Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 11, 2009

Joakim Soria's trip to the DL is a bad omen for the Royals on three levels. One, last year's Devil Rays notwithstanding, your Cinderella teams generally need to avoid significant injuries, and they've already lost Alex Gordon for a long time. Two, KC has enough solid arms in the bullpen - Juan Cruz will be closing for now - that the Royals shouldn't take too much of a loss from a two-week absence, but a team with as thin a talent core as the Royals can't afford to see Soria go the way of BJ Ryan or Eric Gagne. They will have to cross their fingers that the precautionary DL trip is just that. And three, there's a real temptation right now to run Zack Greinke into the ground. The 25-year-old has tossed 4 complete games in 7 starts, which is a lot these days for a young pitcher early in the season. His fantastic efficiency has been a big factor - he's cleared 110 pitches three times this season but has topped out at 115, which really is not that much. But lacking his closer could tempt Trey Hillman to push him further, and that could be a very bad thing.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:25 AM | Baseball 2009 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Crank, I agree that a long term issue with Soria will be a problem for the Royals. He has only appeared 4 times in the last 3 weeks and the pen has held up well. We have had depth the last couple of years, thanks to Dayton Moore. The reports that are floating are that an MRI showed no structural damage. Our fingers are crossed.

I also agree that over taxing Greinke will be a natural result of Soria's issues. As you pointed out, he has been very efficient so far this season. Most of the rest of the staff, except Ponson have also been going deeper into games. I think it is a positive that the Royals brought up Luke Hochaver and used him to replace Ponson in the rotation. He was 5-0 with a 1.15 ERA in AAA.

There is a great article in the KC Star about Bob McClure, the Royals pitching coach. He gets most of the credit for the improvements in the staff. He has brought great mental toughness and a new attitude to the Royals staff.

Posted by: maddirishman at May 11, 2009 6:46 PM

I really hope the Royals have a good season. I guess I miss the Yankees/Royals battles of the late 70's.

Posted by: MVH at May 12, 2009 9:41 AM
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