Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dan's Opening Day Roster

Every year since high school, we would gather 'round in journalism class and decipher who should play where, who will be in the rotation and bullpen, and then get our Opening Day previews ready for our newspaper 'The Ragout.'  Granted, the reception for the Royals preview wasn't always a huge hit because it didn't involve the Cardinals, which made us enjoy it even more, but I digress.  Obviously, this season has a whole new feeling to it.

Ever since the massive trade that sent Wil Myers to Tampa in exchange for James Shields and Wade Davis, we've been transformed into a "we're going for it" baseball team.  This is what makes baseball so great.  Clearly, the kind of spring we're having right now doesn't really mean anything, although it's very nice to see some wins.  Spring Training is more than just shaking the cob webs off, it's about figuring out your new, adjusted roster, it's about warming up for your upcoming season for players with job security, others it's about acquiring a job.

photo courtesy of
There are a few names that stick out as far as having a solid spring, others haven't been so lucky, and a few..well we just expected it.  Of course, Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas should be at the top of the list as far as those having successful pre-seasons.  The other, without any argument, is David Lough.  Now 27, Lough has made a case for deserving a spot on the roster in Kansas City, and rightfully so.

His situation, unfortunately  is against him.  In front of Lough, the likely candidate for the 4th OF spot is Mr. Zoombiya himself, Jarrod Dyson, who of course is out of options.  Fortunately, Lough does have options.  Don't get me wrong, I've been a big fan of Lough.  He's given a great effort at every level and has produced quite nicely, but the cards have just been played against him for so long.  I think it's fair to say that he's well overdue for a longer stint in the bigs.

As for those not performing up to protocol, we all know who is at the top of that list: drum roll please.......Jeff Francoeur.  Last year's .235/.287/.378 line from Jeff was absolutely unacceptable.  All season, it was such an eye sore to see him in his locked up 5th spot in the lineup and day after day, just not produce like he did in 2011.  Frenchy, known for his positive clubhouse presence, took it personal.  This past off-season he started working out with Alex Gordon, which obviously has it's advantages, but even though he's lost weight and got into the gym constantly, the spring has been just another "Frenchy" performance.  With that said, he has made aggressive comebacks before and it will be interesting to see how his 2013 summer will kick off.

Let's get down to brass tacks.  This is my lineup that I wouldn't mind watching on April 1st, and hopefully it's no joke:

LF - Alex Gordon
SS - Alcides Escobar
1B - Eric Hosmer
DH - Billy Butler
C - Sal Perez
3B - Mike Moustakas
RF - Jeff Francoeur
CF - Lorenzo Cain
2B - Johnny Giavotella

C - George Kottaras
OF - Jarrod Dyson
OF - David Lough
IF - Elliot Johnson

James Shields
Jeremy Guthrie
Ervin Santana
Wade Davis
Luis Mendoza

RHP - Luke Hochevar
LHP - Bruce Chen
RHP - Aaron Crow 
RHP - Kelvin Herrera
LHP - Tim Collins
LHP - Donnie Joseph
RHP - Greg Holland

Time to be a little realistic.  First of all, Chris Getz will likely be the chosen one for second base.  In today's game against the Cubs, Giavotella committed a throwing error and went 1-3 giving him an avg. of .278, while Getz went 1-2 with an SB, making his avg. rise to .303.  In my opinion, I believe if Gia were hitting well, he would fit in nicely in the 2 spot.  

Next, I don't see any scenario, except mine, where Dyson and Lough ride the bench together, unless Yost decides to do a platooning situation.  In the real world, Dyson will be in Kansas City, and consequently, Lough will be heading north to Omaha.  To replace Lough on the bench, as much as I hate saying it, Miguel Tejada will likely be the guy.  Recently, Guillermo Moscoso was released from the team, clearing a spot on the 40-man, which has Tejada's name written all over it.  

As for pitchers, I believe Luis Mendoza earned a spot in the rotation after an acceptable September and October, going 1-1 in 6 starts, compiling a 2.48 era in 36.1 IP, striking out 27 and walking just 9.  Hell, we can say Mendoza was easily the best pitcher on our staff in 2012.  Now remember, we do have Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino to fit in the mix later in the season, which gives the Royals (and us) options for either injuries or failure to meet expectations.

Finally, the piece de resistance: the bullpen.  Louis Coleman most likely starts off in Omaha, only because he has options while Hoch and Chen do not.  At this point, I believe Donnie Joseph has made a strong case for joining the pen, as it gives the Royals the privilege of having a 3rd left-handed reliever, along with Chen and Tim Collins.  Battling for the final spot, J.C. Gutierrez is said to be in the running, but considering he's out of options and his lackluster spring, I don't see him getting into the 'pen.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on Gio. I would like to see him play without having to worry about looking over his shoulder and then let's' see if he can hit. Last year I was up there and he went 3/4 and essentially won the game, the next night he's on the bench. No one can get in a groove like that.