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Royals At The All-Star Break: Auditing First Half Performances

With the All-Star activities having wrapped up, it is now time for the second half of the season to begin. While most Royals fans are pretty sour about the team's record at this point, all hope certainly isn't lost for the future. We can continue to watch the development of the younger players. Additionally there is the fast-approaching trade deadline, one of my favorite parts of the season. As painful as it may be, let's take a look back at the season that has been so far and I'll share some thoughts about what I expected against what happened on the field.

For the grading scale, we will simply use upgrade, downgrade, and push in relevance to what expectations I had going into the season. Look for additional position audits to be added throughout the remainder of the week-


Matt Treanor

On March 28th, Dayton Moore made his usual end of spring training trade, this time acquiring Treanor from the Texas Rangers. As the two teams share a spring training facility, all Treanor had to do was basically walk across the hallway to join his new mates. On the surface I viewed it as a win, as Treanor had a veteran presence, and it hopefully meant Jason Kendall was further from the playing field than expected.

Treanor's best work of the season may have come in the first week, when his walk-off home run defeated the Angels 12-9 back on April 3rd. He has gone on to post a .220/.354/.308 line in 56 games, with three home runs and 18 RBI. Oddly enough he has already doubled his career total in stolen bases (two this season).

Defensively, he hasn't handled a game as well as I had presumed he would. However, with the players Kansas City is rolling out as starting pitchers, it doesn't matter which catcher the Royals trotted back there, this team still wouldn't have a winning record.

We haven't gotten a whole lot out of Treanor, but I didn't expect much out of him either. He's just a body to play the position, and likely won't be on the team beyond this season. PUSH

Brayan Pena

Pena can be frustrating at times for me. His stat line of .263/.314/.387 in 47 appearances is pretty solid for a platoon catcher at he big league level, however at times he shows flashes of being a solid major league catcher, and then at other times I question why the Royals aren't looking at the catching market.

The 29-year old switch hitter has three home runs and 20 RBI on the season, the craziest part is all of his home runs were three-run shots that took place in Texas. So basically half of Pena's RBI's this season have happened on three separate swings against the Rangers. That is not good over the course of the season, and adds to my puzzlement.

Defensively he appears to be the better catcher at this point that Treanor, but that very likely comes down to the age of the players, as Pena is younger.

I would have liked to seen more out of Pena this season as I figured he may improve with more playing time. He is still splitting time, but playing a lot more than last season when he was clearly the backup behind Kendall. However, I will still call this a PUSH, as I realize the ceiling with Pena was never too high to begin with.

Jason Kendall

You hate to see a player suffer injuries, and then again have setbacks that have left Kendall's career in doubt (he is likely finished as a pro player), but for the sake of watching the Royals team each day, I call this an UPGRADE for the Royals. I didn't have to frustrate myself with watching him on the field this season, and many Royals fans are all in agreement that is a positive.