Royals Rumblings - News for October 23, 2015
Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs writes that Edinson Volquez made the perfect pitch to Jose Bautista.
As you probably know, the rule-book strike zone isn’t the strike zone that we see actually get called, but it gets to be all about the rules when you look at something this closely. It’s like those tag plays at bases where the runner comes off for a fraction of a second. Imagine, for the sake of this exercise, that you’ve been asked to review the pitch. You have the video, and you have the rule book. What do you say? The ball is on a downward trajectory, but you see it blurry here around the front plane. Is that at the hollow? Where do you assign the hollow? Keep in mind this angle, too, is off-center. Just to make it as complicated as possible. If the pitch caught the zone, it ever so barely nicked it. But then, if it ever so barely nicked it, that’s a rule-book strike.
It honestly doesn’t get closer than this. Not by any meaningful extent. And because of the way the zone is handled, there have to be gray areas. You can’t have exact strike-zone boundaries, because humans can’t call that, and not even the machines are that accurate. There will be areas where a pitch is a strike roughly half the time, and a ball roughly half the time. I don’t know the solution. There isn’t an easy solution. Thankfully, there aren’t that many of these pitches. But that doesn’t help when they actually take place.
Craig Edwards at Fangraphs writes that Ned Yost left Edinson Volquez in too long for Game Five.
Despite two outings of just two innings (the first due to a rain delay), the higher average indicates Yost has given his pitchers a bit more leeway, and it has not entirely paid off. Due to the incredible late-inning efforts by the Royals offense, Yost’s reluctance to aggressively deploy his bullpen the same way he did in 2014 had not hurt him until yesterday. When Volquez went out for the sixth inning, he had thrown just 64 pitches and the team was down just one run. Switching the pitcher out was not demanded by typical measurements, but in the postseason, Yost’s quick hook had previously been rewarded.
Sam Mellinger explains that Mike Moustakas isn't really in a slump.
Nine times this postseason alone, the Royals’ third baseman has squared a ball hard enough that it shot off his bat 100 miles per hour or harder. Only seven men have done that more often, and together, they are hitting .550 and slugging 1.125 on those balls. Moustakas has just one single (a .222 average) and one double (a .333 slugging percentage).
So he is in this weird place, slumping with results, but not in the part he can control. The stress of these droughts used to eat at him from the inside. He was always going to have slumps. Not just because he’s a baseball player, and all baseball players have slumps, but because there is something about his swing that scouts have long thought would lead to more streaks — good and bad — than the average hitter.
Lee Judge tries to explain Chris Young's success despite low velocity.
Chris Young’s fastball? Well, it just somehow gets on you quicker than you think it will. (I asked Holly what his fastball was like and he said he didn’t know; he’d never played catch with himself — and I think I’ll let that opportunity for a joke just pass on by.)
When people try to explain Chris Young’s success they usually starts with his height; he’s 6’ 10" — the ball is released higher and closer to the batter than it normally would be. But other tall pitchers haven’t had the same success Young has had, so they [sic] can’t be the only explanation. Somehow a fly ball pitcher without much velocity went into a launching pad and had a really nice start against a team that had more home runs than any other team in baseball.
Who would have predicted it?
Dayton Moore talks about finding the new market inefficiency - defense.
"If we’re not going to have a rotation of ones and twos starters, we’re going to have to make sure we play defense," Moore said. "We were going to go after pitches who throw strikes, work quick, field their positions, hold runners, compete, prepare. And if we can put a defense behind those guys, perhaps they can give us 200 innings. If we put our money into the bullpen, that’s where we’ve got a chance to dominate. That’s kind of how we tried to do it. "
But our ballpark demands defense and speed. And the offense that is most expensive is power production. It doesn’t play big in our ballpark. And power production historically comes a little later in a player’s career, when they’re the most expensive."
Despite solid ratings in Game One, the ALCS TV ratings are down 16% from last year.
Fake Teams looks at the top ten Royals fantasy prospects.
From the Sports Illustrated vault, a look back at Don Denkinger's call in 1985.
Wade Davis and David Price have a history together from their days in Tampa Bay.
Alex Gordon got a bloody nose from a ball hitting him in batting practice.
The Royals are bringing pride to the local Latino community.
Facebook fans rally around a Royals fan battling a disease that causes tumors on the face.
Rex Hudler talking about managers fartin' in the clubhouse.
The awful Westboro Baptist Church will be protesting tonight's Royals/Blue Jays game because reasons.
The Cubs couldn't handle the heat the Mets were dishing out.
Don Mattingly is out as Dodgers manager. Who might succeed him?
Mets fans aren't too pleased about Yankees fans hopping on their bandwagon.
MLB wants players to stop spraying and sharing champagne with fans when celebrating.
Minor leaguers get class action status in their fair wage lawsuit.
Watch a baseball bat get made from three planks of wood.
Rick Pitino insists he will not resign in the wake of a scandal alleging Louisville paid for women to have sex with recruits.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are increasingly becoming London's team.
How to teach grit to your kids.
Are the pope's enemies trying to undermine him with rumors of a brain tumor?
A dead star is vaporizing every planet that comes in its path.
How franchises invaded television.
A ridiculously early Oscar preview.
I'd also like to announce that we have added Ryan McGlaughlin to our writing staff. You may remember him from such terrific fanposts as Chris Young may be just what the Royals need and Edinson Volquez and his Demon. Please welcome him.
Your song of the day is Chuck Berry with "Back in the USA."