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ENEMY LINES
Mark Bechtel
March 25, 2002
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Royals
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March 25, 2002

Enemy Lines

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an opposing team's scout sizes up the Royals

"The starting rotation is a bunch of pitchers who would be middle- to bottom-of-the-rotation on most clubs. They're scrappy, functional. A lot of teams would like Jeff Suppan, but in the middle of their rotation. They'd like Paul Byrd, but at the end of their rotation. Here, these guys are 1 and 2....

Joe Randa had some history of clutch hits, but not last year. He has to be much more productive. I expect him to rebound....

The middle infield can catch it. Neifi Perez is a very good shortstop, and Carlos Febles has talent, though I'm still waiting for him to make the jump to the next level. He's young and has upside....

Carlos Beltran is a potential star. He's looked very good this spring....

Mark Quinn has some power, so they better get him back quickly from that rib injury because this team doesn't have a lot of power....

Raul Ibanez is a good extra outfielder, but if he has to play every day, he's out of his role....

They have a functional bullpen. Roberto Hernandez is a decent closer, not a frontline one anymore. Jason Grimsley and Cory Bailey are solid setup guys, but they can't close in an emergency....

This is a big year for Tony Muser. He has to do something. His team plays hard, but this business is about winning and losing. He has to show he can get this team to move up. I think they'll win 75 to 80 games, but there's nothing on the horizon, in terms of young prospects, to indicate that they can jump into contention anytime soon. They need a couple of real solid drafts."

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