OTC: Royals’ Bats Reaching Critical Stage / Hosmer, Moose & Butler Top Concerns

“Are they who we thought they were?”
Soren Petro, on the slumping Royals, 810 AM

“I think it’s a reason to be terrified. (Eric Hosmer) looking like Mark Teahan. Let’s call it what it is. Hosmer has lost the ability to turn on pitches. The guy with the most power on the team can’t hit the ball in the air to right field. He’s lost. He’s a mess. It is a critical situation for a lot of those people in the front office’s jobs. The entire organization is riding on Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas hitting.”
Soren Petro, on the lack of power by the Royals’ first baseman, 810 AM
GH: Hosmer came up two seasons ago and homered into the right field seats at Yankee Stadium. His mom became a TV sensation as she cheered his feats as a rookie Royal. He was the one Royals’ draft pick that looked like a can’t-miss prospect and a no-trade talent. Hosmer was what we were/are waiting for. Has it all gone wrong? Is he just in a slow-grow Alex Gordon maturation process that seems to inflict all young Royals? Terrified is a strong term from Petro. It is also not too soon to roll out some strong terms when discussing these young Royals’ bats.

“I’d have Hosmer hitting eighth in my lineup.”
Frank White, when asked by Kevin Kietzman where he would hit Hosmer, 810 AM
GH: Name me the MLB club that has their first basemen hitting eighth in their lineup. The lack of offense from the Royals is that bad.

“Just trying a bit of a different look to see if we can put some runs on the board. … (Alex Gordon) was hitting (first) out of necessity there.”
Ned Yost, on his decision to move around the top of the Royals’ batting order, 810 AM

“At some point there has to be some accountability on the hitting side.”
Mike Mcfarlane, 810 AM
GH: Mcfarlane made the point that this continued lack of runs will eventually wear down the Royals starting pitching staff. It isn’t unlike football where the defense finally gets emotionally drained by knowing any mistake could cost the team the game. Is Ned Yost the guy to handle this kind of emotional strain on a 25-man roster? I don’t think Ned Yost should have anything to do with a MLB roster. He appears to me to be a wisher and not a doer. Wishing things will change has never been all that effective in my experience.

“Let’s get it out of the way – (Billy Butler) is not being pitched around. Period.”
Mike Mcfarlane, 810 AM
GH: Butler is hitting .228 in mid-May. Nate Bukaty said Butler told him he’s never experienced a prolonged slump of this length. Mcfarlane expects Butler to eventually snap out of it. “He’s just too good of a hitter,” Mcfarlane stated. So it’s just not Moose and Hosmer. Does anybody still have Kevin Seitzer’s phone number?

“When you don’t hit, it’s going to take a little bit away from your (defensive) game and your decision making.”
Frank White, on how Moustakas’ and Hosmer’s defensive play as well as the rest of the team has been hurt by their lack of success at the plate, 810 AM

“The whispers around baseball are that (Bubba Starling) is never going to figure it out as a hitter.”
Rany Jazayerli, on the Royals top-draft pick in 2011, 810 AM
GH: If all this lack of production from the Royals’ young lineup wasn’t enough, now we are hearing whispers that Bubba can’t hit the off-speed pitch. What all looked so good just a week ago, is starting to smell a lot like the past 20 years. The Royals need some wins, some hits and some runs. Now.

“I’m so depressed – especially when we get to talking Royals.”
Henry Lake, new cohost on The Day Shift with Jay Binkley, 610 AM
GH: If Henry Lake is already depressed over a team he has only covered for a month, he might want to think about a career change. I don’t understand sports talk hosts who move to a new market and immediately pretend to be emotionally affected by a team they’ve never rooted for or followed. Lake would far better serve his audience by giving us his outsider perspective of the Royals and their slide. Instead, he pretends to have known the Tony Muser and Trey Hillman years.

“That’s the million-dollar question, dude. I really couldn’t tell you. It’s not out of the question for June but I’m going to do whatever the team asks of me.”
Danny Duffy, when asked by Danny Parkins when he realistically thinks he could be back pitching after rehabbing from his Tommy John surgery,   610 AM
GH: Parkins conducted a highly entertaining interview with the Royals’ Danny Duffy last week that is must-listen radio. You can hear it online here at 610’s website.

“I’ll tell you right now – when I get back out there I am going to have a different attitude for the game. I really miss my boys. Just suckin’ up with Gordo and Frenchy and just talking with the guys in the dugout. That’s a huge part of the game.”
Danny Duffy, on how much he misses his Royals’ teammates, 610 AM
GH: Duffy called Mike Moustakas his best friend on the team. “He’ll be my friend until the day I die,” added Duffy. If Duffy has just a bit of success when her returns to the Royals’ big club, he could quickly become the Mark Fidrych of Kansas City.

“Absolutely! You can’t take cash with you to the grave!”
Danny Duffy, on his pledge to pay for a Korean fan’s trip to Kansas City and The K, 610 AM
GH: Duffy said he can’t wait to put his Korean guest up at the Plaza’s Intercontinental Hotel and have him eating Oklahoma Joe’s and Granfalloon nachos. Maybe Duffy is the guy we should send to North Korea instead of Dennis Rodman.

“I’ve never been around an athlete who was incredibly successful and unbelievably competitive who didn’t have a jerky side to him. … I don’t like (Tiger Woods) but I can’t stop watching him. You can’t keep your eyes off of greatness.”
Kevin Harlan, while discussing Tiger Woods’ popularity, 810 AM
GH: I think most people have a jerky side to them. Those of us who aren’t famous simply don’t have to suffer the glare of the media exposing our jerkiness. So at least we’ve got that going for us…

[email protected] and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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23 Responses to OTC: Royals’ Bats Reaching Critical Stage / Hosmer, Moose & Butler Top Concerns

  1. JP says:

    “Is Ned Yost the guy to handle this kind of emotional strain on a 25-man roster? I don’t think Ned Yost should have anything to do with a MLB roster. He appears to me to be a wisher and not a doer.” GH

    Greg, you got right to the heart of the biggest problems on this team. I blame Yost for a big chunk of this recent slide. He blew it last Monday, putting in Holland and this team proceeded to back up that inept decision with losses in 5 of 6 games. He keeps starting Jeff Francouer, hoping he will find his form. Francouer is the new poster boy for the Royals, doing his “you can’t see me” John Cena crap when he gets lucky and legs out an infield hit.

    The Royals hitting problems have to be the major concern, and I am more convinced that Yost is not the man to turn this team around. He does not know how to handle pitchers. He is now leaning on “hope” to manage this team. If he wasn’t buddies with GMDM, he would have been Toast a long time ago. They need to ship Frenchie and Yost back to Atlanta sooner rather than later.

  2. kcdave says:

    This team had better kick ass and take names on this road trip or I am done. This is more frustrating than when the whole team sucked.Pretty damned good pitching, but this team can hit a lick. Too many stupid errors also. Yost screwed the pooch last week when he pulled Shields early.

    • Fred Flintstone says:

      Do us all a favor and just jump now. Bandwagoners have never been welcome in my camp. If you don’t understand that simply getting a few players in the off season doesn’t automatically make your team good, then you don’t know sports, especially baseball. Check out the Angels payroll, and the success they’ve had since getting Pujols, et al. Hasn’t worked out so well. There are no guarantees. If you HAVE to root for a winner, better move to New York for the Yankee’s, Miami for the Heat, or New England for the Patriots. Hope you break a leg when you jump off the wagon, in the rain, you fair weather fan.

      • chuckart says:

        This will be the 29th consecutive season without making the playoffs. Let that sink in. Anybody still around is far from a bandwagon fan.


        • Fred Flintstone says:

          Hey Dumber Ass…was I talking to you?
          KCDave stated, “This team had better kick ass and take names on this road trip or I am done.” That indicates to me that he’s just jumped on the bandwagon this year, and has them on a short leash to be successful. Don’t need him, don’t need you. Stay off the bandwagon, mind your own business.

        • kcdave says:

          chuckart gets it. Fan here since 73. My patience wore thin years ago.

  3. brett says:

    something you don’t hear discussed when a young player like hosmer is struggling:

    if the front office still truly believes hosmer is the real deal, they should be on the phone with boras this week offering him $70 million over 10 years.

    boras clients rarely sacrifice free agency years, but hosmer just might be scared enough that he’ll never make it in the bigs to jump at an offer like that. i know that if i were averaging a .310 OBP over the last season and a half, i’d piss myself if someone wanted to guarantee me $70MM.

    • Twy's Gibman says:

      excellent point. There’s no leverage in negotiating like “your client is about to be shipped to Omaha”.

    • john doe says:

      Good idea, but it takes 2 to get a deal done. Even though Hosmer sucks, I doubt Boras would let him sign a deal to extend his stay here. They are usually on the first bus out of town as soon as they get the chance.

  4. The Smartman says:

    The Ol Royals have always been who we know they are. You don’t just shake off two decades of horrible baseball. It’s in this teams DNA. When things get tough they go back to what they know….LOSING. At some point you gotta blow the whole thing up from the owner down to the ball boy and start from scratch.

    Look at the scrap heap the Yankee’s put on the field. When you put on those pinstripes, it’s like Superman’s cape. The history, the legacy, the expectations all make you wanna be a better player than you are.

    Must listen radio at 610 is like must eat broccoli at Golden Corral.

    Bubber Starling being a washout is no surprise. Big fish in small pond is better for sushi than baseball. Particularly when small pond is in cornpone Kansas.

    Being able to hit a ball from a top MLB pitcher is a gift from God. I had the opportunity to talk to George Brett at a social function in the mid 90’s. He talked about what he saw from the time he picked up the ball in the pitchers hand until the time he made a decision to swing. It took him a couple of minutes to explain what he was doing in 1 or 2 seconds. The vision, perception, feel, coordination and discipline he had were unfathomable to me. Picking up the initial seam rotation and velocity in .005 seconds or less. He was processing multiple pieces of data at supercomputer speed. That whole package is not something that can be taught. Great hitters are born, not made.

    • Fred Flintstone says:

      Couldn’t agree more with Smartman’s take about the Yankee’s. In some ways, very similar to the St Louis Card’s, and Kansas Jayhawks basketball teams. So very consistent. Works in reverse as well, just as soon as an athlete puts on a Mizzou basketball uni, he becomes a loser instantaneously.

    • Lou Brown says:

      Unfortunately, the Royals didn’t suck badly enough the season they chose Starling. They had the fifth pick and wanted pitching, but so did the 4 teams picking ahead of them. The four top tier pitching prospects were gone. Don’t know if they felt pressure to choose the local kid – maybe he needs more time, but has a relatively short term contract to do it.

      Get McFarlane to work with Hosmer – dude couldn’t do anything but pull the ball.

  5. Hot Carl says:

    “The whispers around baseball are that (Bubba Starling) is never going to figure it out as a hitter.”
    Rany Jazayerli, on the Royals top-draft pick in 2011, 810 AM

    No shit. That’s what happens when the only pitching you’ve faced were the starters for Louisburg, Eudora and Paola.

    • Gavin says:

      Is that the only pitching he faced? I honest-to-god don’t know. I don’t really follow high school baseball (I’m old, so high school baseball wasn’t really a thing when I was a high school student growing up in Kansas), but I just assumed that there were summer league teams like basketball has AAU and like football has college camps, so that they can have kids play against top-level competition to gauge how good they really are. I don’t know if American Legion ball even still exists, but I just always figured Starling played on some other traveling team or something aside from, what was it Gardner-Edgerton? If the Royals gave him that kind of money playing only for a 4A school like that, then they’re a lot more stupid than I ever gave them credit for. And that was, at certain points in the past, pretty damn stupid.

      • Java Man says:

        “The whispers around baseball are that (Bubba Starling) is never going to figure it out as a hitter.”
        Rany Jazayerli, on the Royals top-draft pick in 2011, 810 AM

        Really? He’s not saying it, and no one else is really saying it, but let’s just throw it out there and see who will pick it up.

        I’m hearing 8th seed.

      • newbaum turk says:

        I’ve heard Brian McCrae on the radio talking about Starling playing on traveling All Star teams and how incredible Starling was so he has played against top competition and had lots of people who know what they are talking about speak glowingly about his abilities. Will he ever hit? I don’t know. Is it too early to give up on him? Yes. Is it true that most guys who rake kill the level of pitching Starling is currently at? Yes. There is something about the Royal organization that is broken. Every other team at some time that is an All-Star from day one. That never happens with the Royals. Everybody struggles. Why is that?

  6. JP says:

    If you weren’t sick before, this tidbit should put you over. Cleveland beat the Yankees 1-0 in the first game of a DH today. The story, Justin Masterson pitched and got a complete game. He had 118 total pitches in the game, probably at around 100-105 to start the 9th. Terry Francona stuck with him to get the win.

    Unlike a certain manager (Hint: Last name rhymes with Toast) who took out his starter with a 1-0 lead and 102 pitches. Those little differences could be why the Royals may have a tough time finishing 2d in this division. Thought I’d point that out, as a perfect compare and contrast.

    • newbaum turk says:

      And as was pointed out on 810, Yost put Shields back in the game with the same number of pitches as the game he pitched prior. The only difference between the two was one game Shields could get the win and the other game he could get the loss. So he is putting Shields stats ahead of the teams win-loss record. Yost has done the opposite thing in the exact same situations. Makes no sense.

  7. BlackJack says:

    It’s not so much about having to root for a winner, but more about this: how about the local MLB team NOT SUCKING EVERY YEAR?? The fans around here are not so much asking for a perennial winner, but asking for the Roylas to win JUST SOMETIME.

  8. nick says:

    JP, wow. Interesting. I dug deeper and noticed Masterson walked a batter in the 8th, perhaps suggesting he was fading. He also gave up a single in the 9th.

    Funny how 1 week can make different things pop in my head. Today I’m thinking I’d rather have Will Myers and Jake Odorizzi than Shields and Davis.

  9. P says:

    It was really fun while it lasted….*sigh*

  10. Splitlog Quindaro says:

    1. The Royals are currently in the bottom half of the AL.
    2. The Royals are 2 games out of 1st in the division.
    3. Smartman is pretty much correct about hitters being born.
    4. If the Royals can bounce back from this little slump… They may be for real. Still living by my June 15 mark for credibility.
    5. It is ridiculous to call anyone a Royals bandwangoner. This town has been more loyal than possible to this organization.

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