Friday, April 22, 2005

Calvin, We Hardly Knew Ye

The Royals today optioned Big Calvin Pickering to Omaha and called up Matt Diaz from Omaha.

This move shouldn’t really come as a surprise to those of us who follow the team closely. The rumblings have been in the media for about a week and seemed to have reached a fever pitch with his three strikeout performance yesterday in the Metrodome. Bob Dutton pointed out Big Cal’s struggles in this morning’s edition of the K.C. Star (registration required.)

I hate to see the Royals give up on Pickering so soon. As I’ve mentioned here, he seems to be a victim of bad timing (no pun intended.) Between the Royals facing leftys seemingly every other day and the birth of his child, he couldn’t buy a chance. That said, .148/.226/.259 won’t give you many chances to begin with. Couple that with the inability to put the ball in play (14 strikeouts in 27 at bats) and Calvin is buying gas for the trip up I-29.

Diaz has been a stud for the O-Royals going .364/.426/.709 with four doubles and four home runs. On a team like the Royals with no pop and no production from the corner outfield positions, having Diaz on the roster certainly can’t hurt. He was a nice pickup by Allard Baird this off-season when the Devil Rays, because they’re the Devil Rays, decided to release him. John Sickels of the excellent website Minor League Ball gave Diaz a grade of C in his D-Rays report. Diaz is 27, so he doesn’t really qualify as a prospect anymore but that doesn’t mean he can’t help this club.

And somewhere Ken Harvey's head exploded.

Now, what I’d really like the Royals to do is stop carrying 12 pitchers. I know the reasoning in keeping 12 was to protect Andy Sisco. Problem is, it’s the rest of the bullpen that needs protection. Sisco is the only guy who has consistently shut down the opposition. Maybe they will do that when Mark Teahen is eligible to come off the DL next week. I hope so.

Runelvys Hernandez will face off against Freddy Garcia. The Royals always hit Garcia well (5.71 ERA in 80 1/3 IP) so hopefully the bats will continue their warming trend. Mike Sweeney in particular (15 for 32 .469, with two home runs) has had some success against Garcia. Plus, it’s golf umbrella night at the K. What more could you ask for?


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