Saturday, July 25, 2009
Breaking: Royals still aren’t goodPosted by Dan Novick
I always wanted to know what it was like to be the first to know something. Tonight, I still haven't captured that feeling.
Via BTF, we learn that not only are the old Royals bad...so are their new guys. The construction of their lineup, which was intended to revolve partly around the thunderous bat of Mike Jacobs, has been among the worst in the AL. A lot of that is because of Jacobs himself, who is currently sporting a .313 wOBA and a shiny -.2 WAR. The 2009 Royals lineup reminds me of the 2008 Mariners lineup, and I shouldn't need any fancy stats to tell you why that's a bad thing. The opening line of the article is what led me to this comparison:
Mike Jacobs is a designated hitter who has been replaced in six of his last 13 games for a pinch hitter. This is not a good thing.
Remember when Jose Vidro was the Mariners designated hitter last season, despite his complete inability to...well, hit? The Royals are doing essentially the same thing by playing Jacobs at first base. They have admitted that he can't hit by pinch-hitting for him all the time, yet they play him at the second most offensive-minded position in the game. Forgetting the fact that a player who can't start on the Royals must not be the greatest player in the world, what are the Royals thinking? They pinch hit for the guy who is playing the position usually assigned to the best or second-best hitter on a team.
Jacobs can't hit, or at least this year he's not. They don't have to play him every day if that's the case. The Royals are playing him every day, but they are then conceding that he's not a good enough hitter to be counted on late in the game. Does any of that make any sense? Does anything the Royals do make sense? Hello?
The Royals aren't going anywhere this year or next. What they should do if they've lost confidence in Jacobs, as he says they have, is call up Triple-A slugger Kila Kaaihue. The Hawaii native hasn't put up the same stellar numbers this year as he did last, when he hit 38 home runs across three levels, including one in the major leagues. This year has been quieter, at .263/.396/.470 with a 69/71 strikeout-to-walk ratio, but still very productive. Why they haven't called him up get some experience is beyond me, especially since he's already on the 40-man roster.
Do any Royals fans have any insight into this situation?
Dan Novick is a lifelong Yankees fan, and still gets the chills every time Enter Sandman plays from the Yankee Stadium speakers. He welcomes comments and questions via e-mail.