Guess who my new best friend is? Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Mr. Dutton took some time out of his day to answer a few questions about the newest Astro, Tyler Lumsden...
AC: From the reports I've read about Lumsden, he's got the tools - he just hasn't put it together yet. What do you know about Lumsden?
Bob Dutton: The guy missed all of 2005 because of major elbow surgery and just hasn't been able to recapture the promise that made him the 34th overall pick in 2004. He'll flash it at times, but he's actually been going down hill. He was OK in 2006 at Double-A, erratic in 2007 at Triple-A and pretty bad last year at Triple-A.
AC: Dayton Moore likes to build around pitching, so what does it say about Lumsden that Moore seems to be willing to let him go rather than stick it out and see if he progresses?
BD: The Royals gave him 2 1/2 years and, as I mentioned above, he's trending downward. They also have a bunch of lefty relievers at the big-league level. Also, they have better lefty prospects in Danny Duffy and Mike Montgomery. Lumsden was a pretty easy choice as the odd man out.
AC: Where do you see the organizational focus of the Royals heading?
BD: It's the Atlanta blueprint. Build your team around starting pitching.
AC: Has the mindset of the Royals' fanbase changed with Dayton Moore's arrival?
BD: Absolutely. The great majority of folks who email and call me seem to believe Moore has the franchise on the right track and, given sufficient time and resources, will build a winner. The question, really, is whether he gets sufficient time and resources. For now, the Glass family seems content to OK just about everything Moore wants.
Thanks to Bob Dutton. So the question is this: which organization is in better shape - the Royals or Astros?