Royals hope to improve pitching staff with… walks?

> The Royals and Giants started the second week of 2011’s offseason with a somewhat surprising trade.

Melky Cabrera, the Royals’ regular center fielder, has been sent to the Giants in exchange for lefty starter Jonathan Sanchez. The Giants also sent Minor League pitcher Ryan Verdugo along with Sanchez.

Cabrera is coming off a career year with the Royals, which is why it kind of surprises me that they would just trade him. He hit .305 with 18 home runs and 87 RBIs- not bad for being on a fourth place team. But, those numbers will probably help the Giants, who have close to no offense in their lineup.

Sanchez, on the other hand, missed most of 2011 and made just 19 starts, going 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA. But, in 2010, he went 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA, and threw a no-hitter in 2009 against the Padres.

Sanchez definitely has some down sides, however- and that includes his number of walks given up. In 2010, despite his good numbers, he led the NL in walks, and, in 2011, averaged 5.9 walks per nine innings before going on the DL. But the Royals are doing everything they can to improve their rotation, because it probably isn’t a good sign when Bruce Chen has put up the best numbers in your rotation over the past few years. (Nothing against Chen, he’s actually a solid pitcher, but not an ace.)

> The Twins fired GM Bill Smith in favor of Terry Ryan today. I guess this wasn’t extremely surprising, considering the Twins looked nothing like the playoff team they usually are in 2011, as they went 63-99. But, before this season, the Twins had won four division titles under Smith.

Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, and Tsuyoshi Nishioka certainly didn’t help Smith’s case. Morneau and Mauer, two former AL MVPs, were signed to big, multi-year contracts back in 2008, but have been plagued with injuries and inconsistency ever since. Nishioka, meanwhile, was signed after the Twins won a bidding to sign him from the international free agent pool, and, courtesy of Nick Swisher, was injured just a few months into his first season in the MLB.

Anyway, as of right now, Ryan is considered the interim GM, meaning his job may not be permanent if the Twins find someone better. Ryan has already been the Twins GM (1994-2007), and served as the senior adviser up until this point.

By the way, I heard Ryan’s first order of business as Twins GM will be to evaluate their medical staff. Hm, I wonder why…

> And that was about all the news for today. There was no Brewers’ news, unfortunately, but I guess that’s to be expected early in the offseason. But I did hear that the Winter Meetings are going to be held in Milwaukee this year, which is pretty cool.

> Anyway, feel free to leave a comment or something. Anything to make this site look at least remotely busy.

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4 Responses to Royals hope to improve pitching staff with… walks?

  1. elmaquino says:

    I live in KC, and I actually think the trade was great for the Royals based on the reasons you mentioned:

    “Cabrera is coming off a career year with the Royals, which is why it kind of surprises me that they would just trade him.”

    Melky has never been near a 200-hit man before, and the Royals probably figured he wouldn’t be one again–selling high.

    “Sanchez, on the other hand, missed most of 2011 and made just 19 starts, going 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA. But, in 2010, he went 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA, and threw a no-hitter in 2009 against the Padres.”

    He’s probably still a great pitcher, but struggled too much with injuries this season and will be back to normal next season.

    Thought it was a good trade for KC, though SF is obviously in need of anyone who knows how to swing a baseball bat.

    ALMOST mde up for their decision to rename the Stadium today.

    • breakingwi says:

      Yeah, I guess Melky won’t be a 200-hit guy again (at least there isn’t a good chance of it). I didn’t really put that into consideration, so it was a better trade than I thought. But still, Sanchez hasn’t harnessed his stuff enough to be an “ace” yet (hence the 5.9 walks per 9 IP). The Royals still have a ton of work to do, and hopefully don’t screw that up by trading ANOTHER star player, which is what they’ve been known for over the past few years.

      And I heard the decision to change the name was just a fake thing on MLB Network last night, but every other source is saying is true. Guess I don’t know what to think of that.

    • Steven Myers says:

      agreed. selling cabrera when he’s over valued and getting sanchez when under valued. great trade for royals i wonder how many gm’s are scratching their heads wishing what the royals now have.

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