OTC: Billy Butler and Moose End Disappointing Aprils While Ace Ventura Rolls To ERA Lead In Al

“In 2012, (Billy) Butler hit .313/.373/.510 with 29 home runs, made the All-Star team and won the Silver Slugger. In 2013, he hit for a solid average (.289) and actually improved his on-base percentage by one point, but hit half as many home runs (15) and saw his slugging percentage drop by nearly 100 points. This year, his biggest contribution has been preventing Mike Moustakas from being the most disappointing home grown player on the Royals.”
Cliff Corcoran, MLB writer, SI.com
GH: Wow. I was ready to chalk up Butler’s 2013 season as a fluke and expected him to return to being one of the Al’s best hitters this season. Somehow he got worse – way worse. And he just turned 28 in April. That is just stunning. It is so stunning that I can’t believe he’s lost his swing, eye and bat speed at what should be his peak years as a hitter. He has to come out of this “slump,” right?

“Right now I feel more confident with Dyson at the plate than Billy Butler.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM

“Moose is third on our team in RBIs. He’s first in home runs. It’s all going to come. We can make issues over every little thing.”
Ned Yost, on those criticizing Moustakas hitting only .149 after one month of the season, 610 AM
GH: Moose was the number two overall pick in MLB draft seven years ago. It is not a “little thing” that for the second consecutive season in a row he is struggling at the plate in such a disappointing manner that he will likely be platooned this month – or at least should be.

“You heard what Ned said. He wanted more homers. And I knew (the hitting problems) were going to happen if they started focusing on more homers.”
Kevin Seitzer, the former Royals’ hitting coach and current Toronto hitting coach, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM

“I would point this out – both Hosmer’s and Moustakas’ highs for home runs (in a season) came when Kevin Seitzer was the hitting coach.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: Whether you are a Seitzer fan or not (and there are a plethora of both), the Royals have not been as productive offensively since he was canned by Yost. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.

“There may have been some other things (that contributed to the Royals firing Seitzer). There were rumors that some of the players didn’t see eye to eye with Seitzer. I heard that some players stopped showing up for early batting practice.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM

“Honestly, I don’t have any idea.”
Kevin Seitzer, when asked about Mike Moustakas’ hitting woes, 810 AM
GH: Unfortunately, neither does anyone else.

“Look, (Yordano Ventura’s) got the whole package. It will be interesting to see where the innings go from here and how much the Royals sort of hold the reigns in on him. You’ve got to believe that early in the year they’re going to hold him back as much as possible.”
Buster Olney, MLB analyst for ESPN, after Ventura was pulled after only five innings Wednesday night against Toronto, despite throwing a shutout, 810 AM
GH: Ventura was 95 pitches in on a cold, windy night in late April. I have no problem with Ned Yost being a bit protective of a rookie ace who has a chance to be the Royals stopper for the next six or so years. Now this Big Game James guy – go ahead and run that guy’s pitch count up there whenever you need to. He’s here this season only to help win a championship.

“Face it, on a given day what they have with Ventura is a guy who can match up with any pitcher in baseball. He can dominate with anybody! That’s how good his stuff is. I agree with you, I’m running out of words to describe him.”
Buster Olney, 810 AM
GH: Ventura now leads the AL with a 1.50 ERA. Not bad, rookie.

“I don’t know, but if I’m a player I’m sliding into his shin guards.”
Rex Hudler, after Eric Hosmer was called out at the plate after the play was reviewed by the umpire crew Wednesday night, Fox Sports KC
GH: The Royals TV broadcast replayed Hosmer’s slide and Toronto’s Dioner Navarro’s tag from multiple angles at multiple speeds multiple times. Hosmer was dead-to-rights out every time. The question was whether or not Navarro blocked Hosmer’s path to the plate. The umpires reviewed the video and declared he did not. If the overriding factor is whether the catcher places his foot in foul territory or fair, I believe the umps got this one right. Almost no one I follow on Twitter (except for 610’s Danny Parkins) agreed with me. Hudler’s solution to slide into the catcher was kind of what I expected from him, dumb.

“The Royals (TV broadcast) crew received the fewest votes out of any team in a non-West Coast division. Readers really don’t like Rex Hudler, and comments about the rest of the crew ranged from positive to mediocre.”
Awfulannouncing.com, on the Royals TV crew being ranked 18th in their online survey
GH: These online surveys aren’t an accurate gage of the public’s overall opinion but I remain stunned that the Royals think Hudler is anything but awkward comedy relief.

“You talk about a weird swing! Aoki hit that one with what looked like his thumb!”
Denny Matthews, after the Royals’ leadoff hitter sliced a double in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game, Royals Radio

“I’m (at The K) at 3:00 AM. It takes a lot of set up time. The show begins at ten o’clock. There are over 70 people involved in the show. We try to make it fun. We blow a lot of stuff up.”
Mike Thompson, on his morning preparations for his annual School Day at The K show each spring, 610 AM
GH: I have never had the opportunity to attend one of Thompson’s extravagant School Day at The K but it sounds like a labor of love for the Fox 4 weatherman. He also said he starts preparing for the next year’s show the day after his last show – and takes most of the year once the holidays are over to work on all of the intricacies of the show. This year’s School Day at The K is scheduled for Wednesday, May 14th at 10:00 AM.

“Having spent much of the last year getting to know the Turner family – I wish the best of luck to Myles. Great kid and great family.”
Matt Scott, @KUTheShiver, after Turner announced he would be playing college basketball at Texas next season and not Kansas, Twitter
GH: I thought this tweet from Matt Scott, an avid KU fan who operates a very popular KU website, showed some class. Kids chose their schools for a lot or reasons – none that should upset the alumni of the schools they do not choose.

“I’d be stunned if (the Chiefs) take a quarterback in the first two days, with as much money as they have locked up in their quarterbacks.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: I would like to hear Petro and Kietzman have this debate live on Between the Lines.

“We actually get here three, three-and-a-half, to four hours before the show to prepare for each show and do a rundown. Scary isn’t it?”
Danny Parkins, cohost of The Drive with Carrington Harrison, 610 AM
GH: Downright frightening. Who knew it took that long to prepare to discuss last night’s bar scene and today’s prop bets?

[email protected] and Twitter @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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23 Responses to OTC: Billy Butler and Moose End Disappointing Aprils While Ace Ventura Rolls To ERA Lead In Al

  1. Floyd says:

    Ned’s optimism over Moose continues to astound me. We have had a large sample size: since 2012, Moose has hit .242, .233, and now .149, with OBP below .300 all three seasons. Couple that with his league average defense and I just don’t see him as a starting third baseman. I’m sure Moore and Yost are hoping for an Alex Gordon type career resurrection, but I don’t see Moose with Gordon’s drive or discipline. .

    • Joe Blow says:

      The Royals are really invested in Moose’s sorry ass.

      One of the things I’m really disappointed in Dayton Moore with was the story a couple of years ago in the KC Star where a pitcher mentioned how the manager basically hung him out to dry, and Moose took him and slammed him up against the wall and told him to never question his manager…and Dayton used that as an example of the kind of leader he was. To me, that’s an entitled douche who got a big bonus and has never earned it..

      • Gassedup says:

        I remember a couple years back when a writer needed a comment from Moose while he was getting dressed and evidently didn’t respect ‘the man’ and Moose took him to task by shutting him out for an after game comment because the senior writer was too insistant. Kind of thought a ball player who acted like that was a bit full of himself.

  2. Hot Carl says:

    “I was ready to chalk up Butler’s 2013 season as a fluke and expected him to return to being one of the Al’s best hitters this season. Somehow he got worse”


  3. Smith says:

    Breaking down the hitting coach is like blaming your boss for why you suck at your job.

    • BS says:

      this comment is dumb even by the low standards of comments sections on a website. good managers and coaches have a tremendous impact on performance on and off the playing field. if you have worked for good managers and bad managers, you would know this.

      • TiberiusGracchus says:

        Yes! The Yankees have worlds apart from the rest of baseball over the last 20 years because of superior hitting coaches! I’m sorry but blaming a hitting coach for stinking is the equivalent of a football team blaming the quarterbacks coach or the strength and conditioning guy.

  4. The Independent Rage says:

    Spinning a batting average that’s 50 points below the Mendoza Line as a “little thing.” Mr. Yost needs to go to Washington if he ever gets his walking papers from the Royals. He’d fit right in there.

  5. JP says:

    The sad part is Moose would be on pace for about 25-26 HR’s, but he rarely does anything in the clutch. As for Butler, he is far and away the biggest disappointment. Nobody can kill rallies or hit into Double Plays like Butler can. I think he needs to stay away from the BBQ joints and work on getting in better shape. The fact that he continues to slide is not an aberration.

    However, on the plus side, Escobar has had a comeback season so far at the plate. The top of the lineup continues to produce and Infante looks like the best Free Agent signing for the Royals in a very long time. The team finished above .500 and when you consider their abysmal hitting, that is quite an accomplishment.

  6. Richard Cranium says:

    People like that Matt Scott guy make me wonder where his life is. This is a guy that calls and speaks to recruits and follows KU Basketball WAAAAAAY too close for a normal human. Clearly we all enjoy sports, and enjoy discussing it, but this guy thinks he’s making a job by chasing down and having “family time” with high school kids. Either he needs a woman, or he needs to open up his mind to other options than KU Athletics. These are the types of people that end up in a basement crossing names off a list with their mother’s lipstick.

    • Kyle R says:

      Pretty sure that’s either his full-time gig or a profitable side-job, not just fanboy slobbering.

      • Richard Cranium says:

        Running a blog can’t possibly make enough to be a full-time gig? Right? What the hell am I doing working if that’s the case. I’ll pull a Tony’s KC and sit in my basement in my drawers cursing at people all day. Also even if it is, still a bit of fanboy slobbering.

        • Kyle R says:

          Well, when you run a site that is part of a huge network of sites connected to CBS Sports, and you charge $9-$10 per month subscription fees, you can apparently make enough.


          • Richard Cranium says:

            1 final point. Who in God’s name would ever pay to read what a jock sniffer types on a blog? Hell, I couldn’t listen to Nick Wright let alone this jackwagon.

          • Alphonse Tooty says:

            People also pay this much to read Gabe DeArmond’s incoherent, typo-riddled crap. Such a waste of money.

  7. Jason says:

    Alex Gordon should be getting 25% of fat ass Moose’s salary. Yost thinks Moose is going to turn things around like Alex so he sticks with him. Well Ned… your piece of shit 3rd baseman doesn’t have Alex Gordon’s work ethic, mental toughness nor selflessness. He looks like a spoiled chubby kid ready to throw his tantrum. Refuses to hustle to first base and is a BUST!!!

  8. Raymond says:

    Matt Scott:

  9. Joe Blow says:

    I think they kept Hudler because he talks at the Dan Glass level. If Frank was talking, DG would be lost.

    If Frank was talking, he would say, “Well, when th-th-th-they tried to t-t-turn the double play, Escabar did-didn’t quite get his feet set.” DG can’t understand that? Neither can anyone else..

  10. Say What? says:

    “Hudler’s solution to slide into the catcher was kind of what I expected from him, dumb.”

    He is actually right based on what they were talking about last night when Joel Goldberg said he talked to several umpires.

    • Alphonse Tooty says:

      Greg second-guessing somebody what has actually played Major League baseball, dumb.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Hosmer handled this situation perfectly. He tried to slide past the catcher and tag the exposed portion of the plate with his hand. Sliding into the catcher’s shin guards would have resulted in him not reaching the plate and an almost sure out.

      • Joe Blow says:

        Didn’t Hosmer not even reach the plate? He would have *had* to slide closer to the catcher’s shin guard to reach the plate…

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