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Vern's Weekly Report Card

Josh Vernier
May 22, 2017 - 12:08 am
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**Check back each Monday morning for the latest Vern's Report Card**

THE RACE FOR ROYALS TEAM MVP 

  • 1st - Danny Duffy (2)
    • after a two-week hiatus, he's back on top. Vargy has the better numbers, but Duffy has it all
  • 2nd - Jason Vargas (1)
    • he's been tremendous, but Duff had the expectations, pressure & contractual commitment. MVP stuff
  • 3rd - Lorenzo Cain (3)
    • always feel like you're going to see a quality at-bat with Cain & the glove speaks for itself
  • 4th - Salvador Pérez (4)
    • upped his team-leading OPS to .868, hit three home runs & is the A.L.'s best catcher ... again
  • 5th - Eric Hosmer (NR)
    • could have been Karns, Ian, Moose or Minor, but Hos grabs fifth-spot by playing in all 43

OFFENSE - (D) 

(LAST WEEK - D-) Only a slight bump in grade. It was a nice week. The bats averaged more than four run per game. 

Again, it was a nice week, ... for the Royals, ... in 2017.

The group capitalized on a failed double-play attempt by the Yankees on Thursday, which is exactly what a quality offense does in the big leagues. CC Sabathia carved 'em up, but for the most part the offense wasn't the main culprit in this week's run through the Twins and Bronx Bombers (2-4).

DEFENSE - (B+)

(LAST WEEK - B+) I don't know why I can't allow a bump in grade, but I can't allow it. Not yet.

Moose had a fantastic week at the hot corner and is putting himself in position for a healthy contract this offseason. Alex Gordon and Cain continued to do what they do in the grass, but the plays made out there by Jorge Bonifacio is what really stood out. The rookie may lack the effortlessness of his outfield mates, but his sliding catch on Tuesday, leaping catch at the wall and outfield assist on Friday got my attention. Jorge Soler appears to have the same tools as Boni, but we're yet to see them consistently. 

STARTING PITCHING - (A-)

(LAST WEEK - A-) There's no doubt that this was a tough week. Jason Hammel had another poor outing, Jason Vargas came back down to Earth, Nate Karns isn't completely healthy and Ian Kennedy looked rusty in his return. The group still owns the fourth-best ERA in the league, and for me, starts from Vargy, Duff, Ian and Nate still warrant your attention and your optimism. 

RELIEF PITCHING - (C+)

(LAST WEEK - C+) Surprisingly, this unit garners a 'C+' for a third-straight week. I assumed heading into the week that a bump in grade was a foregone conclusion, but Kelvin Herrera was once again beat on an off-speed pitch and Travis Wood looks officially lost on the mound. Those struggles were offset by a scoreless five-and-a-third from Joakim Soria and Mike Minor.

The bullpen, like most facets of this team, have some aspects that make you think this team can make a postseason run, and some aspects that make you think the trades should commence immediately.

BASE RUNNING - (B-)

(LAST WEEK - B-) As discussed with the bullpen, the base-running has some hair-pulling moments, but some 'get up out of your seat and cheer' moments. Jorge Soler tried to stretch an obvious single into a double on Tuesday, but scored on a terrific 'send' from Mike Jirschele on Thursday.

Eric Hosmer showed his ability with a hustle double in Tuesday's loss. It's another one of the boxes he checks on the 'free agent checklist.'

----Current Hosmer Checked Boxes:

-base running

-defense

-clubhouse leader

-hit for average

-face of organization ability

-young

-durable

MANAGING - (B+)

(LAST WEEK - B+) His offense hasn't given him much this season, but I'll give Ned Yost credit for plugging Bonifacio in the five-spot so quickly. He's handling the Alex Gordon situation about as well as he can. Gordo's glove is still helping the team, but I'm not sure how much longer it offsets his diminished offense. Unfortunately for Yost, the size of Gordon's contract coupled with the Kansas City market means he has to put him in the lineup because Alex isn't going anywhere. There's still two years and 44 million dollars left on his deal. They have to get him right at the plate.

Yost has done a nice job with the bullpen as well. It's not the turn-key group of relievers he's had in years past, but he's making the best with what he has.

Hear Ned Yost every Wednesday on Fescoe in the Morning.

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