Royals Outpost

The heart-felt musings of a Kansas City Royals fan who isn't always right, or logical, but does always care.

6.1.06

Lowery, Snyder Wait for the Ax to Come Down

One of the pleasant luxuries afforded to Kansas City by the timing employed in signing Reggie Sanders and Joe Mays was catching the Commissioner's Office in the midst of a lengthy holiday break, giving those with such power a leisurely amount of time to decide whose roster spots the two additions would be taking. With the vacation at the CO drawing to a close, it would appear that decision has been made. Everyone who isn't getting designated for assignment, raise your hand. Not so fast, Kyle and Devon.

Devon Lowery is a 22-year old righty who has spent either the entirety or majority of each of his five minor league seasons at a level no higher than Class A, stretching to Double-A Wichita for four starts in 2005, each of which was horrendous, which resulted in a 24.84 ERA with the Wranglers. What's more, he walked 14 in 8.1 innings. Even before that startling failure, he was regressing with each promotion within Single-A from 2003-'05, allowing more homers, hits, and a higher ERA as he moved from Burlington up to High Desert.

Lowery is still 22, and he was taken straight out of high school, but his numbers are either average or below-average in every significant category, and he thoroughly flat-lined in his first taste of tougher competition. He's no stranger to coming out of the bullpen, so that would probably be his only avenue to any amount of time in the majors. Due to his limited upside, I'd say he's a safe bet to return to KC -- and High Desert. Chance of being lost: 10%

Kyle Snyder is quite another matter. The 6'8" right-hander is a former first-rounder out of UNC, it's pretty amazing to know that despite being a Royals property since 1999, he has amassed just 328.1 innings in the organization in that time. Mike Stodolka is his biggest fan.

Even though Kyle's arm has been wrecked by injuries, he does still possess a decent arsenal of the standard fastball-curveball-slider-changeup. He does have a solid grasp of how to use his stuff to get guys out. His minor league WHIP in 207 innings is 1.18, and he's given up just 12 homers over that time, to go with a 3.39 ERA. Given his long ago hype and minor league usefulness, I could see a team with pitching depth questions (Florida, Houston, Tampa Bay) snagging him and tucking him away as a 14th pitcher in the organization. Chance of being lost: 40%

I wouldn't consider either to be irritating losses, although Snyder would figure into the KC club's '06 run once two or three guys hit the shelf. But that's not to say his potential production couldn't be found elsewhere, for a pitcher much more likely to succeed and contribute in the years to come.

This is certainly a minor update, but I tend to subscribe to the school of thought that pitching should be the first priority for a team on the rebound, so the organization making vulnerable a pair of arms justified analysis..plus, I think I've got something of a bizarre obsession with giving some sort of ceremony to a bust who could be on his way off the team's radar. If you don't feel the same..then I'm sorry you had to read all this, but you probably should have stopped at 'Stodolka'. Until next time.

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