Royals Rumblings - News for December 18, 2015
David Lesky at Pine Tar Press looks at the outfield alternatives to re-signing Alex Gordon.
So that leaves one player, Denard Span. No, he’s not perfect. He missed all sorts of time with injuries last season, with the hip injury the most serious. If he’s not healthy, he’s going to be an albatross contract fast. But if he is, boy if he isn’t about the most Royals player on the free agent market. You see, Span doesn’t strike out. He’s struck out less than 10% of the time each of the last two years. The lowest strikeout rate on the 2015 Royals belonged to Alcides Escobar at 11.3%. Only one Royals regular had a better walk rate last season than Denard Span, and that was Alex Gordon. Oh, and he doesn’t just walk by luck. He doesn’t swing at bad pitches, like hardly ever. He swung at 24% of pitches outside the strike zone last year. Only one Royals regular swung at less pitches outside the strike zone last year, and that was Alex Gordon. When he swings at pitches inside the strike zone, he makes contact more than 95% of the time. No Royals did that last year. And he doesn’t make weak contact either. His line drive percentage has been at least 23% in each of the last three seasons. That doesn’t mean he’s a perfect hitter, but it does bode well for him.
Buster Olney at ESPN looks at the glacial market for free agents outfielders, including Span.
Span will be 32 next season, and he's coming off an injury-plagued 2015 season. Some teams are interested in Span on a one-year deal and not longer than that, but after having just completed a team-friendly long-term contract, you wouldn't blame Span if he wanted to get paid....
The Royals would like Gordon back, but only at a price they're comfortable with, which is why they're slow-playing Span and Austin Jackson.
Chris Young is excited to be back with the Royals.
MLB.com: What makes this organization so desirable that you would want to return?
Young: Simply put, it's the people. Starting with the fans of Kansas City, the Glass family, Dayton Moore, the front office, Ned [Yost], Dave [Eiland] and the coaching staff, the training staff, the clubhouse staff and, of course, the players. Top to bottom, this franchise represents everything I could ever hope to be a part of. I believe the organization recognizes the value of intangibles, character, chemistry, etc. It's always about the team first, which differs from some other places I have played.
John Viril at Kings of Kauffman thinks the metrics undervalue Eric Hosmer.
The second reason for Hosmer’s poor projections is due to defensive systems emphasizing range. Thus, Eric Hosmer has exceeded a -10.0 DEF ranking on Fangraphs.com the last three seasons—a period in which he won three straight gold gloves.
Range, however, isn’t the most important factor for a first baseman. Instead, first sackers earn their bones with their ability to pick poor throws out of the dirt. As far as I know, no major defensive metric evaluates that ability other than to evaluate expected errors. They do not tell you how many errant throws a first baseman saves his infielders, but the eye test tells you that Hosmer excels in this area.
That’s why Eric Hosmer wins gold gloves.
The Negro League Museum gets a $500,000 grant from the Kauffman Foundation.
The Giants introduce Johnny Cueto to the media.
The Mariners sign former Royals pitcher Casey Coleman to a minor league deal.
How did Fran Healy end up on a Steve Busby 1975 Topps card?
The Hisashi Iwakuma deal with the Dodgers is off after he fails his physical.
Grant Brisbee wonders who will sign Yoenis Cespedes.
The White Sox will not increase payroll over last year's total.
Paul Casella at Sports on Earth looks at ten years of three-team trades.
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio writes a letter to fans asking them to trust the process.
Abby Wambach has played her final match, so what is the future of women's soccer?
Julie DiCaro at Sports Illustrated looks at the disturbing trolls on social media harassing women in sports.
No one wants publicly financed stadiums except the people who count.
Joy to the World was not originally meant to be a Christmas song.
The internet was pretty happy at Martin Shkreli's arrest for securities fraud.
Jon Bois looks at the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special in all its awfulness.
Your song of the day is Weird Al Yankovic with "The Saga Begins."