Royals Nightly
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Pickering Might Actually Get A Shot
Very cool news from today's Star:

That leaves one opening if, as anticipated, the club chooses to keep 12 pitchers: Harvey or Pickering, whose power potential and plate discipline demand a long look.

“Pick would probably be a DH only,” general manager Allard Baird said. “There's only one year of (age) difference between the two. One guy has gotten a lot of opportunities to play in the big leagues, the other guy hasn't.”

Pickering, 28, batted just .246 last season in 35 games but hit seven homers in 122 at-bats after clubbing 35 in 299 at-bats at Class AAA Omaha, Neb. He spent the winter at the Athletic Performance Institute in nearby Tempe in hopes of slimming and toning his 6-foot-5, 300-pound physique.

“He looks good,” Baird said. “He's not another David Ortiz, but I do think he'd be a productive hitter if you gave him 500 at-bats. I think he'd have a very good on-base percentage. He'd strike out a lot, walk a lot and hit a lot of home runs.

“I'll live with the strikeouts if I have power and walks.”

The amazing thing is that a large part of the non-excerpted portion of the article is that Dutton's tone is critical, as is Harvey's. Its like both writer and player are shocked that Swingin' Ken's 3 months of empty batting average aren't guaranteeing him 600 ABs.

As I've said before, I'm rooting for Pickering to get a chance this season. This is probably his last serious shot ever, and his last decent chance at throwing together enough solid ABs to justify getting a nice MLB payday. I don't know anything about the guy, but unless I find out he's an absolutely horrible human being, shouldn't we all be rooting for him?? He's got an outside shot at retiring a millionaire, but its dependent on the decisions of others to play him...

I really love that quote from Allard pointing out that Harvey and Pickering are actually close in age.

Of course, Pena will have a large say in this, and sadly, as amazing as this sounds, I'm not sure he "gets it" as much as Allard does.



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