Sunday, February 22, 2009

On the Intrasquad game and the next Shane Victorino..

Today kicked off the unofficial official start of Spring Training, at least in my opinion.  I'm speaking about the intrasquad game, of course.  Only after the game do we get lineups, so let's take a look at Team A now:

CF Coco Crisp
SS Mike Aviles
LF David DeJesus
DH Ross Gload
1B Billy Butler
 C John Buck
2B Willie Bloomquist
3B Esteban German
RF Derrick Robinson
DH John Suomi

Notice anything different about this lineup?  Two DH's.  Which is a great idea, in my opinion.  It is important to get as many players as many at bats as possible during Spring Training.  I think the top three in this lineup is how the opening day lineup probably shakes out, barring injuries.  While it's not ideal from a stats standpoint, a stats standpoint also says that the difference between the best lineup and the worst lineup is about 10 runs a season.  Also I'm glad to see that they're using Ross Gload at DH, I hope he doesn't spend a single inning in the field this spring, we know very well his abilities in the field, it is much more important to see how Butler/Jacobs/Shealy perform.  Onto Team B:

CF Mitch Maier
SS Tony Pena Jr.
1B Mike Jacobs
DH Ryan Shealy
3B Alex Gordon
 C Miguel Olivo
2B Mark Teahen
DH Alberto Callaspo
LF Chris Lubanski
RF Jose Duarte

My first thought on this team is that I love the outfield.  It has a lot of youth and possibly future callups this year in it.  Mitch Maier and Chris Lubanski are both two of the hardest working prospects in our upper minors.  They are also two of the bigger disappointments of the Allard Baird era.  (Along with Colt Griffin, Mike Stodolka.. etc. etc. etc.)  This outfield also contains one of the sleeper prospects that I really believe in. And as you will come to find out through my writings I'm a HUGE fan of this sleeper prospect. He is easily my favorite position player in the minors.  And he reminds me of one of my favorite position players who isn't a Royal, Shane Victorino.  He is... Jose Duarte!  Both Shane and Jose play excellent defense with great throwing arms.  They both are keen to getting on base via the walk and stealing bases at a good rate.  Shane has more power than Jose but Jose has improved his power numbers every step of the way.  His ISO Slugging percentage in '06 was 76, in '07 was 79 and last year jumped up to 100.  ISO slugging is simply Slugging percentage minus Batting Average, and is a good indicator of raw power.  It is a stat I enjoy utilizing.  

Anyway, on to the rest of the team.  I am glad they are playing Teahen at 2B from the get-go, but am afraid they are not committed enough to allowing him to succeed.  I watched a media clip from today where Trey Hillman was talking about how he had to remind Teahen to get some time in the OF after he was through at 2B.  I understand that Teahen needs to work all around the diamond because that is most likely where he will be playing, but in my opinion, Teahen should spend all of his time at 2B right now, because if he is unable to be a starter there, he is not going to be a starter anywhere on the field.  His defense in the OF and at the corner INF positions is good enough to get him by as a utility player without the extra work in spring training.  Mark needs to focus on 2B and 2B alone for the remainder of ST.

On another note, former Jayhawk and Rangers 3B prospect Travis Metcalf won the HR derby today, beating J.R. House in the finals.  The derby was a competition between three Rangers and three Royals.  From the Royals there was Corey Smith and Kila Ka'aihue along with House.  The Rangers supplied German Duran and last year's first round pick Justin Smoak as well as the winner, Metcalf.

Wednesday will kick off the official start to Spring Training, or at least to the Cactus League season.  The game will be between the Royals and the Rangers, and scheduled to start is Horacio Ramirez.  I imagine this selection is because whoever pitches first, will likely be able to pitch the most.  While the pick does suck on one hand because I'm not a big Horacio fan, it is also a wise pick that I respect because it will allow for the best evaluation of his abilities.  Also slotted for some innings are Brandon Duckworth and Lenny DiNardo for two innings (or 30 pitches) each.  Following them will be an inning each from Henry Barrera, Yasuhiko Yabuta, and Franquelis Osoria.  This info is all from the KC Star.  

According to this schedule, the Royals have 34 Cactus League games this spring.  This includes split squad games.  I plan on doing a small writeup for each game, as long as I am able to find information or at least a box score.  I also plan on naming a player of the game and possibly doing a small writeup on my thoughts for each of one of the players on the Royals 40 man roster (including a few days where I do two players, so the numbers match up.)  Well see how it takes off, however I am very much enjoying putting my thoughts on paper (so to speak) with this blog so far.

Well, as always, thanks for reading.  Leave any questions or suggestions for future topics in the comments.


  1. if you or your readers want the full play by play of the intra squad go here

  2. Thank you very much, kind sir.