Royals Rumblings - News for December 24, 2014
David Lesky at Pine Tar Press takes a moment to chide the Royals for their lack of plate discipline.
For the Royals to improve on offense this season, a couple things are going to have to happen. First, their homegrown “stars” are going to have to be just that, instead of supporting parts. Second, they’re going to have to find more gaps and find a way to place more balls over the fence in fair territory (that’s called a home run). And third, they might have to find a way to start laying off those terrible pitches and only swinging at the ones they can drive. A big problem with the Royals offense last season was they swung at everything and made contact with too much. That led to weak contact a lot of the time that had no chance to be a hit. Based on their history, I’d say adding patience is too much to ask, so I guess we’re going to have to hope for the first two things to happen. I’m expecting some regression from the starting pitching in 2015 due to the loss of James Shields, so the offense is going to have to find a way to get to the top half the league in runs scored. I’m guessing they won’t do it with patience, though.
Steamer projects both Escobar and Rios to post an on-base percentage below .305. And Gordon is hitting sixth. But Ned has earned the benefit of the doubt right, so stop your negativity right now!
Tony Blengino at Fangraphs looks at some of the league's leaders at balls in play and finds Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez were some of the leaders in pop-up outs.
What you don’t like to see are hitters like Salvador Perez and Conor Gillaspie, to name two, on the popup leaderboard. There isn’t enough reward accompanying the risk; I see Perez as this era’s Tony Pena, an exceptional defensive receiver with some good offensive seasons early, ultimately evolving into a glove-only player.
He also has some positive things to say about Alex Gordon's chances of bouncing back.
Ed Conneally at Kings of Kauffman gives Dayton Moore a "B-" for his moves this winter.
The easiest moves to criticize are obvious. Misreading the market for Billy Butler, and handing out deals to two aging bounce back candidates, Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios. At first glance, this looks pretty terrible....
Morales and Rios will cost the Royals less money combined than Oakland will pay Butler. They think Rios played hurt much of 2014, and he still hammered left handed pitchers. Dyson is an excellent fielder, an elite base runner, and serviceable when hitting right handers. Rios will smack plenty of doubles and steal around 20 bases next year. He’s had pop in his bat before, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he hit 20 badly needed homers next season. They also picked up a guy I think we will all end up loving, Moises Sierra. My Chicago friends in baseball lit up my cell with positive text messages when he was inked. He won’t be an all-star, but look for him to grow into a 750 OPS player. I don’t think the Royals will see their outfield production dip next year. They will see it improve, if just slightly.
Buy up your Moises Sierra stock now.
Grant Brisbee writes about the three forgotten free agents.
Marc Normandin sorts out the Max Scherzer market.
Jack Moore at Hardball Times questions the magic and mystery surrounding player projections.
The "3-D Bud Selig Experience" is a thing that is actually happening.
You can watch "The Interview" in Kansas City after all. BEST GUERILLA MARKETING CAMPAIGN EVER!
Andy Greenwald at Grantland has his most underrated TV actors this year.
Todd VanDerWerff of Vox.com has his top 30 TV shows of 2014.
No Royals Rumblings the rest of the week, so have a happy holiday season with your friends and family and best wishes from everyone at Royals Review. Your song of the day is Paul McCartney and Wings with "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time."