Sports Outside the Beltway

Royals Week in Review – 7/20/07

After sticking it to the Red Sox, the Kansas City Royals prepare for a showdown with evil next week. But, before the Yankees come to Kauffman stadium, the boys in blue must first vanquish the front-running Detroit Tigers in the Motor City.

Ivan Rodriguez’s ninth inning homer must be avenged!

Month by Month
Thanks to the hard work of people like Sean Forman, hacks like me can find stats like this almost instantly:

       W   L   RS   RA   WP
April  8   18  99   132  .308
May    11  17  112  159  .393
June   15  12  145  117  .556
July   7   6   74   56   .538
Courtesy of

God, I love the internet.

As you can see, the Royals have turned into a winning ball club over the last two months. The results for July are difficult to judge, as the team hit a lucky stretch playing in Boston against two of the Beantowner’s lesser pitchers.

Playing on the road against the division leaders and then against a New York team that smells blood in the water should be a truer test of the progress the team has made.

Trading Deadline
Thanks to the internet age, pretty much every major leaguer can count on his name coming up in a trade rumor about this time of year. Both of my dead grandmothers have been linked to talks with the Cubs about a mid-level prospect.

The fact is, only Octavio Dotel is likely to get any serious scratch back for the Royals this season.

Dotel has a 3.15 ERA in 20 innings with the team this year, and it looks like bringing him back is not an option. If Dayton Moore can flip the Dominican for some top-level farm help, then his one-year contract will have been worth the gamble.

Future Stars
A quick refresher on some common stats I use.

AVG – Batting Average. Most people are familiar with this metric.
OBP – On Base Percentage. This takes into account walks and hit-by-pitches to give a better look at ability to get on base.
SLG – Slugging Average. This accounts for a player’s power by giving credit for each base reached with a hit. 1 for a single, 2 for a double, etc.

Currently, the American League is batting 269/340/419 (AVG/OBP/SLG).

Here is how some of the young players on the Royals stack up:

Billy Butler – 348/400/580 since being called up June 20th
Alex Gordon – 303/358/434 since the first of June
Mark Teahen – 366/487/548 with runners in scoring position
Joey Gathright – 315/390/370 before being sent down when Reggie Sanders came of the disabled list

Reggie Sanders is 377/450/623 on the season. AVAILABLE NOW!!! DIRT CHEAP!!!

Of course, Reginald is a career 267/343/489 hitter, which is nothing to sneeze at, but lends one to believe his current numbers may not hold up.

On the pitching side, there are several players to be excited about.

Brian Bannister – 3.87 ERA Ambriorix Burgos, whom the Royals traded straight-up for Bannister before the season, has put up decent numbers with the Mets as a reliever, but is currently on the disabled list.

Joakim Soria – 1.98 ERA Don’t forget, this guy through a perfect game in winter ball. Here’s hoping he won’t be relegated to the bullpen forever.

Jimmy Gobble – 2.67 ERA It’s easy to forget that Gobble is only 25 years old. His splits are heavily favored against left handed batters, but there’s something to be said for finding a role for a player who failed to meet expectations with regularity over the last four years.

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