Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Berroa Saga

It seems the Berroa roller coaster ride is over. On Friday, the Royals traded for Tony Pena, Jr., giving up pitcher Erik Cordier to the Braves.
On Saturday, Berroa was optioned to AAA Omaha. His performance has been in a steep decline since winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2003. That year, Berroa batted .287 with 92 runs scored. In 2006, Berroa batted .234 with a dismal .259 OBP. He walked just 14 times in 132 games.
This spring, the Royals were hoping a renewed off season training regimen would translate into an improved Berroa. That didn’t materialize however, and Berroa is batting just .263 with 14 strike outs and no walks.
In addition to his offensive struggles, Berroa has also struggled in the field. He has seemed to have lost much of his range, and often muffs the easy plays.
GM Dayton Moore’s quote regarding Berroa’s demotion seemed to say it all: “The decision speaks for itself.” The Royals’ patience with Berroa has run out.
In his first game as a Royal, Pena played well, ranging far to his left to make a diving snag on a grounder and throwing out the speedy Rickie Weeks. Pena already has out-walked Berroa, getting a base on balls in his first game.
Pena might not be the final answer at short for the Royals, but many fans agree, he’s gotta be much better than Berroa has been.

Friday, March 23, 2007

10 Days to go!

There were some interesting developments in Surprise this week while I was in Colorado skiing with my family.

In the "what a shocker!" category (sarcasm duly noted), comes the formal announcement that Alex Gordon will indeed be the starting third baseman on opening day. I found it interesting that the Royals were somewhat mum on this topic heading into Spring Training. All indications were that Gordon would have to earn the job, and the Royals would not commit to the idea of Teahen playing outfield. However, as soon as the team arrived in Surprise, it was obvious that this move would come to pass. Of course it didn't hurt that Gordon had a great spring (.390 with a .500 OBP and .659 SLG), and that Teahen has seemingly taken to the outfield. The decision easily became a no brainer.

In other news, the Royals are beginning to hint that they are running out of patience with SS Angel Berroa. This is good news for frustrated Royals fans. Since his promising Rookie of the Year season in 2003, Berroa has been on a steady decline, capped with a terrible 2006 season. He has no patience at the plate, and seems to brain fart his defense almost nightly. With short stop being such an important position, many fans feel the Royals have no chance to win as long as Berroa is the short stop. The Royals are said to be looking for trades to acquire a new short stop, and would probably have to eat the remainder of Berroa's contract ($8.5 million), but GM Dayton Moore doesn't seem to mind.

Let's go get 'em.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Spring Training

This is one of my favorite days of the year. As we speak, I am listening to the first Royals radio broadcast.

Yes, it's only the first spring training game and doesn't mean anything. But hearing Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefevre on the radio tells me that spring is indeed coming, and all is good in the world. (except Teahen just struck out).