Royals Rumblings - News for December 31
Jayson Stark recaps 2014 by looking at some amazing facts about our Royals.
It's unbelievable, when you think about it, that those white-hot Kansas City Royals didn't win the World Series. After all ...
• They went 11-1 in this postseason in games where they didn't have to face that Bumgarner guy. But they didn't win the World Series.
• They went 25 consecutive days without losing a game. At a fairly important time of year. But they didn't win the World Series.
• They won eight postseason games in a row -- a streak so long they'd only had one streak like it in the previous 10 regular seasons put together before 2014. But they didn't win the World Series.
• They hit four home runs in extra innings in this postseason -- after hitting exactly one in the entire regular season. But they didn't win the World Series.
Sam Mellinger wants Salvador Perez behind the plate less in 2015.
Well, here’s what I’d do if I was Ned Yost:...
Tell him that in 2015, he will catch no more than 125 games, a number that would’ve put him 14th in baseball last year. Stress that we are doing this only to keep him fresh and lively and productive, and that in addition to the 125 games catching we’ll DH him 15 more. That means he’s only sitting 22 games, which, when you think about it, is fewer than one a week....
Here’s what I expect Ned Yost to do:...
10. End up playing Sal 145 or 150 games at catcher.
11. When asked what the heck I’m doing, subtly clang my American League champions ring on the table, snort as loud as possible, maybe grab my junk and say, "Because that’s what Ned wants to do. AL Champs. Boom, Yosted, next question."
David Lesky at Pine Tar Press surmises the Royals are keeping their vaunted bullpen together, and he's okay with that.
Many may not like the moves the Royals have made this off-season, but it’s hard to look at them in any other way but that they’re trying to go for it once again in 2015. If they were to deal one of the big three relievers, the likely return would not be a player who could help increase the wins in 2015. More than likely, any deal involving one of the big three would bring back a prospect. This is a new age of Royals baseball. It’s now an age where the current season is more important than the season three years from now. Because of that, keeping the back end of this bullpen together for at least one more season (and it really probably is just the one season with Holland getting really expensive in 2016) gives the Royals the best chance to repeat, and maybe even improve on, their success in 2014. To me, it’s the right move and there’s no doubt about it.
David Hill at Kings of Kauffman looks at Tim Collins struggles in 2014.
So, what has been the biggest difference? Looking at his pitch repertoire, the biggest culprit has been that the opposition has been able to tee off on his fastball. While his curve and change have generally resulted in batting averages below .200, the opposition has feasted on that fastball, with a .296 batting average against being the lowest in the past three years.
Perhaps the key for Tim Collins to be effective is to spot the fastball while mixing in the change and curve more frequently. As his fastball has essentially been used for batting practice over the past three seasons, such a change may give the Royals back the Tim Collins of 2012, instead of the pitcher that needed to be banished to the minors last season.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick talks in this video about the Royals signing of Kris Medlen and Edinson Volquez.
Rob Mains at Fangraphs writes about the decline of the full-time designated hitter and how this means that below-average performances like Billy Butler and Kendrys Morales in 2014 may not be quite as terrible as they once seemed.
Positional flexibility allows teams to get maximum utility from scarce roster spots, but it doesn’t boost batting by DHs...
The DH will remain an offensive position, obviously. And there are obvious risks in drawing conclusions based on just the past seven seasons of data, which admittedly include three above-average years for DHs in aggregate. But given modern roster construction, it’s hard to see DHs consistently generating an outsized contribution to offense as they did in years past. That doesn’t make the below-average performance of Butler and Morales tolerable, but it does make it less of an outlier than it would’ve been previously.
The Blue Jays are seeking a closer through a trade. Know of any good ones?
Former Royals minor leaguer Chin-Hui Tsao is back in the States after being banned from baseball in Taiwan in a game-fixing scandal.
The Padres are probably getting the 2016 All-Star Game.
Jon Bois created a Twitter account, then let everyone use it. This is what happened.
Speaking of Twitter, here are the 100 funniest tweets of 2014.
Vox.com has nine big ideas that shaped 2014.
Your song of the day is Bruce Springsteen with "Auld Lang Syne." Have a safe and happy New Year's everyone, and we'll see you in 2015.