Over the weekend, the Royals added another veteran in righty Kyle Lohse.
The 39-year-old righty arm has logged 2531.2 innings throughout his career, owning a career ERA of 4.40. Lohse didn’t pitch at any level last year, last making a pitching appearance for the Texas Rangers in 2016, when he allowed 13 runs over 9.1 innings. His fastball average under 90 MPH for the two starts he made.
Tim Hill made his debut and Drew Osborne followed it up with analysis.
The White Sox seemed to initially struggle with Hill’s low release and velo. It will be tough for a lot of hitters as Hill’s release is not something you typically see. If you haven’t read our scouting report on Hill, you can do that here. Tim is a great guy and we wish him the best of luck going forward.
We made it one game into the 2018 season and Jorge Soler has already found himself a spot on the bench.
There was an off-day on Friday, Soler will sit today, and tomorrow is looking like a potential postponement with snow in the forecast, so it may instead be Soler getting a bit of time off. And why does it matter if Orlando sits for ten days? That really should be his job at this point. Paulo is a nice fourth outfielder, but he is clearly a fourth outfielder. He is 32 year old, not a part of the future. Jorge Soler might be. Paulo Orlando could sit for a whole month, and that would be just fine with me. After all, Erik Kratz did!
There was a very interesting post over at Royals Review that discussed some of the history of the Kansas City Athletics.
The Athletics moved from Philadelphia to Kansas City for the 1955 season. They played in Kansas City for thirteen uneventful and losing seasons under two owners. The original owner was Arnold Johnson. The estate of Johnson sold the Athletics to Charlie O. Finley, a mercurial Indiana insurance executive, on December 19, 1960. Despite public assurances that he planned to keep the Athletics in KC, Finley almost immediately started courting other cities to move to, starting with Dallas in 1962. In coming years, Finley would also make attempts to move the club to Louisville, Atlanta, Milwaukee, New Orleans, San Diego and Seattle.
Clint Scoles of BP Kansas City has some draft and international analysis following the draft pool allotment announcements.
In addition to the draft pools, the international pools were announced with the Royals landing in the second highest tier with an allotment of $5,504,500. Of course, the Royals have already spent $1,000,00 of that bonus on centerfielder Juan Carlos Negret and $650,000 on Yefri del Rosario, a pair of former Braves prospects that were given a release by MLB after a rules violation was discovered. During the 2017 signing period, over 30 international prospects were added to the Royals organization and the club is linked to DPL shortstop Wilmin Candelario. Expect the club to spend their full total this year, as the Royals will carry two Dominican Summer League teams this season. Is their new strategy in the Dominican to toss numbers at it? Signing as many guys as possible with hopes that one becomes a Yordano Ventura or Ronald Acuna after inking deals for $100k or less could be their new strategy.
Tyler Dierking of Kings of Kauffman debates Eric Skoglund vs Trevor Oaks.
During his time in Triple-A, Oaks put up impressive numbers. Over his 26 appearances, he has made 25 starts. During that time he posted an impressive 3.37 ERA over 147.0 innings. He also struck out 120 hitters, an average of 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Take that and compare it to his 28 walks, averaging just 1.7 walks per nine innings, and you have a very consistent pitcher. He also averaged nearly six innings per start.
Wayne Cavadi of Minor League Ball looks at the breakout of Cardinals 1B/OF Jose Martinez.
In adding some more loft to his approach, he hasn’t lost his contact ability either. Last year he made contact 80.5 percent of the time, and an even higher 87 percent of the time if a pitch was in the strike zone. Martinez is a bit aggressive not afraid to swing at the first offering he sees, but he seems to know how to work a count and get his pitch.
ICYMI, Shohei Ohtani looked majestic in his debut MLB start.
This is the unknown, where there are no answers until the games have been played, the 99-mph fastballs chased by the 90-mph splitters, some he will throw, others he will attempt to barrel. Not all at once. Scioscia has mirthfully observed that having Ohtani is having two different players, one who stretches with pitchers, the other who takes batting practice with hitters, the real division coming on game nights.