January 08, 2010
The Royals welcomed free-agent outfielder Scott Podsednik into the fold today and, despite this, the power structure of the American League Central remains unchanged.
Here's how the divisional flow chart usually works:
[Twins, Tigers, White Sox, Indians]
The White Sox picked up Podsednik from the scrap heap early last season and not only did it seem like he played well, he actually did OK, posting a .764 OPS, along with 75 runs scored and 30 stolen bases in 537 at-bats.
His defense was OK, too. Overall, it was the second-best season of his career after his breakout '03 with the Brewers.
If Podsednik replicates those numbers in KC — and, with him turning 34 in March, it's less than 50-50 he does — the Royals will have themselves a slightly below-average center fielder.
Look out, Twins.
But wait a second. Putting Scottie Pods on the Royals has a very important side benefit:
It means AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke(notes) doesn't have to face him anymore. You see, as Stewie @Ari_bo_Bari pointed out, plain-old Scott Podsednik(notes) was quite the little hellcat for Zack Greinke.
Here are best hitters against Zack Greinke with at least 25 career plate appearances, courtesy Baseball-Reference.com:
Look who's up top! Not Jermaine Dye(notes) or Grady Sizemore(notes) or Victor Martinez(notes). It's Pods! Without Podsednik to worry about anymore, nothing can stop Greinke. Nothing! Bwhaahahahaha! The AL Central is the Royals' for the taking.
Even if Brian Anderson(notes), another White Sox castoff, takes playing time from Podsednik this season (what is WRONG with the Royals?), at least He of the High Socks won't be stepping in against Greinke.
And Greinke knows what time it is. Time to party.
"Podsednik — if I could get him out, it'd be a lot better," Greinke said after a loss to the White Sox in May. "He always does that to me."
Not any more, Donald Zackary Greinke. Not any more.