Royals Rumblings - News for September 8, 2014
Wendy Thurm at Fangraphs points out that the Royals and Tigers are pretty even, but have gotten to this point in completely different ways.
What the Royals do exceedingly well is make the most of their offensive opportunities. Their 130 stolen bases is the best in the AL, as is their collective 9.8 BsR score. With runners in scoring position, their team wRC+ jumps to 103, compared to just 93 wRC+ for all plate appearances. Get ‘em on, at first usually. Get ‘em over. Get ‘em in.
The Tigers’ offense couldn’t be more different. They walk more than the Royals. They strike out more than the Royals. They hit significantly more home runs than the Royals...
But the Tigers don’t take advantage with men on base the way the Royals do. Their collective -2.6 BsR isn’t worst in the league — that distinction goes to the White Sox — but it’s a far cry from what the Royals do. The Tigers also hit worse with runners in scoring position than they do overall — just a 102 wRC+ with a man on second or third. This also shows up in our Clutch metric. While it is a descriptive more than predictive stat, we can again see the chasm between the two teams — Kansas City is second in the AL with a Clutch score that qualifies as excellent at 2.85, while Detroit is dead last with a at -3.87 score that easily fits in the awful bin.
On offense, it’s advantage Tigers, but it should be by a larger margin.
David Hill writes that this pennant-run is foreign territory to a lot of younger Royals fans.
These are the memories that can only be created by getting to enjoy the thrill of playoff baseball when it happens. Sure, we have all seen the cached highlights and rewatched that 1985 World Series numerous times, but it is just not the same. Those memories belong to a different generation of Royals fans, while those of us on the other side of the demographic are left with misery and the improbable 2003 season.
That may well be about to change.
Gregory Dailey at Pine Tar Press says that Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler need to perform down the stretch if the Royals want to have a chance.
Now Hosmer needs to reward the Royals for staying the course with him. Down the stretch when the Royals offense has seemed to disappear again (or back to its normal state of being subpar), Hosmer has to step up. Gordon has taken the pressure off him at the cleanup role and become a legitimate threat. Salvador Perez has come on strong of late. Billy Butler is behind him in the lineup. Yost hitting Hosmer fifth should give the Royals first baseman the protection he needs to become that force in the coming weeks. The sample size is too small to translate into anything significant, but Hosmer is just 2-11 since coming back from injury. The Royals can ill-afford a hole in the middle of a lineup that already struggles to push runs across the plate.
Andy McCullough writes about the Major League debut of 2014 first-round pick Brandon Finnegan.
Now, when will Finnegan move up into a more prominent spot in the bullpen?
"Well, you bump him up incrementally," Yost said. "He handled the low-leverage situation really well. We’ll just kind of keep bumping him up from there. And see what we’ve got. But I’ll tell you what: His stuff was good. He threw strikes. He wasn’t overwhelmed."
Does someone in the Kansas City media have an agenda against Alex Gordon?
"(Gordon) almost seemed annoyed that Gore was getting the attention and was getting splashed with the Gatorade bucket. … I don’t think Alex Gordon ever looked at Terrance Gore (during his postgame interview with Joel Goldberg Wednesday night). I don’t think he ever smiled, patted him on the back, whatever. … He didn’t want to be there. I don’t know what that was about."
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
The Star has your official bandwagon application so you can grab a place at the Plaza Parade.
The Royals are kinda winging it with this pennant-race thing.
Bob Lutz at the Wichita Eagle takes a look at some of the Royals contract obligations to determine if this team is built for the long haul.
The Omaha Stormchasers are in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series for the fourth straight year.
Sam Mellinger writes that Kansas City sports fans will have a dilemma on who to give their attention to on Sundays. The Chiefs did their part yesterday to make sure the Royals get the bulk of that attention. Speaking of the boys across the parking lot, follow all the coverage of yesterday's debacle at our sister site Arrowhead Pride.
This Florida restaurant is right in its ketchup policy.
Your song of the day is Peter Gabriel's "Big Time."