Tag:Joakim Soria
Posted on: August 17, 2010 1:40 am

Lightning In A Bottle

When Bryan Bullington won his first victory as a major league pitcher Sunday against the Yankees, it was an event long, long overdue.  The former overall 2002 first round pick of the Pirates had pitched okay in the minors, but injuries and a lack of opportunity to start in the majors had finally put Bryan on the mound starting for my all of a sudden starting pitching starved Royals.  The 8 innings of shoutout ball preserved by Joakim Soria could have been lightning in a bottle, a once in a lifetime performance by a journeyman given one last chance in the majors by the team of last chances, the Royals.  At 29, it was nice to see BB finals realize his potential, if even for one memorable start in front of a home crowd that seemed to be half Yankees fans. Also, the last time KC had beaten the Yanks 1-0, 1972.  It was a performance long overdue by a Royals pitcher. 

On closer inspection, this start may not have been a total fluke or anomaly however.  29 year old pitchers are in the prime of their careers most of the time.  He hasn't been overused by any means (reference one Gil Meche) and had a very good start the time before, plus decent stats in AAA with the Omaha Royals.  Maybe all he ever needed was an organization to hand him the ball every fifth day and have some confidence he'd do the job.  Now two excellent starts may be putting delusions of grandeur in the minds of KC fans, desparately searching for positives in yet another season that somehow unraveled all too quickly and unmercifully.  All Bryan deserves is an opportunity to show his stuff the rest of the season.  With Kyle Davies being a big tease as a starter, Luke Hochevar and Gil Meche battling the injury bug, Brian Bannister overthinking every pitch instead of relying on instinct and movement, and Zack Greinke just having one of those years, we need a success story in the rotation.  We also need someone to just outright pitch well consistently. 

Maybe Bryan can become all of that.  All us KC fans know is he'll get a chance to earn a rotation spot in 2011 if he pitches well the rest of the season.  Good luck Bryan.  May that lightning in a bottle from Sunday last you a few seasons. 
Posted on: March 11, 2010 3:24 am

The Royals Will Win the 2010 World Series*

*  Provided the other 29 MLB teams all suffer crushing injuries to their entire 40 man rosters.  This claim is made for entertainment and attention grabbing purposes only and in no way represents CBS Sports or in any way signifies one D2Moo is ready for a professional mental evaluation although those who know him have suggested psychological help has been needed for years.

Now I have fully grabbed your attention, this blog is about my hometown team, the much maligned Kansas City Royals.  To be a Royals fan the last 15 years has been in simple words, hard as hell.  But this is 2010.  Zack Greinke is coming off a wonderful year and an AL Cy Young.  Billy Butler improved at the plate and in the field to be an above average major leaguer.  There are some positives for this year.  Positive we haven't seen for some time in this town.  So here is a quick rundown of the team.

Always have to start with pitching.  Zack Greinke and Gil Meche are a very good #1 and #2 starting combo.  If Trey can keep from letting Gil go out and throw 120 pitches in consecutive starts, he should be healthy and ready for this year.  Zack is, well, phenomenal.  He shouldn't miss a beat this year.  He could actually have a higher ERA and still be a big winner if the team plays defense behind him and he gets even a 1/2 run a game better support from the offense this year.  Luke Hochevar should be one more year improved as well, although it may be 2011 before we see him break out into the pitcher he can be.  Anyone who can have an 80 pitch complete game in this day and age has potential like crazy.  Brian Bannister should be #4 in the rotation.  He is a thinking n=mans pitcher who shouldn't over think his pitch selection.  When he just pitches, he does fine.   would like to see Robinson Tejada get the last spot.  Kyle Davies to me is a better suited pitcher for the bullpen.  The starting rotation should get them deep into most ballgames.   then the set up guys come into play.  Juan Cruz is the key for me.  He has to put up better numbers.  Kyle Farnsworth is trying for a starting role.  If that makes him a better reliever, fine.  He should never pitch in the 8th ever again in my opinion.  Fine early though.  He's best suited for a situational 6th and 7th inning role.  Joakim Soria has the back of the pen sewn down.  He has multiple pitches, multiple speeds, and a track record of success.  He has converted 89 of 99 save opportunities in the last three years here.  One last bullpen man of note is Edgar Osuna.  A rule five pick (like Soria was) he has a nice arm and so far looks decent in the spring.  too early to tell, but he may have a role in the pen.  In conclusion, the key to any 2010 Royals success will depend on how reliable the set up men are.  If they can get the game to Joakim with the team ahead, it could be a good year.

The rest of the team will be better defensively this year.  David DeJesus returns, having committed zero errors in 2009.  Now he has outfield help with Rick Ankiel, Scott Posednik, and Brian Anderson getting most of starts.  Posednik is the weak link here, but he is still miles ahead of Jose Guillen in RF.  The infield is better defensively with Josh Fields and Chris Getz playing.  Butler is the only sure bet as the first baseman.  All the other positions are still up in the air as of right now.  Jason Kendall will catch.  Better defensively than Buck and Olivo, but doesn't hit with as much power.  Doesn't whiff as often either I believe.  

The offense couldn't be worse than last year.   On second though, yes it could.  Butler will be fine.  If Ankiel can get back to .275 with some pop in his swing and Jose Guillen plays it straight and is motivated in a contract year, the offense might score enough most nights.  Alberto Callyspo, if not traded, has a sweet swing.  Too bad a iron glove will keep him from seeing more action.

So to sum up this mess of mine, the Royals will go as far as pitching and defense will take them.  They'll have to because the team may not be proficient in the run scoring department.  It would be nice to see the team have all career good years instead of everyone having career poor years.  

Record in 2010: 80-82.  Finish in 3rd or 4th depending on the White Sox.  Division will be decent this year, even with the Twins Joe Nathan probably out for the season.  The Royals, they'll make just enough progress to tease us fans.  Decent pitching and above average defense will prove in 2010 that the old Meatloaf tune "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" is true in KC.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com