Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Opening Day 25 Man Roster

I promise everyone this is my last entry lamenting that Willie Bloomquist and Ross Gload are members of the Kansas City Royals. The battle is lost and I surrender. After reading Dick Kaegel's latest column on kcroyals.com, I am convinced that both Bloomquist and Gload, at the expense of better players with more potential, are going to play "significant" roles for the Royals in 2009.

Frequent visitors to kcroyals.com are aware that Dick Kaegel is an unofficial member of the Kansas City Royals PR department masquerading as a journalist. Fans seeking in depth reporting and unbiased analysis of the Kansas City Royals will waste their time reading much of what is posted at kcroyals.com. But Kaegel's work has value because he provides clues to what Hillman and Moore are thinking. In his latest column, Kaegel reports how the Royals roster might look when the team breaks camp. Unfortunately for Royals fans, it appears that the team is going to begin the regular season will not be the best possible team the Royals could field.

In theory, the biggest question mark for the Royals in 2009 is second base. The Royals are giving the perception that Mark Teahen, Alberto Callaspo, and Willie Bloomquist are all candidates for the job and each has a chance to win the position. But after reading Kaegel's column I am convinced the competition is an illusion and the decision has already been made.

"Willie Bloomquist, Alberto Callaspo and Mark Teahen are in a rumble around second base...Bloomquist might have an edge. He's got more experience than Teahen at second base and more range than Callaspo...Bloomquist was signed to a two-year contract which also might work in his favor."

Unless something has changed since the website went online, Kaegel would not post this if he didn't have the scoop from Hillman or Moore. So even though Callaspo has the potential to be an above average Major League hitter and Mark Teahen is athletic enough to possibly play the position, the Royals are going to compound a horrible free agent signing by handing him a starting job. Bloomquist might have a little more range than Callaspo and more experience than Teahen. But he is still the same player that isn't strong enough to hit the ball in the air to the outfield and isn't good enough to start for the AAA Salt Lake Bees.

Kaegel also commented on Ross Gload and Ryan Shealy's chances of making the team.

"Ross Gload, probably the best-fielding first baseman, can also play the outfield. His glove offers nice late-inning protection at first."

"Ryan Shealy logged a lot of time at first base in September and cranked seven homers, putting himself back in the mix. He's facing a numbers crunch although he has a good glove, too, and could be a big bat off the bench."

Gload is presented as a good glove who can play multiple positions while Shealy is facing a numbers crunch. Kaegel does point out that Shealy has a good glove, but there is no doubt Gload has the edge. This is another red flag for Royals fans. Ross Gload is a good defensive first baseman and he can play the outfield. But the Royals have a surplus of outfielders and Shealy blindfolded can hit better than Gload. There is no reason for Ross Gload to be anywhere on the Royals 25 man roster but I have no doubt he will be.

As spring training moves forward, I will post no more entries about whether Bloomquist and Gload should make the club. They are going to make it and it is time to move on to other issues. But if Willie Bloomquist is in the lineup and Ross Gload is on the 25 man roster on opening day, it is more proof that Dayton Moore is not the general manager that is going to assemble a contending team in Kansas City.

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