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Kansas City Royals week in review: 8/1/2011

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Going on the road and facign the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians was no easy task for the Kansas City Royals, though they came away with a more than acceptable 4-3 record last week. The record on the field was over-shadowed by the moves the Royals did and did not make at the trade deadline. They did move Wilson Betemit and Mike Aviles but chose to hang onto Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera. The organization has not had a lot of love for Aviles, so it was obvious he would be moved. Keeping Cabrera and Francouer seems to be a bit of clinging to some hope that Cabrera will repeat a career year (not often the case) and that Francoeur will...well honestly I don't know why they kept Francoeur. Regardless it was a pretty good week to be a Royals fan.

Standings

1 Tigers

2 Indians -2.5

3 White Sox -4.0

4 Twins -7.0

5 Royals -11.0

Game 102: Royals 3 @ Red Sox 1

The Royals took the first game in Boston in a pitchers duel featuring Kyle Davies and Jon Lester. Yep, you read that right. 2011 Kyle Davies continued to do what he's done this season: strike out more guys and walk fewer. However he didn't give up the runs he's been giving up. He's been on a decent run lately and maybe he actually wil turn into a decent pitcher. Now former Royal Mike Aviles put down the best-worst bunt possible and put the Royals in a position to win the game It wasn't a typical Royals game, but it was a victory and one worth staying up late to watch.

Game 103: Royals 9 @ Red Sox 13

Game 2 of the Boston Series was quite the opposite of game 1. Runs were plentiful for both teams as both starters managed 3.2 innings for their respective teams. Duffy struck out 5 in his 3.2 innings, but allowed 6 earned runs. Reliever Nate Adcock one-upped him by allowing 3 earned runs and getting just one out. In fact the only Royals relief pitcher who didn't allow a run was outfielder Mitch Maier. It was that kind of game. The Royals bats tried to keep pace with the 13 runs Boston scored, but could only muster 9. Billy Butler and Alex Gordon hit back-to-back homers and Mike Aviles went 3-for-5, but it was all for naught.

Game 104: Royals 5 @ Red Sox 12

With the bullpen depleted, the one thing Bruce Chen HAD to do was go deep into the game. Unfortunately, he could only muster 4 innings while giving up 10 earned runs. Nate Adcock was summoned to finish the ball game and did a fine job with the final 4 innings. The game was never withing the Royals grasp, however Butler and Hosme both homered to give something for the fans back home to cheer about.

Game 105: Royals 4 @ Red Sox 3

Luke Hochevar put together a very solid start in route to helping the Royals split the series with the Red Sox. He went 7 innings, struck out 6, walked 1 and allowed only 2 earned runs. The offense was bouyed by the bottom of the lineup and another Billy Butler home run. A four-run 4th inning was all the scoring needed to split the series and leave Boston with a very satisfactory grin.

Game 106: Royals 12 @ Indians 0

The Royals might have a chip on their shoulder in regards to the Indians. It's hard to look across the dugout and see a team that seems to be just as talented, yet fighting for a Division title. On this night at least, the Royals put the Indians in their place. A Melky Cabrera grand-slam represented a mere third of the Royals scoring output in route to a 12-0 beat down. Jeff Francis had one of his best outings to date as he went 8 inings and struck out 6. Billy Butler and Alex Gordon both added homeruns of their own and Alcides Escobar went 3-for-4.

Game 107: Royals 2 @ Indians 5

It's rare for this years Royals rotation to put together three straight solid outings, but that's what happened as Felipe Paulino went 6 innings and allowed 0 earned runs. Unfortunately, the bullpen wasn't as steady and allwed the Indians to score 4 runs and win in walk-off fashion. All 4 runs were on the shoulders of closer Joakim Soria. Catcher Matt Treanor left the game with a concussion when he tagged out Matt LaPorta at the plate. It was a gut-wrenching loss to a plucky division rival.

Game 108: Royals 5 @ Indians 3

Rookie Danny Duffy bounced back from a terrible outing in Boston and held the Indians in check for 5 innings as he allowed only 2 earned runs and struck out 6. It was enough as the Royals offense scored 5 runs on the Indians sfaff. Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur both hit their 14th home runs and Melky Cabrera collected a pair of hits. The Royals bullpen came into the game and picked up were Duffy left off and allowed a single run for the rest of the game as the Royals took the series from Cleveland.

Position player of the week: Billy Butler

In the last 7 days, Billy Butler has hit 5 home runs, collected 12 RBI and hit an additional 2 doubles. That's good for an OPS of 1.349 this week. He's been on an absolute tear this week and is a huge reason the Royals were able to have a winning road trip.

Starting pitcher of the week: Jeff Francis

It's shocking that he's still a part of the Royals after the non-waiver trade deadline. He would make a solid contributor for a contending team and still might get moved through the waive trade system. Last week he pitched a great 8 inning 6 strikeout, 0 earned run affair to earn the nod this week.

Relief pitcher of the week: Mitch Maier

Hey, you gotta give it to the outfielder who pitched a scoreless inning in Fenway right? He may never get a chance to win this prestigious award again. I've always been a huge Maier fan and getting to see him pitch was pretty sweet. I would love to see him be a part of a winning Royals franchisce, but with the non-trades of Cabrera and Francouer, I don't see it happening.

The week to come

The trades may not be over as players can still be moved through the waiver system. I'd be surprised if the Royals don't make at least one more move. Also, getting Cain and Giavotella into the clubhouse is something the Royals have to figure out. Both are dominating in AAA and deserve a shot to prove they can do it at the highest level. The Roayls get to come home and take on the Orioles and the division leading Tigers.

8/2-8/4 vs Orioles

8/5-8/7 vs Tigers

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Nick Scott is a contributor to Royals Authority and is the host of the Broken Bat Single Royals podcast, you can follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

Comments

Ian Brown 3 years, 4 months ago

So.... You're saying they should have traded Francoeur? In return for what? More unproven prospects that would probably be more "royal" flops? Franceour is a proven power hitter -- by Royals standards -- and he has shown he can produce runs.

You said you "don't know why they kept Francoeur." Well, for starters, he leads the team in RBIs (62), he's tied for the team lead in home runs (14), second in doubles (29), second in steals with (18), third in slugging percentage, and in the top 4 or 5 in most other categories. As for defense, he's second on the team in outfield assists (11), I mean, the guy has an absolute cannon, and he's accurate.

Aside from the fact that his numbers more than justify keeping him around, he's also one of, if not THE leader of this team in the clubhouse. He's got a great personalily -- he's easy going and reminds the guys that baseball is supposed to be fun -- and he also sticks up for his teammates when he has to, such as when Crow was called for that game ending balk in Chicago, Frenchy gave the umpire an earful after the game.

Simply put, I don't understand your logic. You don't see the need for Francoeur, yet you're a huge Mitch Maier fan and would like to see him have a larger role on the team? Not only is Frenchy a better ballplayer (I don't know, maybe Maier is a better pitcher, I doubt it though), but he's also younger than Maier by a 1.5 years. He's just 27, which is relatively young in baseball terms, and, as long as he stays healthy, the prime of his career is still ahead of him. I think this is perhaps one of the most important reasons they kept him. Yeah, we have Lorenzo Cain at AAA Omaha, but he's just two years younger than Franoeur, he has never played a MLB game, and aside from his batting average, he trails Francoeur in nearly all major offensive categories... At AAA Omaha.

Anyhow. That's my opinion and rationale regarding the Royals' choice to keep him around. He's still young, he is one of our best run producers, an integral member of one of the best defensive outfields in baseball, and is a leader on a very young team.

Nick Scott 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think mitch should have a larger role. I just like him as a guy and I'd like for HIM to be a part of royals winning although that won't happen because he likely isn't good enough.

Jeff Francoeur is an OK bat that could fetch a decent return in trade and could be replaced VERY easily by any number of players.

I don't care how many RBI a guy has because it doesn't tell us anything. He's got a mutual option after the season that he might not pick up or the royals might not pick up. IF that's the case then he will be a free agent and the royals will get nothign out of him.

You have to get value out of players when you can, especially when the team likely improves with his departure. Cain in CF and melky in right improves the defense significantly.

I'm sure you like francoueur and his "leadership" has been oversold through the media. He's a nice guy who gives lots of quotes.

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