Saturday, July 12, 2008

Billy Butler Interview on "Country Fastball"

Check out a live interview with the Royals DH (and future AL batting champ), Billy Butler over at Country Fastball, a Las Vegas radio show. The show is on Sundays at 8 p.m. Central.

Here's the link:

Other News: First-half negatives to be reviewed tomorrow

Today's Lesson: David Dejesus's stock has maxed out.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Catch Up Post.......

We are back. After taking a premature Allstar break from the blogosphere (due to a surprisingly busy Summer schedule), CatR has returned in its full, flowing-robed glory. The trumpets are sounding and the angels (not of the Berroa or Sanchez variety) are singing!
I welcome you back on this steaming Kansas evening because the Royals proved to me today that they have not given up on the season. Today's hard-fought, come-back win over the Rays salvaged a journey to the East that was a near disaster. 3-5 ain't great, but it sure as hell beats 2-6. John Buck celebrated his 28th birthday today by nearly knocking over the foul poll in left, and driving in what proved to be the game winning runs. Mike Aviles had a nice bounce back game (he was 0 for his last 16 before going 3 for 5 today with a homer), and Royals AllStar Joakim Soria notched his first win of the season after blowing a save in the ninth. Just a few comments before I review the first half of the season.
  • What the hell is up with Carlos Pena and Daniel Cabrera??? These guys have just plain sucked in the first half, especially lately for Daniel Cabrera, and just demolished the Royals. Cabrera throws a complete game (with ZERO WALKS!!!!), and Pena has an 8 RBI series including a game-tying homer off of the afore mentioned, and seemingly unhittable, Joakim Soria. Bizarre. I know Pena had 46 dongers last year, but it was a career year, and he probably will never approach 40 again.
  • Ok, Evan Longoria is pretty damn good. It makes me sick that our supposed "future superstar" at third is hitting .250 in his sophomore season while Longoria mashes like the Ryan Braun rookie of '07! What the hell? There are 3B mashers all over the place, and our can't-miss, perfect-swing lefty can't hit the sea from a boat! Argh. Anyway, hear we go
Positives from the first half of '08...
  1. Jose Guillen: Great signing. I realize that a .272/.297/.465 line is really nothing to write home about, but do you remember how he started the season? I sure do. After April, his line looks like this: .310/.330/.517. Other season totals so far: 13 homers, 28 doubles, and 64 RBIs. The down side? 65 Ks and only 10 (yes, 10) BBs. Little plate discipline, Jose. Please. I'm aware that Guillen has never been a big walker, but he is on pace for less than 20. Not cool. While his average and OPS are nothing to be particularly proud of, and certainly not AllStar numbers, this is what we wanted from this guy. On pace for over 25 homers and 100 RBIs is good enough in my book. I would say that the main concern right now is that his OPS+ is at a league-average 100. Ouch.
  2. David Dejesus: Trade, trade, trade, trade, trade. My good God, could this guys stock be any higher? .312/.370/.475 coming into today's game in which he went 3 for 6 with a triple. You could say that he is reaching his prime right now at age 28, or you could say that this year is a fluke and this team needs as many prospects as possible. I don't necessarily think this is a fluke, but I vote for the prospects. It's still pretty barren down on the farm for the Royals right now. Besides, Dejesus is not a true center fielder. He is a left fielder, and is 18 homers with 10 stolen bases a year good enough? Yeah, but that's if you're center fielder isn't Joey Gathright. Look at the Rays for instance. BJ Upton has an OBP of close to .400 and is on pace for 50 plus steals. Would the Rays like DD over Eric Hinske? I think so. Dejesus's stock is maximized, and the Royals still need a lot of help. Make the move, Daytona Moora. Forgot to mention the ridiculous .470 batting average with runners in scoring position. One-way ticket to trade city.
  3. Mike Aviles: Has his thrill-ride tapered off a little bit? Sure, but this has still been a treat. I was talking to a friend in the Spring about the pathetic farm system and lack of potential MLB players, and he asked, "What about Mike Aviles?" All I could do was laugh, but maybe I was wrong. Let's let the Aviles train ride the tracks for the rest of the season, and see if it derails in the Rockies or makes it all the way to the Pacific!
  4. Mark Grudzielanek: Just Grud being Grud folks, just Grud being Grud. Could be decent trade bait before the month is up...
  5. Zack Greinke: Yes, it has been a struggle lately, but for God's sake, can we sign this guy already? 7-5, 3.62 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 96 Ks. Are you kidding me? I would have signed that contract at the beginning of the season if you asked if I'd be happy with that line. The ace of the foreseeable future.
  6. The Mexicutioner: What's there to say about Soria that hasn't already been said? I'm a stats guy, and percentages guy (Economics major will do that to you), but I'm also a gut feeling and semi-superstitious guy. All signs point to putting Soria into the rotation, but I'm not buying it. The guy seems like he was born to close out ball games. His attitude, look, and stuff are perfect for the role he's in. I'm just not convinced that he can dominate hitters over 6 innings with a high-eighties/low-nineties fastball. What a first half though. He belongs in New York on the 15th, there is no doubt about that (not like Harvey or Redman is my point).
  7. Back end of the bullpen: Ron Mahay, Leo Nunez, Ramon and Horacio Ramirez have all been great. If Nunez comes back healthy, I'm going to feel a lot better about this pitching staff. I also like the addition of Robinson Tejeda.
Ok, that's enough blogging for one day. I'll go over the many, many negatives of the first half tomorrow.

Today's Lesson: F%$# AT & T's internet service!