Sidney Ponson had another awful showing today, as he pitched 5 innings allowing 7 runs (7 earned) on 7 hits with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. He did give up just one extra base hit, a triple to Travis Buck, but was obviously not 4th starter quality today. (Unless we're using the 2005 Royals as the measuring stick, in which he was probably #2 starter quality). While spring training games are not a promise of things to come, this late in the game they are sure a good indicator, and all indications point to me wanting to vomit as I see DM penciling in "Ponson, S." in the 4th starter's slot below Kyle Davies.
edit: I forgot to even write about my frustrations about how our 2nd best starter this spring, Sir Luke Hochevar was sent down yesterday, but needless to say, the move frustrates me! I'm frustrated! Frustrated..
Horacio Ramirez was bad enough, I felt like he was a waste of space, too old to have potential and too much of a bad track history to trust any potential he was given anyway. But at least he was a lefty. At least DM could argue that he was something he felt we needed. Sure, I disagree, I don't see any point in saying that it's more important to have a lesser pitcher in your rotation because he uses the wrong arm to throw a baseball. But the whole Sidney Ponson thing is really turning into a sour apple for me. Now while it's true, one sour apple might not necessarily spoil the bunch, (at least I'm trying to not let it spoil the bunch), it is one more thing to add to my list of grievances with Dayton Moore.
Sure, DM has added countless depth to the organization, but is that more of a function of his eye for talent or his ability to make David Glass open his checkbook more often? I believe the argument could swing either way. I'm not ready to write off DM yet, as I haven't been in the past. But I really could use some reinforcement from him that he is committed in the ways he says he is. Please do not let Tony Pena be on this team, please do not let Ponson or Ramirez be in the rotation. Please stop trying to make the Royals be something they are not. They are a youthful team that is building in the right direction, stop trying to add pieces that are unnecessary and a waste of money. This money could be spent in Latin America!
Take for instance Horacio Ramirez, Ross Gload and Willie Bloomquist. All three are superfluous parts on this ball club, in my opinion, because they could easily be replaced by AAA or players who are released. Let's look at just how much money these players are set to make in 2009, assuming they spend the entire year with the Royals.
Ross Gload - 1.9 million
Horacio Ramirez - 1.8 million
Willie Bloomquist - 1.4 million
2009 total - 5.1 million dollars
5.1 million dollars is a ton of money. Let's take a look at something that 5.1 million dollars could buy the Royals in Latin America instead of these three wasted roster spots.
Last season, the Oakland A's set a record for the highest international signing bonus in franchise history when they inked then 16 year old RHP Michael Inoa to a contract with a bonus of 4.25 million dollars. Inoa is already rated as the A's 3rd best prospect as a 17 year old by Baseball America. Keep in mind that the A's have the 3rd best system in MLB according to the same source. That is to say, we could trade Gload, Ramirez, and Bloomquist for an A caliber prospect, and possibly add wins that very season as well.
While this all sounds promising, keep in mind that just having money to spend isn't the same as signing this caliber of prospect. And that player is just a prospect, not a proven commodity. However, all of these things in the open, I think that 7/10 Royals fans would prefer the prospect over the ML trash.. (oops I mean "players").
My point isn't that we should cut these players and sign the next prospect we find to a monster deal, my point is just that in baseball, especially in this economic environment (dang it, I promised myself I wouldn't bring that up..), it's ultra important to watch spending, and most importantly, spend wisely. Sure, there's no guarantee that Inoa pitches even 1 effective ML inning, but I'd rather build my team with players of his caliber than overspend for players who have already proved they are not super stars.. (see: Guillen, Jose).
Anyway, let's take a break from this rant and take a look at the game. The Royals lost to the A's 7-2 today in front of 3,183. Obviously Ponson was bad, but the rest of the pitching was good, as the pitching outside of Ponson struck out 4 batters and walked none in 4 innings. The offense on the other hand was abysmal. The hitters struck out 8 times and walked just once, which is really frustrating this close to the season.
Let's take a look at the HoG and the PoG.. By the way, as the season gets rolling I'm going to be adding a box to the sidebar on the main page listing which players have won the POG and HOG and how many times they have won it. Should make for an interesting experiment as far as who I think has carried the team the most.
Hitter of the Game
Tony Pena had two hits including the only extra base hit (a double), but since he's Tony Pena I'm going to choose someone else. That's why John Buck will be the hitter of the game for today. John was the lone Royal to draw a walk. Sad, but true. John was 1-2 with 1 run scored. John took the one walk and did not strike out. His spring average sits at .390.
Pitcher of the Game
Robinson Tejada will nab the pitcher of the game award, and it wasn't just because he was Ponson's first replacement. Tejada pitched a perfect 6th inning with 2 strikeouts, proving that even fringe-replacement level pitchers could succeed against the A's today. I guess that makes Ponson below replacement level.. hmm..
Gil Meche will face off against Aaron Cook and the Rockies as each pitcher will get their last look before the regular season tomorrow. First pitch is at 3:05 central time. Tomorrow's game will be the second to last game in Arizona, as the Royals will travel to and play in Texas Friday and Saturday.