It's Friday, which already means everyone's fairly relaxed, and between the day game yesterday and the late start tonight, there's almost a sneaky off-day here in the middle.
- Unlike, say, the Blue Jays, the Royals haven't benefited from a particularly easy schedule thus far. In fact, it's about to start getting easier. This probably will end up being a larger post at some point, but the clearest path to the Royals winning the division is to keep banking wins in May and June. When I did a rough eyeball of the schedule back in March, those two months looked like the easiest the team would have. August and September figure to be the toughest months schedule-wise, though a lot of that is dependent on how good the Indians and Twins are.
- Everyone in the Central is now squared up pythag-wise, save for the Indians, who are two games below their expected record. Yes, that means that even luck's darlings, the Twins, have an accurately representative record.
- Thanks to (or possibly in spite of, I'm not sure) their recent offensive surge, the Royals are now eighth in the AL in runs. Amazingly, they're fifth in OBP at .346.
- The Draft Reports Series has reached the Royals.
- Since returning from the DL, Jose Guillen is hitting .326/.442/.581. This is different from his hot streak last year, when he hit .330/.330/.550 for a month (or whatever it was). His walk rate is at 12.7%, an astronomically high number for him (his career average is 5.1%).
- So no one is with me that Guillen's profile picture on yahoo looks like Kenneth the page from 30 Rock? I see the same toothy-smile and a childlike look of innocence.
- While he was with the White Sox (of all teams) early in his career, Miguel Olivo posted somewhat respectable walk rates (around 6%) but since then he's completely cratered, and continues to do so. Right now, he's walking in 1.6% of his PAs and striking out in 38% of them. I don't get too worked up about strikeouts, but when you reach a certain threshold of absurdity, it's indicative of multiple problems. But hey, he's randomly become Greinke's buddy, and without him Greinke's ERA would probably be 4.50... He's that good. Now if we can just get David Riske somehow.
- The Coco Crisp trade has worked out for the Royals defensively, and Crisp has responded well to being the leadoff man: he's getting on base at a higher level than he's done in years. Less positive however, has been the slotting of DDJ further down in the order. Both his walk and line drive numbers are down.
- Billy Butler is hitting .340/.426/.528 in his last 61 PAs.
- On April 30 I posted the Royals' UZR rankings. Overall, the Royals had the sixth best defense in the AL. At the moment, they're fourth, though way behind the top three teams (Sea, TB, Tex).