Royal Rumblings - 5/1/12

April 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; A general view of at Comerica Park as the tarp is on the field during a rain delay in the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Trivia: How many Royals pitchers have hit a HR since inter league play was introduced in 1997?

One Month Done

With one month of the season completed, here is how the pitching and hitting compared to March/April 2011:

Year HR SB CS SB% BA OBP SLG BB% K%
2011 22 34 5 87% 0.268 0.336 0.419 8.2% 16.3%
2012 20 14 8 64% 0.263 0.324 0.424 7.3% 14.0%

Year ERA WHIP HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2011 4.53 1.47 1.2 3.4 6.0 1.7
2012 4.58 1.47 0.8 4.2 7.0 1.7

The team results are almost identical except the SB% is way down. The pitchers are striking out a few more batters, but are also walking more. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Relief Help

The inability of the starters to go at least 6 innings is killing the bullpen. Even going 5 innings would be plus right now. A bullpen should be able to handle throwing 4 innings a night if that was all they were asked to throw. The problem is that in 8 of the 21 starts, a Royal starter has failed to even make it 5 innings. Here is the number of innings for each start with Adcock's relief appearance added in for reference/comic relief.

Name IP
Chen 7.0
Chen 7.0
Duffy 6.2
Hochevar 6.1
Hochevar 6.1
Chen 6.0
Duffy 6.0
Mendoza 5.2
Adcock 5.1
Chen 5.0
Hochevar 5.0
Mendoza 5.0
Sanchez 5.0
Sanchez 5.0
Duffy 4.2
Sanchez 4.2
Hochevar 4.0
Mendoza 4.0
Teaford 4.0
Mendoza 3.1
Chen 2.2
Sanchez 2.2

Looking at those numbers, it will not surprise me to see half the bullpen on the DL in a month or two. Also, the Royals should seriously consider carrying 2 long relievers if 5 IP is now considered a good start.

Deploying the Shift

The following numbers are from ESPN (used on Sunday night baseball) and show the number of times a team has deployed a shift in 2012:

Team Shifts - 2012

  1. Tampa Bay Rays - 125
  2. New York Yankees - 50
  3. Milwaukee Brewers - 44
  4. Kansas City Royals - 43
  5. Toronto Blue Jays - 41
The article that the data is from has some good insight on why Tampa deploys so many shifts, but it is unfortunately Insider only.

K-Gun Fixed?

I noticed on Duffy's last home start, his average fastball velocity was down to 94.8 MPH. This was a decent drop from when he averaged 96.6 MPH in his previous home start. The radar gun at the K was running about 2 MPH too fast. After looking at a few numbers, it seems to be closer to the rest of the league or still just a bit fast. I will get a better reading on it over the next home stand.

Trivia Answer: Just one, Zack Greinke on Jun 10, 2005 in Arizona off Russ Ortiz.

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