About the author

Clint Scoles

I grew up on the mean gravel roads of Iowa where I started my love for baseball from the age of 2. George Brett and the voice of Denny Matthews deepened my love even more for the Royals as my father and I spent summers listening to the team on our deck or in the car on our way to or from my little league and high school games. Sports was always the common bond that my father and I enjoyed and the Royals were in the center of that. I currently live in La Vista with my wife, two sons, two dogs and a pair of gross cats where we are grinding through until we can move somewhere warm when we retire. I own Casino Cab Company and Bluffs Affordable Auto Repair in Council Bluffs trying to build my 1% empire. If you are in the area you can find me at Omaha Storm Chasers games on most nights or just follow me on twitter @ClintScoles.

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6 Comments

  1. 6

    Paul

    Clint: I just don’t see Wood or Mazarro as filler. Not that they are dominant back end guys, but both have the stuff to be able to pitch to both lefties and righties. So there’s a clear distinction there between those two and Collins/Coleman. Re: Herrera…

    Thanks for the comment Greg. The Futures game and at the end of the season are the only times I saw him and as you note, he was not impressive at those times. It’s good to know his stuff is a lot better than that, but my take is that they have enough depth that he doesn’t have to be a savior.

    Re: Soria. We see this from time to time with relievers. Papelbon was one, messing around with his pitches and sequences a lot. Turns out he’s pretty good. Unless Soria is hurt, I expect him to bounce right back.

    Re: Broxton. His FB velo in 2010 when he started his “decline” was better than his first two years in the league when he dominated. He was still at 94 last year when he was clearly hurt.

  2. 5

    Greg Schaum

    Paul

    While I understand control and command are different monsters….I don’t think fans saw the real Herrera last year….Both in the futures game and in the final month of the season his pitches lacked the bite I have seen the last few years….He does have a tendency to over throw (Jeffress is more guilty of this) which makes his pitches flatten out…..Yes, even at that velocity pitches can flatten out ( actually probably more so than a finesse guy)

    But, when he is on ( which is most of the time) his breaking stuff slows down his heat so much that when he does get that movement on his fastball it jumps out at you like a 14 year old in the little league world series ….it jut seems to get on the hitter so much quicker than other fastballs….

  3. 4

    Clint Scoles

    I do agree with most of your thinking that the bullpen will be a strength as there are enough talented arms in the system that even with a little failure KC should be able to get thru it.

    Paul I can’t agree with much of what you wrote unfortunately. Where do you come up with your thoughts on Herrera? He has a 2.1 career BB/9 rate in the minors and only threw 2 innings in KC. I don’t mind Wood much he’s just a basic arm that can eat BP innings although his inability to control the running game can hurt at times. Mazzaro out of the pen could be interesting but I doubt his average FB(91 mph) would play up enough to make him worth it.

    As for the other statements. Soria was more than a head issue, Broxton without a top notch FB has been on the decline the last two seasons and Crow could be out of the bullpen all together as a starter. Holland is the only one I have complete confidence in but even he should see a bit of regression considering his performance was out of this world.

  4. 3

    Paul

    I’m pretty much with David Lowe.

    Adding, I think the assessment of a lot of locals that their pen is rad because of guys like Collins, Coleman, and Herrera is kind of humorous. I agree that Collins doesn’t make it… not just because of the control problems, but because he’s just not that good. Coleman is essentially a trick pitcher who we saw as the season went on can only pitch to right handers. Those guys get figured out pretty quick in MLB. Herrera’s command is deplorable. He’s not close to ready.

    The reason I think the bullpen is the strength of the team is that the headlines will be the “surprising” results from Blake Wood and Vin Mazzaro. In reality, they’re now seasoned enough for good seasons not to be surprising in the least. And both have very good stuff. Secondly, they have the depth to send the aforementioned three question marks to Omaha and bring them up to be the 7th guy whenever there is an injury.

    Out of the four back end guys, I just don’t see them falling off. Soria’s problems were in his head. If he doesn’t make the rotation, hopefully Eiland will let Crow be a two pitch guy, which will make him the guy he was in the first half, and Broxton’s only question is health. If the FB doesn’t come all the way back, it’s not that big a problem if he commands it and has the slider. I think the bullpen can be quite a bit better than last season, actually, because the rotation is so much better and they will be in more clean innings and get more rest.

  5. 2

    david.lowe

    Mijares should replace Collins in the pen. I have no more patience for Collins BB rate. If he cannot fix the control problems, he should not make the team out of the spring. That fixes one of the five problems.

    Herrera should be a stud, along with Holland and Coleman. Not sure what to expect from Crow and Soria, like you. Broxton also a wildcard.

    Basically, I agree with your assessment, but Collins I see as not making the team. No more tolerance for BB’s.

  6. 1

    DownUnderFan

    Excellent analysis, Clint. Agree there are more questions than answers going into next season. Do we see the crafty Dayton Moore pickups of 2011 (Cabrera, Franny, Paulino)or the more common DM errors of the previous years (Davies, Wachter, Cruz, Ramirez, Guillen, Jacobs, Crisp, etc. etc.)?

    It will be a very interesting spring training with way too many pitchers vying for way too few spots (unless the big trade does happen).

    Personally, though, I think the bullpen will again hold its own next year while the starting pitching will be the prime suspects.

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