Sports Outside the Beltway

Royals Week in Review – 4/13/07

Holiday travel meant a week off for the Kansas City Royals Week in Review, or KCRWIR, as I’m hoping the kids start calling it. That means this will be a season in review for the team as we prepare for week three of the young MLB season.

The Money Man

A quick recap: One earned run against Boston on opening day. Dayton Moore is a genius! Gil Meche is the greatest steal of the off season! Wait… 6 runs in seven innings against Toronto. Meche sucks! This is the worst contract ever – an albatross that will surely sink the Royals for good. Hold on… five Ks and no runs against Baltimore yesterday. Hmm… maybe Meche is a good pitcher.

All of the praise and panic aside, Meche has a 3.10 ERA with a 3.75/1 strikeout to walk ratio after three starts.

The KC Star is running a great feature now called the Meche Meter.

It basically assigns a dollar value to certain counting stats Meche puts up in each start. It may not be the most sabermetrically sound method of measuring a pitcher, but it’s not a bad way to look at the results a major league starter should be expected to post.

The Saviors

The nicest surprise so far has been the pitching of Zach Greinke. In two starts he has 12 strikeouts and only one walk to go with a 1.38 ERA. Any stats from so early in the season are to be taken with a grain of salt, but young ZG looks good so far.

Of course, the other future star hasn’t had it so great. Alex Gordon, he of the golden locks and the level swing, has managed just two singles and a home run so far, while striking out in a third of his plate appearances.

At the moment, the media vultures seem to be giving AG a chance to find his footing, but don’t be surprised if talks of shipping him to Omaha start up if he has a bad weekend. (My money is on Flannigan firing the first shot)

Having watched most of the games so far, Gordon doesn’t look completely overmatched to me. He’s averaging 4.08 pitchers per plate appearance and at least making pitchers work to strike him out.

The Rest

It’s starting to look like those 15 strikeouts in Spring Training are all that Royals fans will get to see from Octavio Dotel for a while.

In sad news for Greinke, both of his maternal grandparents passed away. He expects to be back with the team for his scheduled start this Sunday.

Joakim Soria’s six Ks in six innings have garnered him a shot at the closers role.


Ten games into the season, the Kansas City Royals are at 3-7, last in the American League Central, 3.5 games back of Detroit and Minnesota.

A look at the sparkline for the season so far (thank you THT) shows that three losses have been by only one run, so there is no reason to sell all of your Jimmy Gobble memorabilia on eBay just yet.

Currently, Baseball Prospectus gives the team a 1.18% chance at making the playoffs based on their current record and projected results.

This is compared to the no chance that most people gave the team at the start of the season. The pitching has been league average so far. It’s time for the offense to step up.

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