June 29 to July 2
- Bees 3 games, Lugnuts 1 game
- Lugnuts are 6-6 (.500)
- Tied for second place, one game out; division standings are Whitecaps at 7-5 (.583) and everyone else at 6-6.
- Juan Rocha’s the Lugnuts Player of the Month for June
Saturday was awful; the Bees didn’t deserve a win but our guys didn’t want one. Then three terrific games, but only one win to show for the effort. [Carlos] Paredes looked very good on Tuesday, and [Jeff] Wallace looked unhittable on Sunday. But then we went to the relief staff, with the usual results.
Blaine Mull’s still our best pitcher, and among the best in the league. Since he’s still here, perhaps they intend to leave him.
Rocha deserves the prize. He’s having a splendid season.
Someone asks why the Royals sent [Doug] Blosser and [Carlos] Beltran down as they recovered from injuries, but [Brett] Schafer stays (and plays). This move isn’t as silly as it looks: Lansing needs a fifth outfielder, and that outfielder’s not going to be Beltran. Schafer’s as good a choice as any of the new signees, so he stays.
Since the Royals have Beltran and Blosser pegged as potential big-league stars, they want them someplace they’ll play every day. They don’t think of Schafer that way, so every day isn’t a concern. Filling the Lugnut roster is a concern; he stays. (As always: I’m guessing. But this isn’t a difficult situation to decipher.)
Posting this a day late. Sorry, yesterday had some issues.
An interesting dynamic’s at play in this blog entry; one of my readers was wondering why Schafer didn’t get moved down, while I was wondering whether Mull would get moved up.
Actually, farm systems are governed by several tendencies (or preferences). At the strategic level, building a minor league team’s partly about giving the (potential) stars opportunities to learn and/or shine (depending), and about giving everyone else a chance to demonstrate that they can contribute, and just putting a team on the field at every level, and (if possible) fielding a championship team. This is mainly the domain of the farm director. His staff–which includes the managers, the team coaches, and the roving coaches–have input into these decisions, but their concerns are more immediate.
Those “more immediate concerns” include individual players’ needs (mechanical, emotional; the occasional home crisis) and evaluating the players’ prospects and (if possible) winning a championship.
Injuries play a role, at both the strategic and tactical levels. So does the value the big league team puts on their relationship with the minor league organization, which is clearly variable.
Different farm systems weight these inputs differently. I’ve already mentioned the Brewers’ (now abandoned) preference for winning championships; the Reds have historically run the opposite direction and been willing to sacrifice minor league teams’ championship prospects in order to maximize the viability of their best prospects.
Anyway, player assignments are influenced by these things, always. But for most transactions the decision makers are making (educated) guesses, and hoping for the best. In real life, there’s not a lot of evidence to support the notion that these tendencies have great effect. What matters most, I’m reasonably sure, is the quality of the scouts and coaches.
In the event you’ve just stumbled onto this entry, here’s an explanation of what I’m up to. With an index!