30 May 2005

Pentland gets the pink slip

Another step in the right direction was taken by the Royals today as they rid themselves of "hitting" coach Jeff Pentland. Andre David takes over for the rest of the season. David is in his fifth season as Royals' minor league hitting instructor. David managed the Gulf Coast Royals in 1998 and 1999 and the last part of the 2000 season and led the GC Royals to the Northern Division title in 1999. I assume this means the new manager didn't agree with Pentland's philosophy, as I've seen suggested by others. Hopefully they can bring someone good in to take over the spot for 2006. Any suggestions? I can think of Brett (the obvious possibility). Otherwise the only people coming to mind are former players -- Boggs (why he'd come to KC I don't know), etc. While I'm at it, let's grade the team position by position thus far.

C -- Buck .203/.250/.350, 38 games, 123 AB, 4 HR, 14 RBI, .995 FP, 26 SB on, 8 CS, 2 PB
Castillo .178/.224/.333, 16 games, 45 AB, 1 HR, 6 RBI, .991 FP, 2 SB on, 2 CS, 0 PB
If I was grading on offense only these two would be about a D-minus or F. With defense included, I'll up it to a D-plus. Neither are getting on base and Buck has shown rare instances of power while second on the team behind Berroa in Ks. Buck has made some fine defensive plays, though, and I haven't heard the pitchers complaining about him, not that they would to the media.

1B -- Sweeney .315/.358/.545, 45 games, 178 AB, 9 HR, 35 RBI, .997 FP (only 1 error in 303 chances!!)
Harvey .222/.271/.356, 12 games, 45 AB, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1.000 FP in 41 chances
Stairs .254/.384/.465, 38 games, 114 AB, 5 HR, 15 RBI, .963 FP in 27 chances at 1B, 1.000 in 17 at OF
Pickering .148/.226/.259, 7 games, 27 AB, 1 HR, 3 RBI, never took the field
Sweeney's stats can cause one of two main reactions -- 1) Wow, he's the best on the team offensively, has played without much injury and hasn't screwed up at first base! What a leader! or 2)He's the best on the team offensively, has played without much injury and hasn't screwed up at first base yet, let's deal him before he either gets injured or starts kicking the ball around at first. I lean toward reaction 2 but I do realize his merits on the team. Harvey has been a disappointment, as usual -- Stairs has produced offensively but is a liability at first defensively and has no OF range. We have way too many DHs on this team. Pickering was jerked around by Pena but didn't produce much in his limited time at KC. He never got a shot to play 1B, which must say something. It's pretty good when Sweeney is better defensively. I grade this an A for Sweeney alone, all together a C when the other guys enter the mix. There's no reason for Harvey or Pickering to be on the team.

2B -- Gotay .238/.292/.362, 38 games, 130 AB, 3 HR, 14 RBI, .985 FP in 198 chances
Graffanino .294/.364/.358, 32 games, 109 AB, 1 HR, 9 RBI, .979 FP in 47 chances at 2B, .897 in 39 at 3B
Gotay isn't doing much at the plate and has been fairly average in the field. Graffanino has been a pretty solid top-of-the-order or late-in-the-order but has been worse than Gotay in the field. I'd grade them at C-minus or D-plus, since Gotay has gotten a majority of the time there.

3B -- Teahen .231/.278/.374, 28 games, 91 AB, 2 HR, 12 RBI, .957 FP in 69 chances
McEwing .268/.268/.286, 24 games, 56 AB, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .919 FP in 37 chances
Teahen has been much better both at the plate and on defense after coming back from the DL while McEwing has been average as far as hitting but can't take a walk, I guess. Also no power from Joe. Dump him and bring up Truby, who is slugging .432 and getting on-base at a .329 clip at Omaha with only 1 error in the field, which is better than McEwing. I'd grade 3B pre-DL at a D, post DL at a C-plus, since McEwing isn't seeing much time there anymore, unless Schaefer gets the bright idea of replacing Teahen with him late in the game. With McEwing factored in the post-DL grade lowers to a C.

SS -- Berroa .251/.291/.369, 50 games, 195 AB, 5 HR, 14 RBI, .965 FP in 202 chances
Where do I begin with Berroa??? He swings at everything, so is leading the team in Ks while drawing only 6 walks. Isn't the leadoff guy supposed to get on base? Why not lead off with Graffanino? Nobody can steal a base on this team anyway. Berroa also finds a way to make a baserunning blunder or horrible defensive lapse at the worst possible time. His power potential isn't paying off for what else he brings to the team right now. Maybe the new hitting coach will help. I'd grade his performance at a D-plus.

corner OF -- E. Brown .244/.331/.430, 42 games, 135 AB, 5 HR, 20 RBI, .949 FP in 78 chances
T. Long .227/.272/.305, 42 games, 128 AB, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1.000 FP in 66 chances
Marrero .159/.222/.341, 32 games, 88 AB, 4 HR, 9 RBI, .967 FP in 30 chances, .987 FP in 76 at 1B
M. Diaz .240/.269/360, 17 games, 50 AB, 4 HR, 18 RBI, .963 FP in 27 chances
Brown has been doing well lately after a slow start. He gets on base OK and has some extra-base power. He's also done adequately in the OF in right. Long isn't producing offensively and has been adequate defensively without doing anything too great. Marrero is a waste of space and a roster spot. Diaz hasn't caught on at the plate and is still improving in the OF. I'd give this group a C-minus although if Diaz improves or Long starts hitting better that grade could go up.

CF -- DeJesus .273/.337/.395, 45 games, 172 AB, 2 HR, 17 RBI, .983 FP in 121 chances
DeJesus hasn't stepped up as much as KC needs him to, although his BA and OBP have been acceptable. He has a 2-1 K/BB ratio, which needs to improve. He has also made some nice plays in the OF. There's definitely some hope for the future there. I'd grade him thus far at a B-minus to B.

SP -- Runelvys 66 2/3 IP, 5.67 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 39 Ks, 32 BB, 5 HRA, .284 BAA -- grade at D-plus -- WHIP too high, getting hit pretty frequently
Greinke 56 2/3 IP, 4.13 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 35 Ks, 13 BB, 5 HRA, .263 BAA -- grade at B-minus/C+ -- no run support, poor last couple starts
Lima 55 1/3 IP, 8.13 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 25 Ks, 25 BB, 15 HRA (already!), .297 BAA -- F-minus -- dump him NOW!
Bautista 35 2/3 IP, 5.80 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 23 Ks, 17 BB, 2 HRA, .259 BAA -- C-minus -- has shown flashes, was obviously over-pitching that led to the injury, needs to cut down on walks
Anderson 30 2/3 IP, 6.75 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 17 Ks, 4 BB, 7 HRA, .305 BAA -- D-plus, nice K/BB ratio, getting hit badly
Overall a C-minus, Hansen better get to work.

RP -- Sisco 28 2/3 IP, 2.83 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 35 Ks, 16 BB, 3 HRA, .194 BAA -- B -- has been unhittable at times, has good stuff, has had couple poor outings
Wood 27 2/3 IP, 4.23 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 20 Ks, 11 BB, 3 HRA, .208 BAA -- C-plus -- had nice streak of scoreless outings going before other night, holding other teams well offensively
MacDougal 25 IP, 4.32 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 26 Ks, 12 BB, 2 HRA, .271 BAA -- C-minus/D-plus -- still having control problems but has gotten by on stuff at points
Cerda 19 IP, 6.63 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 18 Ks, 11 BB, 3 HRA, .284 BAA -- D-minus -- provided plenty of reasons to send him down, good for a batter or two but not much after that
Carrasco 17 2/3 IP, 4.08 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 5 Ks, 5 BB, 1 HRA, .275 BAA -- C-plus thus far in short time -- hard to grade thus far but had a good start against LA, will need to step up in bullpen at some point
Burgos 14 2/3 IP, 6.75 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 15 Ks, 8 BB, 3 HRA, .267 BAA -- D-plus -- don't know why he's still in KC, could use more minors seasoning, has had control problems but shows potential
Snyder 13 IP, 4.15 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 7 Ks, 4 BB, 0 HRA, .300 BAA -- C-minus/D-plus -- can he stay healthy? Hasn't shown more than flashes, getting hit pretty bad
Nunez 11 IP, 6.55 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 7 Ks, 3 BB, 2 HRA, .225 BAA -- C -- another one rushed to the majors, was doing pretty well statistically before his last appearance vs. LA, has stuff but not much point in being at KC now
I'll just give quick grades on the rest -- Jensen C-minus (can't keep getting shelled like last start), Camp F-minus (good riddance) Field F, Stemle Inc. (would be A thus far but not enough IP to merit a grade), Affeldt Inc. (would be C-plus, can he stay healthy? Can he close games?)

Overall bullpen -- C-minus

Overall grade -- D-plus, could be worse, could be soooooo much better

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