Royals Rumblings - News for September 3, 2014
Rob Neyer writes that the odds are still in our favor.
But color me an optimist! Because the Royals are still a pretty decent bet for the playoffs ... because believe it or not, the math's still on their side. Are they likely to finish ahead of the Tigers? No, they're not. Are they likely to finish ahead of the Mariners? Maybe by just a tiny smidge, since a two-game lead does mean something in early September. But of course the Royals don't need to finish ahead of the Tigers and the Mariners; they just need to beat out one of those clubs.
May the odds be forever in their favor!
Sam Mellinger believes. Kinda.
Gun to my head, I think I’d bet on the Royals to make the playoffs. I love that defense, love the pitching, and I think the offense will continue to be inconsistent but provide enough to win some games 3-2 and 4-3. I also think a lot about the other teams in the race, and the fact that there are no boats without holes here.
But I’m also an optimist by nature, so who knows, that could be part of it, too. I know it’d be fun to write about a playoff race, and I would love for the fans here — who’ve given so much more than they’ve gotten over the years — to be able to feel what it’s like when every inning, out and pitch feel like the most important thing in the world.
So, Jayson Nix time, eh?
Christian Colon broke his middle finger. A team official said he will be out for "a while."— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) September 3, 2014
Alex Gordon is a one-man wrecking-crew.
Crazy stat No. 1: In August, Alex Gordon hit 9 HR in 106 at-bats. The rest of the Royals hit 16 HR in 874 at-bats. http://t.co/ropGrdhf3c— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 2, 2014
The New York Times has a nice long piece profiling different people involved with the Royals who have stuck with the team through thick and thin.
For all that has happened in the last two decades, [Art] Stewart does not hesitate when asked what the Royals stand for. "Excellence," he said. "It stands for excellence, and to be the best in the game. I’ll never forget Mr. Kauffman saying this, in one of our first meetings: ‘You must always remember ‘excellence’ is the word. I want you to dress like a big leaguer, behave like a big leaguer, carry yourself like a big leaguer and talk about the Kansas City Royals as an organization of excellence.’ That was his philosophy. I never forgot it."
Baseball Prospectus has a scouting report on Royals September callup pitcher Brandon Finnegan.
Finnegan's fastball has natural lefty tail and sits in velocity range of 91-94 mph, bumping 95 when needed, and will touch 96. He loves to start the pitch at the right-handed hitters' hips and let it run back to the inside corner. He shows an impressive command profile and uses the fastball effectively to all four quadrants of the strike zone.
The effectiveness of his plus fastball allows Finnegan's changeup to play to its fullest potential. It comes from the same arm speed and arm slot and works consistently in the 83-86 mph velocity range. It generates a sinking action and also has vertical drop. He has shown the ability to throw the pitch for a strike and also a chase pitch away to righties. His changeup will flash plus but ultimately it has solid-average utility.
Jeffrey Flanagan profiles September callup Carlos Peguero and his power potential.
"Pretty impressive," Yost said of Peguero's Royals' debut. "We liked his skill set when we saw him in spring training. He's a big, athletic guy that can run.
"He's got a strong, powerful arm. He can hit with power. He can drive the ball out of this ballpark to all fields."
Dave at Clubhouse Conversations has a cool podcast with one of my favorite lesser-known Royals of all-time, catcher Rey Palacios. Palacios went from being a backup catcher to a New York City fireman, who was a first responder at 9/11.
Former Royals manager Trey Hillman could be a candidate for the vacant Houston Astros job. I'm sorry, its hard to write that without laughing.
Mike Petriello at Fangraphs writes how expanded rosters add to the problem of a slow pace of game in baseball.
It turns out Manny Ramirez may end up being a really good coach.
The Yankees are still battling for a playoff spot. Is Derek Jeter being selfish by continuing to play?
Was 1994 the greatest year ever for hip-hop and rap?
A review of the Lifetime "behind the scenes" movie about "Saved by the Bell." Yes, this was a real thing that happened.
Your song of the day is The White Stripes with "Hotel Yorba."