Well Ol’ DP caught some flack yesterday for some perceived negativity regarding our Boys in Blue. It’s not often I’m called a negative Nancy regarding my Royals, but this has been a frustrating season. You can look at our division and say we are five games back and be excited. Sure, it’s the best position we’ve been in since 2003 – which when you think about it is amazingly depressing. Let’s look further…
Games Back at June 27 in the season:
2011 – 10
2010 – 9.5
2009 – 9.5
2008 – 7
2007 – 13.5
2006 – 26.5
2005 – 25.5
2004 – 12
Obviously Allard Baird had us in a great spot with the roster he created for 04-07. Seriously, how were we not contracted? OK, so when you look at the above, you’d think every Royals fan would be kissing Dayton Moore’s feet right now. If you are content with just competing, I guess you should be. Coming off the 8 years above, maybe I should just be content with where we are at. However, I can’t get over this truly depressing starting rotation. Like hard to get out of bed in the morning when I think about the guys making up our MAJOR LEAGUE rotation. I just can’t sit back and let it go unchecked when fans are talking about winning a division when 3 of your 5 starters include Vin Mazzaro, Nate Adcock, Luis Mendoza, Everett Teaford, Wil Smith, or Jonathon Sanchez. Those guys have started 29 games this year and we are 12-17 in those games. The big problem though is that those same guys will start 53 of our final 89 games if nothing changes.
There are some other numbers working against the Royals. It is extremely difficult to win a division when you have a 12 game losing streak in a season. To overcome that you probably need to rip off a couple 6-7 game winning streaks to offset that. To win 6 or 7 straight with this rotation would be almost impossible. At the half way point on the year, our longest winning streak is four games. Further, the White Sox are on pace to win 86 games, which means we would have to go 53-36 to finish the season to catch them. That is a .595 winning percentage, which would be a 96-64 team over the course of a full season. I know we’re all excited we just swept the Rays (while skipping Price and Shields in the rotation mind you), but do you think our current roster is a 96-64 team? Cause that is exactly how they will have to play over the next 89 to win this thing. Don’t forget the pitchers I mentioned above…
I think our offensive struggles will improve with Perez and Cain back and Hosmer hopefully finding his stride. Wil Myers wouldn’t hurt either, but that is for another day. For the Royals to have ANY chance in hell for this season, Odorizzi needs to be up the day after the All-Star break and we need him to be a dependable MLB starter. Which would be asking a lot for a guy who started the year in AA. However, it is time for him to come up and get his feet wet, because at the very least – he will be needed for 2013.
Ok, so I just took a leak all over the fire some of you were starting for the 2nd half run. Now, like Godfather 3, I will get pulled right back in and give you a little ounce of hope I dug up. It’s regarding our friend Luke Hochevar. Apparently, he has “turned the corner” once again. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that I could play two games of Pac-Man. It seems like every time he rips off two good starts, Bob Dutton writes a fluff piece about how it has “clicked” for Luke. Listen, nothing will ever “click” for this simpleton. Listen to the man speak – he is an extremely unintelligent man. It’s painful, really. You can tell on the mound that it is only a matter of time before his brain gets in the way of his ability. You know the 6’5” 240 lb RHP who throws 96 with a plus breaking ball. Yeah, those guys typically have the ability to perform at the major league level. Unfortunately, this mental midget from the inbred University of Tennessee has been scuffling for years. However, I have one hope for a cure. Salvador Perez and all his glory. Observe.
Below you will find the OPS numbers against Luke Hochevar split out by his catcher:
.755 John Buck, 24 starts, 5.5 IP/start – 5.5 K/9
.783 Matt Treanor, 22 Starts, 6.2 IP/start – 4.5 K/9
.820 Miguel Olivo, 17 starts, 6.1 IP/start – 5.9 K/9
.785 Humberto Quintero, 14 starts, 5.5 IP/start – 6.9 K/9
.749 Jason Kendall, 13 starts, 6 IP/start – 6.5 K/9
.941 Brayan Pena, 11 starts, 4.7 IP/start – 7.7 K/9
.656 Salvador Perez, 8 starts, 6.8 IP/start – 8.2 K/9
OK, I have to start with the disclaimer of small sample size. Only 8 starts with Salvador means that this is not a conclusive experiment, but baby, I like the hypothesis. I didn’t use ERA, because who knows if his relievers let inherited runners score – that is out of Luke’s control. I just did the pure hitting performance against Luke split out by who was behind the dish. Kendall and Perez are both known for their excellent catching abilities, do you think it’s a coincidence that Luke’s best numbers are with the best game callers? Look how he does with hit first catchers like Olivo and Pena – rough. Here is my theory: Due to the fact that Luke is not as sharp between the ears, he really benefits from a smart catcher who can call the game for him. Tell him to never shake them off and trust them. That makes shit a lot easier for Luke. “Hey Meat, just nod at the sign and throw it to my glove.” Just like Crash Davis did with Nuke LaLoosh. Except ours is Luke LaDoosh.
Exit Question: Are you buying my theory or did I just go Bob Dutton all over your ass?