. Olivares plays less than JBJ for some unknown reason. But seemingly every other ball MJ hits is to the wall and Vinnie is coming around. If this pitching continues and the lineup can get to average, they will start winning some games. Maybe 73+ wont happen. But if we find out our pitching development is back on track..who cares?..
It definitely sucks they've started so slow, but like you said, we all knew this was an evaluation year. Defensively we are still a puzzle with pieces missing. We still don't know which young players are going to stick. But we have several in AAA that haven't had their chance. If the pitching improvement continues, I do have some encouragement that winning will come in the next year or two. And with this new staff and JJ, maybe just maybe we will be able to sustain decent baseball for awhile.