Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Expectation vs. Reality: 2008 Royals (Part I)

As we head into the depths of the offseason, I thought I'd look back at some of the predictions I made last winter. What did I want from the 2008 Royals? What did I think was realistic? I'll go over one or two at a time periodically, whether I was wrong or right.

I'll start with an easy one: Joakim Soria, from March 2008.
Expectation: Soria would be Soria.
Quote: "He’ll continue to do his thing, and people will continue to suggest moving him into the rotation."

Reality: Um, yeah. This is like expecting the sky to keep being blue. His numbers are here, and some fun videos are here.

The 2nd part of the "prediction" is also true. Just today, JoePo mentioned in passing that he thinks that Soria should be moved to the rotation.
I mean, look at this Royals team: They have a couple of very good starting pitchers in Zack Greinke and Gil Meche. That’s as good or better than the Yankees 1-2 starters — better, I think. The Royals have Joakim Soria, who appears to be a 24-year-old version of Mariano Rivera — unless they decide to try him a starter, which I believe more and more they should.

Joe's not the only one to write this; it's been discussed from top to bottom, side to side, and underneath the paws at places like Royals Review. Making Soria a starter vs. Leaving him in the pen is one of those issues that could be frighteningly polarizing until it either happens or Soria retires.

From the same post back in March, I listed some numbers I hoped to see from David DeJesus.
Expectation: David DeJesus would increase his productivity
Quote: "He ought to deliver; I’m hoping to see his OBP in the .360s and his batting average much closer to .300. Steals will be another thing I’ll be watching for from DeJesus, and I really want him to far exceed his career best of 10 (from last year). I’d love to see him swipe 20, actually."

Reality: I wanted a .300 BA and an OBP in the .360s; DeJesus actually put up a .307 average and a .366 OBP. Man, I'm good. The thing he didn't do was steal a ton of bases - he swiped 11. I think at the time I wrote that post, the stories had been coming in from Spring Training about how DDJ and Joey Gathright were figuring out how to watch the pitcher's shoulder instead of his leg movement, and I thought that would lead to more steals than it actually did.

It's now time to pack up the computer and head West to see my parents, little brother, and dogs(oh, and chiropractor! My back is killing me!). I'll be back at some point with more of these posts, but first, a few thoughts:
1) I hope you all have a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving. Whether you have a big family dinner or a pizza in front of the football games, I hope it's an enjoyable day.
2) This blog got a 90% Manliness rating according to genderanalyzer.com, meaning their AI examined the text of the site and figured with 90% certainty that I am a man. Heh. More amusing analyses of Royals sites here.
3) If you somehow missed these, here are Part I and Part II of an interview I did with Sam Mellinger.
4) I also wrapped up the week's Hot Stove activities at Ladies... .

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