The Triple Play Podcast returns this week with a more focused show.
Hunter, Matt and Reese discuss the signing of Bronson Arroyo and what it means for former Kansas City Royals pitcher Ervin Santana. It could reduce Ervin Santana’s price even furthers. Arroyo has been an above pitcher with a sub-4.00 ERA in a hitters park for several years. He allows a lot of hard hit balls and a lot of home runs, but he eats innings and limits walks. They briefly discuss his music career too.
Most projection systems seem to think the Kansas City Royals will be a losing team. Clay Davenport’s system has them winning only 77. Baseball Prospectus, through their PECOTA projection system, has the Royals winning only 79. As does ESPN’s Dave Schoenfield. They discuss why and also use it as an excuse to talk generally about the Royals in this slow week.
The Royals projections show little variance and limited upside. They all have lower win totals than expected due to a starting rotation that is expected to regress and an offense that might not be able to make up the difference.
The podcast finishes its AL Central previews by talking about the division-winning Detroit Tigers. While the Tigers don’t have the massive firepower they had last season, they still have three monster arms in their rotation and a better defense behind them that will certainly limit a lot of runs. The Tigers infield is completely different coming into the season.
Miguel Cabrera has moved back to first base. Jose Iglesias is a wizard at shortstop with quick hands. Ian Kinsler will probably provide additional offense as well as good defense. Rookie Nick Castellanos will take over every day duties at third base.
The Tigers opted to avoid going for an outfield power bat in the off-season and will start with a sub-optimal Andy Dirks/Rajai Davis platoon in left field. Torii Hunter may regress. Pretty much everyone agrees that the team is not as good as it was last season.