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Postby wrveres » Thu Mar 24, 2005 9:51 am

I was looking for a little history on the kid, but I couldn't find anything in here via search. Maybe I should try the Minors forum. :-?
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Thu Mar 24, 2005 12:22 pm

here ya go wrv:

Apparantly he is having a terrific spring, and the guy who wrote this synopsis thinks he may overthrow Graffanino sooner rather than later.

Other places are reporting the same thing - Gotay may be the starting 2B out of ST with Graffanino backing him up. Graff's injury is helping make the decision that much easier.

Sleeper anyone?
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Postby kimchi_chigae » Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:30 pm

you gotay to be kidding me. !+)

he hit a walk-off 3 run homer against the pads...

Gotay looks like KC's go-to guy

By BOB DUTTON The Kansas City Star

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Circumstances, improved defense and a hot bat have the Royals re-evaluating their plan to have second baseman Ruben Gotay open the season at Class AAA Omaha, Neb.

Even before veteran Tony Graffanino rolled his ankle, club officials found it increasingly tough to overlook Gotay's production as they contemplated a lineup that even they acknowledge will struggle to score runs.

Now, it seems all but certain that Gotay will be at second base when the season opens April 4 in Detroit.

“It looks like it's going to be Gotay,” Royals general manager Allard Baird said. “I think it's going to be tough for Graf to be ready to play every day by opening day.”

Gotay, 22, entered the week as the Cactus League leader in slugging percentage and total bases and tied for the lead in hits and homers.

Sure, spring numbers are often mightily inaccurate indicators, but Gotay batted .270 last season in 44 games against big-league pitchers after his Aug. 3 promotion from Class AA Wichita.

“Gotay can hit,” Royals manager Tony Peña said. “We've always known he could hit.”

The questions center on Gotay's defense: his lack of range, his suspect arm and his flaws in the turning the pivot on double plays.

Gotay shrugs it all off.

“In this business,” he said, “it doesn't matter how well you're doing, people are always going to find something you're doing wrong. I know that every day I need to learn something. I need to work on my defense.

“But I know I've been doing well, and I'm going to get a lot better.”

The Royals, however, wanted those lessons learned in the minors. Until Gotay's bat forced the re-evaluation.

Graffanino's latest injury virtually closed the discussion.

“It's still early,” Baird said, “and I don't want to go down a path before I have to. I'm just keeping all of our options available. Right now, a lot hinges on Graf.”

The Royals limited Graffanino's throwing early in camp as a precaution as he worked to strengthen his right shoulder after undergoing surgery in August to repair a torn rotator cuff.

Graffanino then rolled his left ankle last Wednesday — in only his second game at second base — while fielding a routine grounder. Graffanino insists he'll be ready for the regular season, but he isn't expected to return to the lineup, even on a limited basis, before this weekend.

“Graf says he feels good,” Baird said, “but does that mean he's going to be ready opening day? I'm concerned that he's not healthy, and we're about to start the season.”

Some club officials advocated shifting Graffanino to utility duty, his usual role, even before his ankle injury. That view argued that a combination of Gotay as the starter and Graffanino in reserve offered more than the projected pairing of Graffanino and veteran minor-leaguer Chris Clapinski.

That argument is now moot.

Clapinski is sidelined by an elbow injury and isn't expected back anytime soon. That leaves Denny Hocking as the club's top utility candidate if Graffanino starts at second base.

“I heard a lot of things about who is the second baseman,” Gotay said, “but I don't pay any attention. I'm trying to do my best to make the team. That's all I can do. Everything else is not up to me. It's out of my control.”

The concerns about his defense are diminishing, too.

“He's done a great job,” Baird said. “Believe me, I'm not being negative on him. He's working on his defense. He's throwing the ball extremely well. He's much better on the pivot. And he's swinging the bat.”

Another endorsement comes from former Royal Frank White, an eight-time Gold Glove winner at second base who managed Gotay last season at Wichita.

“I have all the confidence that he can do the job,” White said. “I know there are a lot of questions about his range and ability to turn the double play, but he's still a developing player. You just have to keep him on his routine and keep him working on the little things.

“In today's game, second base is viewed more as an offensive position. Therefore, making the routine play is probably more important than a player's overall range. You just need to be able to hit. And he can hit.”

Minor League numbers

2001 RK 184AB 29/3/19/5/315
2002 A 509AB 89/9/83/5/285
2003 A 502AB 68/9/72/8/261
2004 AA 404AB 71/9/68/9/290
Free WR!
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Postby wrveres » Thu Mar 24, 2005 3:48 pm

This is what SI was saying about him a month ago. I know he has a little pop and speed, I was just looking for some perpective after seeing his spring numbers.

Apparently Gotay is still a year or two away even though he will have a big league gig.
I would imagine he isn't seeing a ton of breaking balls in spring. Its always easist to hit em when you know what is coming.

Thanks guys.

Ruben Gotay was supposed to be ready to compete for the starting second base job in camp for Kansas City, but he is coming off a horrible winter ball season in the Puerto Rican League, in which he flirted with the Mendoza line most of the time, and had problems with off-speed and breaking stuff. He needs a lights-out camp to unseat Tony Graffanino as the Opening Day second baseman, and looks ticketed for AAA where he'll have to start worrying about being passed by prospect Donald Murphy
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