We are already sixteen games into the season, and the Omaha Royals have a sweet 10-6 record that puts them atop the PCL North. Three of the losses have been at home, and three have been on the road, so it's too early to tell if the team will repeat its drastic home/road split from last year. (In 2007, they were 45-27 at home, and just 28-44 on the road.)
A long, long time ago, I heard that Jorge de la Rosa would be the Player to be Named Later in exchange for Ramon Ramirez. Instead, he has stayed with Omaha, and has done his usual April routine of command and poise in his last couple of starts. He looked great against New Orleans yesterday, going 6 innings, and giving up just three hits and zero runs. He also struck out six and walked only two.
DLR's BB/9: 2.94
DLR's K/9: 8.82
Now, if he is to be the PTBNL, I hope that happens before Colorado sees him hit the Wall of Doom in mid-May.
This wouldn't be a true O-Royals post here without some mention of Matt Wright. I'm getting a little worried that his slow start is something worse than just a slow start. Wright pitched on Saturday to start the new homestand, and was less than sharp. He has also been less than sharp in his previous outiings -- here are his stats for the year. I still believe he can right the ship (or...Wright the ship? Thank you, I'll be here all week), so I will still refer to him as my favorite O-Royal starter. But he has looked like a completely different pitcher than the dominant one I saw last year in Omaha and in November in the World Cup. In his good and even just decent starts, Wright controlled the game by locating well and giving away a smallish number of free bases on balls.
Right now, his fastball has very little bite, and even less late movement than usual. He doesn't seem to be locating well, and has already walked six in just 14 innings. That's good for a BB/9 of 3.86, compared his 2007 BB/9 of 2.63. I realize I'm working with a small sample size, but those numbers accurately tell the story of how he looks when one watches his starts in person.
One question that I've heard floating around at Rosenblatt Stadium...could Wright be joining John Bale in the Dead arm Club?
That's it for now; I need to get ready for two more games in Omaha before an off day Wednesday. Mike Maroth will start for Omaha tonight against New Orleans Zephyr Joselo Diaz.
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