Sports Outside the Beltway

Royals Week In Review

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

Notable Stats

Record: 9-12
Spring training records have little to no correlation for the regular season, but it’s worth noting that the Royals current pace would give them a 69-93 record over 162 games.

Butler 1.288 (37 Plate Appearances)
Gload 1.257 (40 PA)
LaRue 1.233 (26 PA)

Billy Butler has been hitting in the last half of most games this spring, which means that production has come against mostly minor-league competition. Still, the boy can hit.

Ross Gload has been getting starts and looks like a lock to keep Justin Huber from getting out of Omaha this year, while Jason LaRue appears to have found his stroke this spring. John Buck is not far behind, but LaRue has proven he can hit in the big leages… Johnny Boy? Not so much.

Dotel 0.00 (6 Innings Pitched)
Soria 2.57 (14 IP)
Grienke 3.86 (14 IP)

Assuming he doesn’t wet his pants when a game that means something is on the line, it looks like the Royals may have found a bullpen solution with Dotel.

With Luke Hudson heading to the DL and Brian Bannister sucking in his last two starts, both Zach Grienke and Joakim Soria may begin the season in the starting rotation. Grienke is still giving up the long ball on occasion, but both of the young pitchers are striking out a batter an inning, which is a welcome sight.

Position Battles

Angel Berroa may have finally worn out his welcome with the big club. He has put up a 263/300/342 line this spring, mirroring his career stats, which are terrible.

BREAKING NEWS:The Royals just picked up Toney Pena Jr. from the Atlanta Braves.

Pena is a good fielding shortstop who doesn’t get on base much and doesn’t hit for any power. His best OPS in the minors was 671. Basically, the Royals have just replaced Angel Berroa with Angel Berroa.

At catcher, both John Buck and Jason LaRue have made good cases for themselves at the plate. I wouldn’t be surprised to see LaRue get the opening day nod over Buck due to his experience, but my guess is they will split time evenly this season.

In other shocking news, Alex Gordon was named the starter at third base, beating out the ghost of George Brett and Phil Hiatt’s flash in the pan.

2007 Predictions
Nearly everybody is predicting the Royals to finish dead last in the American League central with between 92 and 97 losses.

The Hardball Times puts them at 67-95, one game back of Tampa Bay for the worst record in the league.

Arm Chair GM has them at 70-92.

Replacement Level Yankees ran four projection systems through the Diamond Mind simulator to get these results.

CHONE: 64-98
Diamond Mind: 65-97
PECOTA: 66-96
ZIPS: 65-97

This comment puts it bluntly: “[In 4000 simulations, the] Royals are the only team who failed to make the postseason at least once.” puts the team at 85/1 odds to win the world series.

Place your bets now.

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