Kansas City Royals
Keys To Failure
The Royals hitting has been
nothing short of atrocious. Billy
Butler and Alberto Callaspo have been great, but two good players don’t make a
team. At shortstop, Mike
Aviles/Willie Bloomquist/Yuniesky Betancourt has been a black hole. Besides Butler, who’s done a fantastic
job, and catcher Miguel Olivo, no player has showed any power to speak of. The Royals are near the bottom of the
AL in nearly every hitting category.
Besides amazing closer Joakim
Soria, the ERA’s of the members of the Royals’ bullpen are as follows, 4.85,
6.17, 4.15, 6.20, 4.98, 5.97, 4.24, 5.96.
Bottom line is, while the Royals have the beginnings of a good rotation,
isn’t anything else to say.
When I wrote my Keys To
Failure: Nationals post, Washington was the worst fielding team in
baseball. Now, with “Black Hole”
Betancourt, Alberto Callaspo, Jose Guillen, and “Hmmmm, What Posistion Should I
Play Poorly Today” Teahen, the Royals hold that distinction.
The Texas Rangers
Keys To Success
The Rangers have long been
viewed as a great-hit-no-pitch team, and rightfully so. Just this season have they managed to
put together a respectable pitching staff and bullpen that should be just good
enough to get to the playoffs. But
the real key to the Rangers’ success remains their hitting. Texas in fourth overall in hitting in
the AL. The Rangers’ main
strength, aided by their ballpark, is the homerun. They are second in the AL in homeruns, four of their
starting nine have over 10 HR’s: DH Hank Blalock (13), 1B Chris Davis (13), 2B
Ian Kinsler (17), and RF Nelson Cruz (18). The Rangers are also a excellent baserunning team, they are
third in the AL with 52 stolen bases.
Texas has an excellent
fielding team. While the rank near
the middle of the AL in errors and fielding%, the metric UZR/150 provides a
different story. Using UZR/150,
(excluding catchers), shows that the Rangers deffense will save the team 19.9
runs over the course of 150
games. The worst culprit in
the Rangers defense is 3B Michael Young, with a -25.2 UZR/150, but he’s still
adjusting to third base. What
really exemplifies the Rangers’ defense is that they are one of the best
infields in baseball at turning double plays.
None necessary. (Except maybe the pitching)
I am starting a new feature, Keys To Success/Failure, it will be
a sidebar link. For the first
installment of this feature, I will look at a failure, a team that can’t even
spell their name correctly…
The Washington Natinals National
Keys To Failure
Everything! Alright, in all seriousness, the Keys
To Failure (Hitting, Starters, Bullpen or Fielding) for the Nationals.
And the Keys are…
The Nationals rank last in
the majors in Defensive Effiency, at .669. Over the course of 150 games, (according to UZR/150), the
Nationals defense will cost their team 72 runs! The only starter on the team who has a positive UZR/150 is
3B Ryan Zimmerman, who has a highly respectable 16.6 UZR/150. The main defensive culprit for the
Nationals has been Adam Dunn, at first base he is a lawn ornament, and owner of
a -48.6 UZR/150, and in left field, his primary posistion, he owns a -36.7
UZR/150! The Nats won’t be able to
do anything about this however, Dunn is the best hitter on a suprisingly good
hitting team, and only a madman would keep him out of the lineup. (Note: A player’s UZR/150 shows how
many runs he will cost or save his team over 150 games, an approximate season.
Why the Bullpen?
The Nationals have overhauled
their bullpen twice this season.
They do not have a closer, they were recently spotted using Kip Wells,
Garrett Mock, and Joel Hanrahan in a closer by committee. Injuries, journeymen, the castoffs of
others, the Nats bullpen is an unsolvable mess.
There isn’t one, they need
their poor defenders in their lineup for their bats, and there is no way to fix