Is baseball season over?
No, it’s not over, but it is, and has been for a while, for the Royals. So now we look even more at the organization as a whole and not as much on the day-to-day events. I’m still watching the games, as painful as that can be, but I’m more interested in how to fix the mess that is the Royals.
And I’m looking forward even more to football season, both college and the NFL. So I will be looking more at that is the near future.
But today is the beginning of July. I’m looking forward to assembling the new Traeger and smoking a brisket for Independence Day. I hope you have exciting plans as well.
And look out today for college athletes to be promoting products. The new name, image, and likeness rules kick in today. Athletes in NCAA sports can earn money and remain eligible. This should be interesting.
12:10pm – MLB – Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox (BSKC, MLBN)
WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THE PITCHING?
We know the pitching is a problem. Specifically, the starting pitching is a problem. The Royals said they were looking to compete this year, and the state of the rotation shows they were expecting the young guns to make an impact. But things have not worked out well for the Royals. Is anyone to blame? If so, who?
The ultimate responsibility for how a pitcher performs on the mound rests with the pitcher himself. The only starting pitcher who has performed well this year has been Danny Duffy. And of course, before the Royals could trade him, he went on the injured list. And now Duffy is rehabbing at the major league level. He was out for over a month, and the state of the pitching is so bad that Dayton Moore decided to have him rehab in the major leagues instead of the minors. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I can’t remember ever seeing anything like this.
But other than Duffy, nobody has pitched well in the rotation. Maybe you could argue that Kris Bubic has been ok, but he too has had his struggles. Brady Singer has been awful. Mike Minor has been bad. Brad Keller has been terrible. Daniel Lynch was a disaster. Jackson Kowar was outrageously bad. Who else you got? They haven’t been good.
So first and foremost, blame those pitchers for their struggles. I would say that you can’t blame Lynch and Kowar because of their youth but you can. They were so horrendous that their youth doesn’t excuse those performances. And as I have said before, this doesn’t mean they won’t have successful careers. They just had miserable debuts.
So if these are good pitchers, where is the problem? The next place to look, if you believe the talent is there, is at pitching coach Cal Eldred. Is he planning the pitcher game plans appropriately? Is he using the strength of each pitcher into account? It’s one thing to say it is Eldred fault, but have the pitchers even been good enough for him to do anything with them? After all, if you aren’t throwing strikes, what can the pitching coach do? Or if you are throwing meatballs, what can the pitching coach do?
We have seen Dayton Moore have a short fuse with hitting coaches in the past. But he’s giving Cal Eldred a lot of leeway. Does Moore really believe Eldred is the best pitching coach available to help the young pitchers transition to the major leagues? Or is he afraid that making a change right now would do them more harm than keeping the same voice on the bench?
Is Mike Matheny the problem? I don’t particularly like his use of the bullpen, but it’s hard to say he is the problem with the rotation. Maybe this stunt with Duffy is his problem, but who knows if that was Matheny’s recommendation. And if it was, can you blame him? He needs a pitcher who can get outs. Duffy has been the best starting pitcher at doing that before he was injured.
Dayton Moore will preach patience with the young pitchers. And he is right. You have to give them time. Plus, what else can the Royals do but have patience? They aren’t going to spend money to bring in free agent pitchers. So we will just wait. We will watch bad baseball until the young pitchers develop or a new pitching coach or new general manager is hired.
NOTES… Royals LHP Daniel Tillo began a rehab assignment last night with the Surprise Royals. Tillo is returning from Tommy John surgery… RHP Wade Davis was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right forearm strain… LHP Richard Lovelady was recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take Davis’ spot on the roster… SS Bobby Witt Jr. and 1B Nick Pratto will represent the Royals in the Futures Game during the All-Star break… 3B Emmanuel Rivera was placed on the injured list with a broken left hand. OF Edward Olivares was recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take his roster spot.
Andrew Miller on the sticky stuff crackdown: ‘We should be able to communicate’ (Jayson Stark)
Thanks for reading…