The Royals lost again on Thursday.
This time it wasn’t close and they were never in the game. Today let’s talk about the struggles of their young starting pitchers.
New York Yankees 8, Kansas City Royals 1
7:05pm – MLB – Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers (BSKC)
3:05pm – MLB – Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers (BSKC)
4:30pm – MLS – Los Angeles Football Club at Sporting Kansas City (ESPN)
1:35pm – MLB – Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers (BSKC)
PROSPECT STRUGGLES RAISE QUESTIONS
Daniel Lynch was sent back to Triple-A after three poor starts. Jackson Kowar was sent back to Triple-A after two poor starts and one poor relief appearance. Both players were told to work on something mechanical to fix their problems. This raises a question. If there was a mechanical problem that was noticed in their major league stints, why wasn’t this noticed and corrected at the minor league level before they were promoted to the major leagues? The truth is that the mechanics argument is garbage.
Prospects are promoted to the major leagues because the club feels they are ready to be successful at that level and can help the team. Why else would you promote a player to the majors? Nobody calls up a player they feel isn’t ready.
So the Royals thought Lynch and Kowar were ready to successfully contribute at the major league level. Both had success at the minor league level. Both failed miserably in their major league stints. And both were told to work on mechanics in Triple-A to get back to the show.
Mike Matheny recently discussed Kowar’s checklist to return to the majors. He specifically mentioned Kowar’s extension and stride length. Those are two measurables that could have been known at the minor league level. Why did the Royals not identify these problems before Kowar was promoted?
The fact is that Kowar wasn’t struggling in Triple-A so there was no reason, in their minds, to dig deeper. Except, if this is true, there is a reason. When Kowar was promoted, his service time started to accrue. If the Royals really believe what they are now saying, why would they promote a player with mechanics problems? Mechanics are either not the reason for recent prospect failures, or the Royals failed at checking the mechanics of their prospects. Did their mechanics change when they reached the major leagues?
And why aren’t we hearing about mechanics problems with Brad Keller? He has been terrible. What’s the excuse for him? The Royals can blame the minor league staff for not fixing Kowar’s and Lynch’s mechanics, but who do they blame if they say Keller has problems with his mechanics?
So now the club has sent Kowar back to the minor leagues to work on a problem they never identified the first time around before his initial promotion. So will they do better this time? No. Kowar will make slight mechanical adjustments. He will have success. He will be promoted back to the major league club, and it would be hard to see him not having better results.
So the Royals will claim that they saw a problem, he worked his tail off to fix it with the help of the minor league staff, and then they brought him back to the majors and he was successful. To them that’s successful player development.
Or things could go wrong. Kowar could injure himself after trying to make mechanical changes that aren’t needed and he ends his career having never returned to the majors. If that happens, the club will say that Kowar just never got it.
Regardless of the outcome, and it will likely be somewhere between the two scenarios I provided, the club will never be wrong in their eyes. You see, they have a way to develop players that works in their minds. If a player doesn’t have a long major league career, there was a flaw in the player.
But wait. Doesn’t this contradict my view recently that the Royals don’t have a player development problem? No, it doesn’t. See, the Royals don’t have a problem bringing a player to the major leagues any more than any other team. Well, maybe the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics are better at it. But overall, the Royals are like almost everybody else. The problem is that most every team struggles with this.
Mechanics in baseball are the fallback excuse for everything. Struggling on the mound? Bad mechanics. Struggling at the plate? Bad mechanics. Meanwhile, there are players who don’t follow the current trend in mechanics who go to the Hall of Fame. It’s not about mechanics. It’s about being able to perform. Baseball needs to build more ball players and fewer robots.
Fix baseball? MLB is working on a plan (Jesse Rogers)
Thanks for reading…