Games » Minnesota TwinsJun6
Another one bites the dust
The Kansas City Star
Bad news for Hochevar haters: The Royals now need Luke more than ever. Wednesday night’s starter, Felipe Paulino, injured his groin — it had nothing to do with the ball that hit him in the thigh — and he’s day to day.
Before the game, manager Ned Yost was asked about the possible demotion of Hochevar, and Ned said that it wasn’t going to happen. The Royals need Luke to get better.
It’s not as if the Royals have a lot of attractive options they are refusing to consider. They have seen Luke have very good games. They know he has the necessary tools. But they also know he’s been very inconsistent. The Royals think they have a plan that will help Hoch with his consistency. Returning to his “core” pitches — some people thinks he throws too many — is part of that plan.
But this isn’t the first scheme to fix Hochevar, so I think everyone, including the Royals, needs to see him go out and execute whatever the fix du jour is. The Royals have some off days coming up, so they’re going with a four-man rotation for a while.
First inning: Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt committed an error going to his backhand side on a grounder by Minnesota’s Jamey Carroll. Then, on a ball up the middle, Yuni did not lay out in an attempt to knock the ball down and keep it on the infield. That allowed Carroll to go from first base to third. It might not have made a difference if Yuni had laid out, but it would have looked better if he had tried.
In the bottom of the inning, Betancourt hit a two-run homer, and there’s the dilemma. Do his strengths make up for his limitations? That’s a question the Royals have to ask about every player, not just Betancourt.
After Yuni’s homer, Jeff Franceour got on base when the Twins’ shortstop, Brian Dozier, returned the favor and made an error of his own. Eric Hosmer drew a walk to move Francoeur into scoring position, but Johnny Giavotella struck out to end the inning.
Fourth inning: Mike Moustakas turned a double play and ended the inning with another nice play, charging a slow roller.
Fifth inning: Royals reliever Luis Mendoza got two quick outs, then gave up a single to Minnesota’s Ben Revere. Mendoza spent a lot of time worrying about Revere possibly stealing second and ended up walking Carroll, who went into the game hitting .239. That walk put Mendoza into the heart of the Twins’ order. He hit Josh Willingham with a pitch and then Justin Morneau hit Mendoza. Two base-runners scored, one of whom reached base on a walk.
In the fifth Yuni did dive in an attempt to stop a ground ball from getting to the outfield, but the results weren’t any better.
(By the way, if you don’t want to go to the trouble to carry a stopwatch and time a pitcher’s delivery to home plate, just watch his front foot. The higher it goes, the slower the delivery.)
I could go on, but at this point, the Twins had all the runs they would need.
The Royals had a total of seven hits. With the exception of the first inning — in which they scored their two runs — the Royals never had more than one hit per inning. This is one reason you will see Eric Hosmer playing right field Friday night as the Royals begin an interleague series in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. The Royals aren’t hitting well enough to leave designated hitter Billy Butler out of the lineup. They need Butler’s bat, so he will play first base and Hos will go to the outfield.
Prospects and organizational guys
The draft is over, so let’s talk about prospects and organizational guys. A prospect is a player who is thought to have a chance to play in the big leagues. An organizational guy is a player who is thought to have a chance to play with prospects. There aren’t enough prospects to fill all the minor-league teams, so organizational guys fill out the rosters. Teams don’t announce that this guy is a prospect and this other guy is cannon fodder, but you can make some pretty good guesses.
Despite what you might think, it is possible for an organizational guy to make it to the big leagues faster than a prospect. Say the big-league team needs a spot start or a long reliever. If the team doesn’t want to mess with a prospect’s progress, it might leave him where he is and bring up an organizational guy instead. Why risk damaging the psyche of a valuable talent for one start?
So if you’re trying to figure out why some unimpressive player was brought up to the big leagues while someone with much more talent stays in Triple-A, there might be a reason. The better player has prospects.