Sports Outside the Beltway

Royals Week in Review

A look back at the week that was for the Kansas City Royals.

Grudzie Goes Gimp

The Esteban German experiment at Short took a break this week when Mark Grudzielanek went down with torn cartilage in his left knee. German will take over the starting job at second base until the gold glover is ready to return, which according to reports is anytime between next Thursday and 2009.

Leaving defense aside, German projects as a much better choice at second than Grudzielanek. Last season, he was worth three more runs a game, according the classic formula developed by Bill James.

Of course, German was worth 5.5 more runs than Angel Berroa, who is thus far having a decent spring.

Other Injuries

Joe Nelson has injured his labrum again. Similar injuries kept Nelson from becoming a major league regular in the past. As noted here, Nelson faded badly in the second half for Kansas City last year after pitching brilliantly at the start of the season. The competition for bullpen roles is a lot tighter this year, though, so Joe may find himself hanging out in Omaha for a long time if he makes it back from this latest surgery.

Position Battles

Spring statistics are about as useful to us as J. Howard Marshall’s money is to Anna Nicole Smith, but like Smith, they are fun to look at sometimes.

Buck   600 750 1400
LaRue  400 400 1300

Jason LaRue has shown some nice power in his first healthy Spring Training since knee surgery last year. John Buck has been taking a few walks.

Both players look like locks to make the opening day roster and we may see Buddy Bell use his catchers in tandem like NFL teams are starting to use running backs.

Butler 667 714 1083
Gordon 353 450  588

Billy Butler is treating baseballs like Ron Artest treats his women. Unfortunately, he’s doing so at the plate and in the field.

Alex Gordon looks more like the real deal every day.

Berroa 333 375 533
Blanco 467 467 667

Neither shortstop has taken a walk this spring, though Berroa has been plunked already.

Craig Biggio has made a pretty good career for himself getting on base via the ol’ HBP. Of course, he also hits for power, fields at an adequate level and has that cool tar stain on his helmet.

Other News

Garth Sears rounds up a who’s who of Royals baseball writers for a discussion at Baseball Think Factory.

Bob Dutton discusses options, and reminds us all that crappy players will always make the team so that they don’t go stink it up for some other franchise.

Related Stories:
Recent Stories:

Comments are Closed


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.