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How ’bout them rookie Royals?

Apr 4, 2011, 9:30 AM EDT

Tim Collins

We’re going to have a lot of Small Sample Size Theater this week. Stuff we observe during the season’s infancy that, while unsustainable and probably meaningless in the grand scheme of things, is fun to observe all the same.  One of the first things that fit this bill in 2011 is the Royals’ relievers, particularly the rookies down in that pen.

Aaron Crow, Tim Collins and Nate Adcock have combined for eight innings of shutout relief in Kansas City’s first four games. Collins and Crow have struck out 11 guys between them. I got a chance to watch both Crow and Collins pitch over the weekend and I was most impressed with Crow’s fantastic, moving fastball. Collins, who is 5’7″ and that may be stretching it, is really fun too thanks to that delivery of his which kind of makes him look like the love child of Gene Garber and Tim Lincecum. Add in the always-dominant Joakim Soria‘s three scoreless innings thus far and the Royals have themselves a nice pen.

There’s a beauty in watching a team with no immediate expectations. If you don’t get too bogged down on the negatives, you can find yourself pleasantly surprised by parts of it in isolation. Indeed, I’d argue that you can enjoy stuff like nice relief pitching on a less-than-competitive team more than you can on a contender because it’s easier to divorce it from the whole and not worry about the implications of it all so much.

Put differently, the Royals’ bullpen — for now anyway — is art for art’s sake, and that is often the most enjoyable art there can be.

  1. proudlycanadian - Apr 4, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    As far as the Royals are concerned, the pen is mightier than the starting rotation.

  2. paintan8 - Apr 4, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    I’ll take the Orioles rookie starters over the Royal rookie relievers for $500 Alex.

  3. Tyree Studio - Apr 4, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    I was at the game on Saturday. Crow was nasty and Soria was automatic.

  4. Paul White - Apr 4, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Jeremy Jeffress also looked good in his only appearance so far, and he still qualifies as a rookie. He threw strikes with his fastball and his breaking stuff and got a K against Vernon Wells. He did give up a homer, but to be fair, there were 8 homers hit in that game yesterday due to a crazy wind the blew straight out all day long. We don’t get temps in the low 90s in early April in KC unless there’s one mother of a southerly wind blowing, so that homer should be discounted a bit. Regardless, Jeffress looked pretty good, particularly since he’s, at best, the fifth option out of that pen (Soria, Robinson Tejeda, Crow, Collins).

  5. sportsdrenched - Apr 4, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    No doubt the Pen is the most entertaining part of this team.
    I was at the Royals Futures game on Saturday. Mike Montgomery was dealing. Come June or July he’ll get called up and Craig has to write more than one post about him too…in a good way.

  6. aburns77 - Apr 4, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    I was able to watch a fair amount of the Royals this weekend thanks to the free preview of MLB extra innings and while they’re still a long ways away it’s hard to not watch guys like Collins and Kila getting a chance to show what they can do and not feel like they’re going to be interesting. Sure, they have no rotation and their lineup has tons of holes but I think this season is a great opportunity for those guys and maybe even Alex Gordon who looked real good yesterday a chance to establish themselves and maybe reserve themselves a seat on the 2012 train when all their prospects begin to show up

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