Posted by: pberry | April 15, 2009

Royals update: That’s more like it!

Looks like I shamed the Royals out of their batting slump. Or at least John Buck. Buck went two for four, both homeruns, one with the bases juiced. Buck has been a major disappointment since acquiring him in the deal for Carlos Beltran in 2004. He had a hot start to 2008 also, but cooled off in May and eventually (not to mention rightfully) lost his starting job to Miguel Olivo. But maybe it’s time to give Bucky a few more ABs. Olivo is struggling with just a .235 OBP. Olivo played best when he had something to prove. Provide that scenario at least and find out if Buck’s really going to turn into a big league player. One of these guys is going to have to step up and show they can play well even when their job is not on the line.

Billy Butler and Mike Jacobs are finally warming up their bats as well, both having multiple hit games. Butler is still batting sub .200, but it’s good to see them finally get moving. This is supposed to be the Royals deepest position, but it was starting to look like we’d need to swap Butler out for Ryan Shealy for a couple weeks. I’m still hoping for a mid-season trade of Jacobs that will return Shealy to the big league club, but for now we’ve got the right guys in the right spots.

Royals pitchers continue to perform well are at least in the top five league wide. Aside from Kyle Friggin’ Farnsworth‘s Opening Day dibacle and first inning woes for Sidney Ponson, and a scare from Ron Mahay on Monday, the Royals have little to complain about. Props to Farnsworth for bouncing back after that first outing. He’s had two appearances since then, giving up just one walk and no hits. Nice work.

If Horacio Ramirez doesn’t have a good second outing, look for either Brian Bannister or Luke Hochevar to be called up. I wasn’t a fan of putting Ramirez or Ponson in the rotation, but we should give them both another look. But neither are long term solutions. Bannister and Hochevar are.

Today, the Royals go for the sweep against the Indians, Ponson taking on Aaron Laffey. Laffey is a good prospect that started hot last season. But by July found himself back in Triple A where he started this season and got blown up. One of these guys is likely to have a bad game. Laffey’s got more to prove, Ponson’s got a wealth of experience. And you know the old saying: If you’re not Dutch, you’re not much. Game time is 1:05 CT.

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