Royals Rumblings - News for September 15, 2014
Ned had some explaining to do after Sunday's disaster in the sixth inning. Like, why the heck did he put Aaron Crow in the game in such a tough situation?
"Because I had confidence in Aaron Crow," Yost said. "That’s why. Aaron Crow’s inning is the sixth inning. Kelvin’s is the seventh."
The rules of major-league baseball do not include a provision barring a seventh-inning reliever from pitching in the sixth. But the dogma of baseball managers does preclude such a maneuver. Yost falls in line with the game’s traditions. Relief pitchers receive roles, and managers are wary of deviating from them.
Daniel Nava, who hit a grand slam off Crow, has a .747 OPS against right-handers this year. He has a .393 OPS against lefties.
Daniel Nava told reporters he looked out at the bullpen, expecting a lefty to come into the game. He was surprised to face Crow.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) September 14, 2014
Andy McCullough sums it all up beautifully:
In essence, Yost handed Crow a jug of gasoline and asked him to walk a tightrope across a fire created by starter Jason Vargas. Three batters into his appearance, Crow lost his balance.
Craig Brown has some thoughts about how Ned Yost handled the sixth.
I said at the top of this post that Yost isn’t all that different from the majority of major league managers. I believe that. I still do. I also believe that smart major league managers will eventually adjust when their teams are in a pennant race or post season series. There comes a moment when a manager is forced out of his comfort zone of the random series in May and is introduced to the tension of September and October. The best managers – the Franconas of baseball – will make adaptations, using their players in the most favorable match-ups gleaned from the previous 140 to 162 games. The other managers, the also-rans of the baseball world, will continue to stubbornly adhere to their tattered baseball gospel. And they will watch the other team celebrate.
I doubt Brandon Finnegan expected to be facing Big Papi this year when his baseball season started this year for TCU.
"I’m a big fan of Ortiz, so the first time it was a little nerve-wracking," Finnegan said. "When I get to the mound, all that just has to go away."
Also in that article, Danny Duffy played catch pain-free on Saturday, but the Royals are still hesitant to say he'll make his next start.
"That’s a possibility," Yost said. "That’s all I can tell you right now. Let’s see how he goes. See how he feels. He felt really good playing catch yesterday."
Andy McCullough had a mailbag last week to answer some questions we've all been asking, such as "where the heck has Billy Butler been?"
It is true that Billy Butler loses playing time and at-bats quicker than any other member of the Royals. That has been true all season. He also is a designated hitter. When he is not hitting, he does not provide any other way to help the club win a game. Mike Moustakas is a good defender, as evidenced on Wednesday night at Comerica Park. The team needs his glove in the field. And, they also lack an alternative at third base. The same can be said at second. With Christian Colon out, even a reduced version of Omar Infante is much more appealing than either Johnny Giavotella or Jayson Nix.
So, as a reminder: Billy Butler has not hit this season. He has a .646 OPS against righties. He went one-for-13 in his first four games in September. When your job, your only job, is to hit, and you don’t hit, and the team spent $1.8 million on another player who fits the same role (Josh Willingham), you will lose time.
Adam Cheshier of KC Kingdom wonders if the Royals and Tigers are now rivals.
The Royals were last in the playoffs in 1985, so Rick Montgomery of the Star takes a look back at what Kansas City looked like back then. Let's all meet up at Geno Schiraldi's Pizza Place and play some Galaga to discuss it.
Sean McIndoe at Grantland goes over the "pros" and "cons" of NHL expansion. The biggest con? They reportedly didn't pick Kansas City!
Former big leaguer Gabe Kapler with a good piece on how the next competitive advantage in baseball will be the stat guys who can actually get buy-in from their coaching staff and players.
Nate Silver argues that NFL owners might be overvaluing Commissioner Roger Goodell, a shocking assertion about an industry that gave Albert Haynesworth a $100 million deal!
Vox.com points out what "Braveheart" got wrong about Scottish history.
Your song of the day is the Rolling Stones with "19th Century Nervous Breakdown".