Royals mailbag

05/30/2014 12:03 PM

06/03/2014 2:23 PM

Well, this was an interesting week. The Royals got routed by Houston. They responded by finding a new hitting coach, and reeling off a wacky win on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

In the interim, I solicited your questions. Now, here are the answers.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> Does &quot;Ugh.&quot; count?</p>&mdash; Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) <a href="https://twitter.com/kent_swanson/statuses/471851002304286721">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

That kind of week, eh?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> Will the Royals have more home runs or losses at the end of the year?</p>&mdash; Jeremiah Buck (@buckj115) <a href="https://twitter.com/buckj115/statuses/471852405865185280">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Yeah, it’s been a bad week.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> Did I miss something?? Is Pedro Grifol gone?? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?? <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Royals&amp;src=hash">#Royals</a></p>&mdash; Brandon Smith (@bsides11) <a href="https://twitter.com/bsides11/statuses/472234106651418624">May 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

One at a time:

1. Yes.

2. Not exactly.

3. Get better wishes.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> if no one is actually fired or even removed from the clubhouse, can it really be called a shakeup? <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Royals&amp;src=hash">#Royals</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MusicalChairs&amp;src=hash">#MusicalChairs</a></p>&mdash; Adam Wright (@root4ku) <a href="https://twitter.com/root4ku/statuses/472118294153928704">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

You can call it whatever you want. If the players don’t perform, it won’t make a difference what the maneuvers are labeled.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> Do any other MLB teams have catching instructors on staff? Is Grifol supporting all levels, or just Perez and Hayes?</p>&mdash; Shawn Briner (@RolandAmerico) <a href="https://twitter.com/RolandAmerico/statuses/472330089083183104">May 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

I’m not sure the exact breakdown, but MLB allows teams to have an extra coach these days, which means teams can get creative. Mike Jirschele was an all-purpose hand before he got moved into the third-base spot.

Grifol will only work with catchers at the big-league level. And he will only work on their defense and game-calling. He will not assist players with hitting, Yost said.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> How would you rate Royals&#39; fans ability to overreact compared to other fans? This week was a good chance to see us in action</p>&mdash; Kevin Cotter (@KevinRCotter) <a href="https://twitter.com/KevinRCotter/statuses/472238437526159360">May 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

I’m not sure this week was an overreaction. It was pretty terrible. Any time the Astros stomp you, you have reason to weep. And, hey, you guys have reason to complain. I’ve been told the Royals haven’t made the playoffs in a few years. Big, if true.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> do you think the win tonight was a fluke or an indication that the Royals are looking up?</p>&mdash; Laura (@TheGilb84) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheGilb84/statuses/472234265737170944">May 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Oh, it was quite fluky. But it still counts the same in the standings. And it was critical, because the team had been teetering on the edge. Will it have any effect of momentum? Who knows. But it beats losing.

href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> what is the Royals team / organizational approach to hitting? the have no balance at all.</p>&mdash; Chris Charlton (@charlie4ku) <a href="https://twitter.com/charlie4ku/statuses/471851559127502848">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

It’s the same as any other club: Be selective, get a good pitch to hit, look to do damage in fastball counts.

The philosophy is not the problem. It’s the execution. Or, lack thereof. That’s why Ned Yost promoted Dale Sveum.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> What do managers do in the clubhouse when they&#39;re tossed early in the game like Yost was the other night? <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23mailbag&amp;src=hash">#mailbag</a></p>&mdash; Drunk Jack Ryan (@JackRyanDCI) <a href="https://twitter.com/JackRyanDCI/statuses/472233883467919361">May 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

They sit and watch the game. Which is why Yost’s reaction on Tuesday night was so humorous. He finally saw the game from the perspective fans at home see every night. And his team quite upset him.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> How long should management wait for Hosmer to show power before sending him to Omaha <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23flannelfriday&amp;src=hash">#flannelfriday</a></p>&mdash; Sam Jezak (@samjezak) <a href="https://twitter.com/samjezak/statuses/471852241255559168">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Besides "sending a message" to appease fans, I’m not sure what demoting Eric Hosmer would solve. Your defense takes a significant hit without Hosmer. He’s in the midst of a brutal slump. He’s a below average hitter right now. But he’s not nearly at the point Mike Moustakas was last week.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> Mailbag ?: Is it about time for a players only meeting? If so, who is that team leader(s) among the players who steps up?</p>&mdash; Newton Brown (@RNewtonBrown) <a href="https://twitter.com/RNewtonBrown/statuses/471975132638883840">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

It is about time for the players to hit the ball over the fence. I stand with Bob Boone: Winners win, losers meet.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> What pieces can the Royals acquire from the trade of .... everyone?</p>&mdash; Brandon L (@brianharold9) <a href="https://twitter.com/brianharold9/statuses/471851219934126080">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The comps for a James Shield trade include Zack Greinke deal (Brewers to Angels), the CC Sabathia deal (Indians to Brewers) and the Cliff Lee deal (Mariners to Rangers). I’m sure there are others. But you can probably fetch a relatively significant haul. Greg Holland or Wade Davis could also return you something reasonable. Both are supremely talented relievers on decent contracts for bigger market teams.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> Is there any sense of urgency from GMDM to find a power bat to add to this team?</p>&mdash; Ryan Bane (@mrryanbane) <a href="https://twitter.com/mrryanbane/statuses/471855618244874241">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

[insert joke about "The Power Bat Tree"]

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> could the Royals acquire a power hitter? If so, will they? If not, do they have any prospects in the minors?</p>&mdash; Brian Briggeman (@brigg58) <a href="https://twitter.com/brigg58/statuses/471852822485409792">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

I can handle these in sequential order.

1. Theoretically.

2. If the team goes into a fire sale mode this summer, an option they will likely resist unless they are definitively out of contention, it appears to be an absolute need that has to be addressed. Their inability to develop power has had almost catastrophic consequences this season.

3. Not really. The Royals still posses plenty of talented prospects, folks like Raul Mondesi and Hunter Dozier and Jorge Bonifacio. But they don’t have anyone who profiles as a classic power hitter. Because, honestly, those players are hard to find. Seriously: The Power Bat Tree is not real.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> Why is Aoki a presumptive everyday OF while Dyson is a role player? What’s Dyson missing that Aoki (allegedly) has?</p>&mdash; Shawn Briner (@RolandAmerico) <a href="https://twitter.com/RolandAmerico/statuses/471852765031849984">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Aoki has been a solid hitter as a big-league regular. Dyson has never done that. Aoki provides better at-bats (even if he’s been well below expectations this year). But Dyson looks like a better defensive option, at this point. Aoki has been quite disappointing.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> Does Tim Collins have an eternal contract or is his leash getting shorter?</p>&mdash; Ryan Bane (@mrryanbane) <a href="https://twitter.com/mrryanbane/statuses/472253583740911616">May 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

One reason the team could use Bruce Chen back is they could have another left-hander in the bullpen to use instead of Collins. Of course, they may need Chen in the rotation, depending on how Yordano Ventura’s elbow feels.

But, yes, Collins has been quite disappointing. He has always struggled to throw strikes. This season, he has been unable to produce strikeouts, the results necessary to compensate for his erraticism. He’s struck out five batters in 11 2/3 innings. That won’t play.

Collins is eligible for arbitration again after 2014. He will make $1.36 million this season. At this rate, it’s hard to see the team tendering him a contract for next year.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> any idea what Jason Donald lacked that Parades/Ciriaco don&#39;t?</p>&mdash; &#39;Low T&#39; Aaron Huston (@aaaaaaaaaaaronn) <a href="https://twitter.com/aaaaaaaaaaaronn/statuses/472039646302445568">May 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

A spot on the 40-man roster.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> Stephen Malkmus with Pavement or with his Jicks?</p>&mdash; John M. (@Mohn_Jichael) <a href="https://twitter.com/Mohn_Jichael/statuses/472233792137351169">May 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Come on, man.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/McCulloughStar">@McCulloughStar</a> Favorite Get Up Kids song?</p>&mdash; Anthony Monley (@TonymonZ) <a href="https://twitter.com/TonymonZ/statuses/467061095736545280">May 15, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The Get Up Kids were a formative band for me. As I get older, though, I find I only really return to "Eudora" and "On A Wire." Eudora has a nostalgic value for me, because it’s one of the first emo records I absorbed. And On A Wire holds up better than the rest.

With that in mind, here’s my top 10:

1. "Walking On A Wire."

2. "Ten Minutes."

3. "Overdue."

4. "Don’t Hate Me."

5. "Anne Arbor."

6. "Central Standard Time."

7. "Woodson."

8. "New Found Mass (2000)."

9. "I’m A Loner Dottie, A Rebel."

10. "Martyr Me."

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

Videos

Join the discussion

is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service