Royals Rumblings - News for July 2, 2014
Diane Firstman at Hardball Times writes the Royals are the "anti-three true outcomes" team.
Fans and media are noticing that, at least when it comes to offense, this year’s squad does a lot of things like last year’s group … or should I say they don’t do things. They don’t walk (their 193 free passes is last, not just in the league, but in the majors). They don’t hit homers (also last in the AL and all of MLB with 46, one behind the Cardinals). They finished 26th in walks and 28th in homers in 2013.
But I suggest this is only coming under increasing scrutiny because of the lofty expectations placed upon the club. For you see, the Royals never have really walked, or homered like their brethren. They also haven’t struck out as frequently as the competition. They are the "anti-Three True Outcomes."
Jeffrey Flanagan asks with the Ibanez acquisition, could Nori Aoki be out the door?
So how do the Royals manage the roster once Aoki is healthy?
"We'll worry about that at the appropriate time," Moore said. "Our concern right now is winning games today."
When Aoki returns, the Royals could, of course, once again carry five outfielders, as they did to start the season. And that would mean they would come up short in one other department -- at utility infield or in the bullpen....
Another option would be to trade Aoki when he is healthy. It's no secret that the Royals have not exactly been enamored with his play since he was acquired from the Brewers. He has demonstrated only average range in the outfield with an average arm. And he has been mostly a slap singles hitter with marginal speed at the plate. Of course, because of these drawbacks, Aoki wouldn't hold much value on the trade market.
Salvador Perez had a good month of June:
Royals C Salvador Perez had the most hits of anyone on pitches out of strike zone in June ... and co-led MLB in WAR pic.twitter.com/70JMscjfUK— Mark Simon (@msimonespn) July 1, 2014
Joe Posnanski looks back at the career of new Royals batsman Raul Ibanez:
So there we were in the summer of 2001, Allard Baird and I, sitting in the dugout during a lost Royals baseball season, somewhat unaware of all the lost seasons to come, and he was talking about another one of his fishing expeditions. "I’m telling you," he was telling me, "this guy’s gonna hit."
I was dubious. This guy was a 29-year-old outfielder who was not hitting. Not at all. He had never hit at the Major League level. Heck, he had not exactly dominated at the minor league level. He had been a 36th-round draft pick — as a catcher. He could not run. His throwing was suspect. He didn’t walk. He showed only moderate power. He spent his first four minor league years in A-ball or below.
"This guy is going to hit," Baird insisted, and I think at that time Raúl Ibañez was hitting about .150...
"Why do you think he’s going to hit?" I asked Baird...
"Have you talked to him?" Baird asked me. I had not. "Talk to him," Baird said. "You’ll get it."
That was 13 years ago....
There are a million Ibañez numbers I could throw at you to blow your mind — here’s just one: He hit 276 of his 303 career home runs after age 30. That’s 91% of his home runs. That is BY FAR the highest percentage among the 137 players in baseball history who hit 300 home runs.
The international signing period begins today. Baseball America has their predictions on where the Top 30 players will sign. They have the Royals linked to Dominican shortstop Ricky Aracena.
Aracena has the potential to be a fan favorite for his small stature, big tools and advanced game performance. It takes a lot of scouts to talk up a prospect who’s 5-foot-7 (and that might be generous), but teams consistently say he has one of the best combinations of tools and skills in the class, with his lack of size the main drawback. The scouts who signed Rafael Furcal, another small but speedy switch-hitting Dominican shortstop, are in Kansas City now, and it doesn’t look like his size will deter the Royals.
What would it take to land Rays pitcher David Price? More than Christian Colon.
Jeff Zimmerman has part two of his piece on Tommy John surgery at Hardball Times.
MLB's drug policies provide an incentive for minor leaguers to puff their way onto the MLB roster.
Its time to re-think how baseball is broadcast on national television. The country needs more Rex, dammit.
Grantland's Wesley Morris takes a look at summer movies which seem to have a common apocalyptic theme.
Your song of the day is LCD Soundsystem's "North American Scum." Suck it Europe.