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Sisco, Santiago, and Simpson

Some quick notes after a night of a little work, a gift exchange, and another visit to the Waffle House:

  • The Royals used the second pick in the Rule 5 draft well, taking left-handed pitcher Andy Sisco from the Cubs organization. By some accounts, Sisco is 12 feet tall, throws 130 mph on days when he doesn't quite have his really good stuff, owns a blue ox, and one day dreams of playing in the NBA and beating the hell out of people in the stands. With help from the ox.

    But in all seriousness, Sisco (who's actually 6'9) instantly became the best pitching prospect in the Kansas City organization. His strikeout rate in the minor leagues is an outstanding 9.92 per nine innings, he's kept the ball in the park (17 homers in 331 innings), and his control hasn't been all that bad, as he's walked 3.94 batters per nine.

    Still, 3.94 walks per nine isn't good either, especially when the pitcher hasn't seen a level above Single-A. Put that pitcher in the major leagues right away as the Royals are going to do with Sisco, and he's going to have an even harder time throwing strikes. It's for that reason Allard Baird plans on hiding him in the bullpen at least to begin the season, which is a move I can definitely understand. It's going to be up to Tony Pena to pick the right spots for him to pitch, which will most likely be in blowout situations.

    If Sisco can learn to repeat his delivery over time, the consistency of his stuff and command will improve drastically, and the Royals very well could have a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. One can only hope his debut goes better than fellow Rule 5 draftee Miguel Asencio's did.

  • On Monday night, three friends from high school and I went to TGI Friday's. Coincidentally, John Buck, Shawn Camp, and Nathan Field were there too, most likely because the Royals winter caravan made its Springfield stop that night. I don't know why, but to me, there's just something fascinating about seeing a major leaguer in a restaurant, a store, or anywhere else they aren't in uniform. Apparently I was alone in being fascinated, because no other person seemed to have the slightest clue that there were pretty decent baseball players sitting right next to them. Such is the life of a Kansas City Royal.

  • The Royals are reportedly on the verge of trading Benito Santiago to the Pirates, pending Santiago passing a physical. According to the Kansas City Star, KC will receive minor league pitcher Leo Nunez and a player to be named for Santiago and about $1 million in cash.

    Just about a few days ago, Baird spoke about the Royals' catching situation, saying that he planned on Santiago being Buck's backup in 05:

    "I really don't want to trade him," Royals general manager Allard Baird said. "I had a good conversation with him (earlier this week). We think he can be an excellent backup for John Buck. That hasn't changed."
    I thought that quote to be a strange one at the time, because the Royals have much-less expensive options to back up Buck in Alberto Castillo and Paul Phillips. But then the Pirates decided they couldn't wait to get Jason Kendall's replacement, and gave Allard a call. If the deal goes through as expected, it'll save some money for the Royals while adding a couple of marginal prospects. For the Pirates, Santiago can still swing the bat (contrary to popular belief), and is well worth a million bucks.

  • Remember when I declared Natalie Portman the official crush of Kevin's Royals Blog? Scrap that, and say hello to Ashlee Simpson. One word: Knockout.

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