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Royal Blues


June 18, 2009 9:48 PM

KC needs a new SS...how about a Quintanilla?

Let me tell you a secret - are you ready for this?

[whispering] The Royals, you see, aren't very good at shortstop.

Sorry, should I have warned you to sit down for that shocking news? As a group, Royals shortstops are batting .208/.244/.271, which is an incredible amount of garbage. Dead last in the league, in fact. Actually, no, check that - It's also the worst batting line for shortstops in all of the Majors.

And those numbers could be worse, when you take out the surprisingly decent bat of Willie Bloomquist, who shouldn't really be counted as a shortstop. I think tonight's performance there is a pretty pointed argument against playing him there, don't you?

So that leaves TPJ and Luis Hernandez, and maybe Mike Aviles if he ever gets healthy, but it sounds like he's a long way away from taking the field again. It's hard to argue against the idea that the Royals could use a boost at short. But...to whom would we go? (oh hey, Biblical reference!)

In the past, the Royals have been linked to Seattle's Yuniesky Betancourt, but that wouldn't be an upgrade - he's batting .238/.259/.312. Well, OK, that is a better line than the KC collective, but that doesn't mean it's a move that a real Major League team should make.

What about Omar Quintanilla? He's only seeing part-time duty in Colorado behind Troy Tulowitzki, but in his limited duty is batting .208/.345/.250. Even with a WAR (Win Above Replacement - lovingly explained here) of 0.0, Quintanilla is more valuable than TPJ or Hernandez or Aviles.

Defensively, he might also work out well - his UZR/150* is 7.0, better than any of the team's current options.
 Player               UZR/150 at short
Quintanilla                 7.0
TPJ                           5.0
Aviles                       -7.7
Hernandez                -15.1
Bloomers                  -30.6
(UZR/150 (ultimate zone rate per 150 games): The number of runs above or below average a fielder is, per 150 defensive games.)

Of course, the next problem would be what we send to them. Our own cupboards are pretty bare in most departments at AAA and the MLB level, so if the Rockies need someone who is ready to help them now, a third team might have to be involved.

Anyway, it's hard to tell whether Dayton's looking to deal right now. But even after the crapfests of the last two games, the Royals aren't totally out of the hunt for the Central. 5.5 games back is an attainable deficit, or so I tell myself in order to fall asleep at night. Adding Quintanilla at short would help the embarrassing defensive situation, which would go a long way in supporting pitchers like Luke Hochevar and Brian Bannister, who rely on adequate (or better) defense to get outs. And you already know about the "offense" our team is putting up at short.
 




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