Royals Rumblings - News for January 16, 2015
David Hill at Kings of Kauffman thinks Danny Duffy can be even better in 2015.
The strange part about that batting line against Danny Duffy is that he was actually pitching more to contact last year, which helps to explain those low strikeout rates. The control, while not necessarily great, was the best of Duffy’s time in the majors. As he gets more comfortable with his pitches, and more secure in the knowledge that he can attack major league hitters and get them out, that walk rate may decline even further.
As peculiar as it may seem, Duffy may actually be able to pitch better next year. The Royals defense figures to be just about the same as it was last season, and if Duffy can increase his strikeouts while continuing to induce weaker contact, that 2014 season could just be the harbinger of what could be a truly special season in 2015.
David Lesky writes that in the regular season Ned Yost has to manage more like he did in the post-season.
There’s still an aspect of Yost’s postseason that could be transferred to the regular season to help him and the team out. He was so much more relaxed, so much more likable. From all reports and all I saw in the clubhouse, the players loved playing for him, but you almost got the idea that he was comfortable with himself and his decisions for the first time. One of the big things in baseball that limits change is a fear to fail, and it seemed like postseason Ned didn’t fear failure. If he can carry that into the regular season, that would be big too. His one-year extension leads me to believe that Yost’s job security is safe through the duration when he appears likely to ride off into the sunset. That can only help.
Buster Olney still ranks the Royals as having the top defense.
In the postseason, casual baseball fans got to see the vision of GM Dayton Moore, who decided to fill the vast Kauffman Stadium outfield with guys who can cover a whole lot of ground and infielders who can make plays. Left fielder Alex Gordon chases off teammates so that he can do his intense pre-game work during batting practice, Lorenzo Cain seemingly catches anything and anywhere, and Jarrod Dyson is an impact defender when he's on the field. Eric Hosmer is an elite defender whose desire to throw is a weapon, Salvador Perez is regarded by scouts as a really good catcher -- although he does not score well in pitch-framing metrics -- and Alcides Escobar is a high-end shortstop.
The Royals are exceptional at run prevention, and again ranked among the best teams in DRS, and in a lot of respects, they remind you of another Missouri ballclub from another time: the Cardinals of the mid-80s, who had jackrabbit outfielders and agile infielders.
Andy McCullough writes that today is the first day that the Royals nine arbitration-eligible players can exchange salary figures with the club. You can read our explanation of the arbitration process and some expected salaries here. Dayton Moore says having so many arbitration-eligible players is a good thing.
"Actually, it's a good thing," Moore said by phone. "If the team is performing well it is because of the players' performances. And those performances eventually get rewarded.
"(Salary arbitration) is a system in place that makes sure the compensation is fair to all sides."
And it's not like Moore has had to sweat much over arbitration cases -- in fact, not at all. Since Moore took over as GM in 2006, no Royal has gone through arbitration.
"Not yet," Moore said. "But that may be more of a trend in the game today. You certainly hope to get deals done before (hearings)."
The Padres will host the 2016 All-Star Game. I can't wait for Eric Hosmer to snub Padres outfielder Wil Myers when he selects the American League Home Run Derby contestants.
Former KU basketball star Andrew Wiggins has really taken off lately in the NBA, and his hometown Toronto Raptors are already preparing for his free agency.
Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones is returning to school, and people are freaking out about how he announced it.
Dez Bryant's non-catch against the Packers just shows that no one knows what a catch is anymore.
"The Lego Movie" was snubbed for an Oscar, and its director had a terrific response.
Why are financiers freaking out about Switzerland?
How the camera doomed Google Glass.
Your song of the day is Elvis Costello with "(What's so Funny) Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding."