No More Neal
If you recall, when the Royals claimed INF Timothy "Tug" Hulett off of waivers a few weeks ago, they subsequently DFA'd LRP Neal Musser. Well, I hadn't heard any news on Musser's status until today. Apparently the Houston Astros signed Musser today to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, and he reported to the 'Stros camp today.
I just checked Royals.com and Neal Musser cleared waivers and was released on the 27th of February.
The Impact.. at least according to me
While it is unfortunate to lose a player like Musser in the sense that it's always good to have extra lefties stashed away in AAA, it's also a very positive sign of where the Royals are headed. While Musser might not make the Astros out of ST, I think it's only a positive sign that the guys that we get rid of are being picked up by other big league teams. There was a time when the players that we DFA'd would have to go to an independent league or to Japan, because there were no teams lower than the Royals to pick up our scraps.
Sure, it may not be a big deal, as it surely is just a small sign. But it's important to keep everything in perspective. While it definitely takes a long time to turn such an awful franchise as KC around, this is one more sign that we're on the right track.
DFA's in '05 and '06
All of the crappy players we designated for assignment in 2005 and 2006: RHP Ryan Jensen 6/4/05, Eli Marrero 5/31/05, Calvin Pickering 9/6/05, Kyle Snyder and Devon Lowery 1/6/06, Chip Ambres 3/28/06, Joe Nelson 4/26/06, Steve Andrade 4/1/06, Aaron Guiel 6/30/06, Kerry Robinson 6/21/06, Kyle Snyder 6/11/06, Steve Andrade 6/11/06, Chris Booker 7/9/06, Donnie Murphy and Juan Cedeno 11/20/06, Scott Dohmann 12/8/06, Brandon Duckworth 12/11/06, Paul Phillips 12/15/06
It's proof positive that we're getting better because Neal Musser is better (and at least has a better combination of youth and usefulness (being a lefty) than just about all of those players. Sure, you can make an argument for some, but I hope you get my point.
The Royals will take on the Texas Rangers once again, with Heath Phillips, Ron Mahay and Kyle Farnsworth scheduled to pitch. No official word on the starter, but I imagine it's Heath. Also, the Royals have a B game against the Rangers in the morning on the side field, getting the start will be Gil Meche.
Thanks again for reading!