Monday, December 27, 2004

Believe It!

I had to check my calendar. I thought maybe it was April 1 instead of December 26. On the third page of the Kansas City Star's Sports Daily page was a small story entitled "Believe It: It's Lima Time Again." The Royals signed Jose Lima to a one year contract. I thought it was a joke, but it's true.

Lima resurrected his career in 2003 when Royals GM Allard Baird plucked him out of the Independent League where he was playing on the Newark Bears with Rickey Henderson. He pitched well in 2003 (8-3, 4.91), especially before a groin injury hampered him.

The Royals offered Lima an incentive-laden contract for 2004, but instead he chose to sign a minor league contract with the Dodgers. He went on to pitch well for the Dodgers, including a memorable complete game shutout against the Cardinals in the playoffs.

Lima's a very animated pitcher who is fun to watch, but the word is that if things start to go bad, he can be a problem in the clubhouse. I certainly enjoyed watching him with the Royals in '03.

I'm not sure how effective he will be in 2005. Dan Fox commented about Lima's stats away from pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium last season. If he can be the innings-eater that Baird is looking for, he can help the Royals. With his history of injuries and questionable effectiveness, I wouldn't expect more that 10 wins from him this year. Perhaps a tag team of Lima and the aging Appier could equate to one effective starter.

No comments: