Saturday, June 02, 2007

New Streak

The Royals are if anything, very streaky. This team can ride the good wave and then ride the naughty wave. What's surprising is the unlikely heroes who bailed them out of naughty streak.

Bannister has pitched relatively well all summer, giving up 3-5 runs per outing, which gave him a 4+ ERA. I will take that from a National League pitcher, who up until last night, probably couldn't strike a toddler out. He'd be just as likely to walk him.

He has pitched amazingly well for the amount of hits and walks he has given up. Well, it's a small sample size, and against a pretty bad team (though not too shabby offensively), but Bannister showed he has the capabilities to go into the later innings and spot his ball. Two hits (1 homer), is a pretty good outing that if he can repeat, will help steer flailing pitchers like Jorge back on track.

Semi-allaying fears that he couldn't do it, Dotel got his first save last night (albeit, walking the first two batters), but he managed to work out of the jam. I believe this is the right move for the Royals, and I believe it was the right move even if Soria was still healthy. Soria now has experience as a closer, but since we are paying Dotel 5 million to close and since Soria is still so new to the league, it seems smart for a team starved in wins to give the job to the most capable, and experienced, person. I don't know Moore's plans, Soria was a starter, it doesn't appear he'll ever be used that way, but he can be a very good reliever in a struggling bullpen.

What's surprising, is that hitting coach Mike Barnett has kept his job up this point. With the stars of this team incapable of hitting (Dejesus, Sweeney, Gordon, Grudz) it's amazing. HItting coaches are usually the first to go. Maybe Moore is just riding this wave until next year when all but McClure will be fired.


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