MLB Analysis: Mazzaro's Beating, Posada's Problems, Puljols

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Vin Mazzaro Takes Historical Beating

The Kansas City Royals were having a pretty good start to the 2011 season, until Monday night. A 19-1 beatdown was handed down by the division-leading Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium. You don’t see many of those uncompetitive games where the loser is the home team, unless you’re the Royals…

The 18-run margin of defeat matched a franchise record. It happened on two previous occasions: 21-3 to Oakland on June 18, 2000, and 19-1 to Minnesota on July 26, 2010. Both of those were also at home.

Problems started when Royals starter Kyle Davies departed after four hitters because of a shoulder injury. Once Davies exited, all hell broke loose, and Vin Mazzaro, who was scheduled to start Tuesday night before getting an emergency call in the third inning became the poster child for the piñata beating handed out to the Royals pitching staff.

Mazzaro allowed 10 runs in the fourth inning and four more in the fifth before exiting. Yes boys and girls, that’s 14 runs, a new club record (the kind you don’t want to have), in just 2 1/3 innings. All runs were earned.

After the game, the Royals optioned Mazzaro to Class AAA Omaha and replaced him by recalling left-hander Everett Teaford, a swingman who has been pitching in relief. Oh Vinny!

Posada Thinks Another Team Would Want Him?

According to the Daily News, in the heat of his anger and frustration Saturday night, Yankees catcher Jorge Posada told general manager Brian Cashman amid a flood of F-bombs that he not only wanted out of the No. 9 spot in the Yankee batting order – he wanted out of the Bronx, too.

MEMO TO JORGE: Your’e making $13.1 million dollars this year and you are hitting .165! You are getting paid like you are Babe Ruth and performing like Mario Mendoza. I don’t care how mad you were at the time, where did you think you were going to go, the Newark Bears?

This was like me threatening to run away from home when I was 7 because my mother didn’t make pasta on Sunday. My father held the door open for me on the way out, and then again on the way back in as I came back after about 3 minutes with my head between my legs.

There are a number of unconfirmed reports now stating that Posada also threatened to hold his breath.  While these remain unconfirmed reports, we all know that when there is smoke there is fire.

Pujols Starts at Third Base

Gold Glove / Silver Slugging First Baseman, Albert Pujols, started at third for the first time since September 2002 Monday and had his first start at a position other than first base since 2003.

Pujols had volunteered to play third base after seeing the original lineup. Manager Tony La Russa called it a defensive “upgrade” behind sinkerballer Jake Westbrook. Pujols played two innings at third earlier this season, and he made 89 starts there earlier in his career. His exposure to positions other than first base has been limited by a right (throwing) elbow that has required two operations since 2008 and he currently plays with a nonessential torn ligament.

La Russa wouldn’t say whether the move was something he’d consider beyond Monday, and he dismissed a question whether throws put stress on Pujols’ elbow.

“The elbow is in great shape,” the manager said.

This makes two games for Pujols as far as Fantasy Baseball owners are concerned. In some leagues if a player gets to 10 he qualifies for a position. Eight more to go and Pujols owners will have him qualifying at both first and third.