Royals Rumblings - News for August 28, 2014
Rany Jazayerli talks memories, but also gives kudos to Royals trainer Nick Kenney for keeping this team largely healthy this year and last.
One hidden indicator for a team’s success in any given season is this simple question: how many starts did they have to give to pitchers who were not supposed to be in their rotation? ...
This year, the Royals’ Opening Day rotation included James Shields, Jason Vargas, Yordano Ventura, Jeremy Guthrie, and Bruce Chen. Chen was re-signed largely for his ability to move to the bullpen if and when Danny Duffy was ready, and that’s exactly what happened when Chen hurt his back and Duffy was put in the rotation in early May. Chen returned to the rotation for a couple of starts when Vargas had an appendectomy, but otherwise has stayed in the bullpen.
Shields, Vargas, Ventura, Guthrie, and Duffy have started all but eight of the Royals’ games this year, and Chen has started seven of the other eight. We knew this at the beginning of the season: the Royals clearly had six guys in the organization capable of starting in the majors this year, but they just as clearly did not have seven. While their overall record is a surprise, it would be much less of a surprise if we had known before the season that on August 26th, those six guys would have started 129 of the Royals’ 130 games.
Jon Morosi refutes the narrative that the Royals are the young upstarts and the Tigers are the old men on the block.
Quite the opposite: The Royals have the third oldest 25-man roster in the majors, at 30 years and 209 days, according to STATS LLC. The Yankees (31 years, 235 days) and Giants (30 years, 274 days) are the only teams that surpass the Royals’ collective senescence.
The Tigers rank 10th, with an average age just shy of 30 years old....
"How long do you say ‘The Young Royals’ when it’s still pretty much the same team I’ve seen come up when I was with the Twins?" Tigers closer Joe Nathan asked Tuesday. "They’ve got a few other guys they’ve pieced in, like an unbelievable catcher in Perez. Their pitching staff has changed for the better, obviously. Their bullpen’s always been good. They’re pitching lights out. There’s only so many times you can say ‘The Young Royals.’ Now they’re veterans.
Manager Ned Yost says Billy Butler may continue to play first base after Eric Hosmer returns.
Ned Yost says there will be days Hosmer plays first and days Billy plays first after Hosmer comes back.— The Program (@theprogramkc) August 27, 2014
Sam Mellinger says Yordano Ventura may be the odd man out in a post-season rotation.
As with any organization that has big dreams, Royals coaches and officials are always thinking about how they'd set up the playoff rotation. Shields and Vargas are locks. Duffy is close to it. So the debate has typically been between Guthrie and Ventura. Guthrie is more experienced; Ventura more dynamic.
The Royals won't decide until they have to, even privately, but Ventura missing a start in a pennant chase is a point for the side arguing for Guthrie to be in the playoff rotation.
For what its worth, Danny Duffy has the worst xFIP among Royals starting pitchers, Yordano Ventura has the second best. But Ventura missed a start once I guess.
Jack Moore explains a bit why Alex Gordon gets such a boost from defensive metrics.
Ben Lindbergh at Grantland breaks down the Red Sox signing of Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo.
"Oklahoma Joe's BBQ" is dead! Long live "Joe's Kansas City"!
Your song of the day is Kanye West with "Stronger."