Royals Rumblings - News for February 12, 2015
David Schoenfield of ESPN pegs the Royals as the 17th best team in baseball, finishing 80-82.
I'm just the messenger: Yes, the Royals struck out the fewest times in the American League. They also hit the fewest home runs and drew the fewest walks and managed to finish ninth in runs scored. Yes, the speed and baserunning helped a bit there, but it's tough to have a consistent offense that's built around batting average. The Royals will need real improvement from some position players to avoid an offensive decline.
The final word: No team had a less stimulating offseason than the Royals. They lost Shields and replaced him with Volquez, who was worth 2.5 WAR for the Pirates last year but minus-2.5 WAR from 2010 through 2013. They lost fan favorite Butler because they didn't want to pick up his $12.5 million option but then signed Morales -- who was even worse than Butler in 2014 -- for $17 million over two years. They lost Aoki but signed Rios -- who was awful in 2014. Is this any way to follow up your first playoff trip in 29 years? Shame on you, David Glass.
Yea, shame on you David Glass for signing those crummy players!
The Star summarizes the Padres press conference introducing new pitcher James Shields.
Craig Brown at Royals Authority is ready to move on from James Shields
.Shields isn’t an elite pitcher, but he’s a damn good one, who stacks up against just about any starter in the game. If I ran a team, I’d certainly try to get him on the roster. At least for the next two seasons.
It turns out no team was willing to pay Shields past his age 36 season. Not for the big bucks he was seeking. Front offices are getting smarter with how they spend their money. Passan argues that had Shields lowered his demands early in the winter and asked for four years, that would have accelerated his process. That makes all kinds of sense. Hell, the bidding could have become so ferocious, maybe Shields could have squeezed a fifth year out of some team who decided they just had to have him. As it was, teams didn’t even consider him because they didn’t like the opening price.
In the end, Shields gets to pitch for a team in the National League, in the most pitcher-friendly park in the league, and close to his home. And he gets to cash checks totaling $75 million. If that’s bungling, sign me up.
Dave Cameron at Fox Sports writes that James Shields get an underwhelming deal because teams are no longer paying for ERA anymore.
Lohse and Santana both hit the market with shiny ERAs, but in both cases, their FIPs suggested that perhaps their teammates might have played a part in keeping some of those runs off the board. Shields also had an ERA that was lower than his FIP, and as we all saw in October, no team in baseball put a better defense on the field in 2014 than the Royals. If you were signing Shields based on his ERAs in Kansas City, you better have negotiated Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon and Jarrod Dyson into the contract as well. So teams didn't pay James Shields based on his ERA, even if that's what his agent might have been hoping for when the winter started. Instead, the market valued Shields as a solid above-average pitcher, which is what his so-called peripheral numbers suggest that he is likely to be going forward, and paid him accordingly.
Matt Collins at Baseball Prospectus compares new Royals outfielder Alex Rios to Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock.
In 2014, Pollock took this category somewhat handily, coming out ahead, .302-.280. Ultimately, both performed well here, each finishing in the top-21 among outfielders. They had very similar profiles, as well. Each outfielder struck out close to 16 percent of the time, and both carried high BABIPs. In Pollock’s only full season, however, he hit a more mediocre .263. Rios, on the other hand, has been fairly consistent as a .275-plus player. Pollock’s minor-league track record suggests his 2014 will be closer to his career average than 2013, but Rios’ consistency in this category at the highest level gives him a slight edge. Winner: Rios, slightly
Well that's the most important stat of all, so I feel better already.
Congrats to Royals beat writer Andy McCullough for winning something.
The Marlins are getting the 2017 All-Star Game, giving the Senior Circuit the All-Star game three years in a row, a bit of an advantage for the World Series if THIS TIME IT COUNTS.
Netflix "accidentally" released "House of Cards Season 3" a few weeks early, so here are the plot summaries(OBVIOUSLY SPOILER ALERT!)
There's a 67% chance someone will win the $500 million Powerball jackot. I like my odds.
RIP CBS News reporter Bob Simon, killed in a car crash yesterday.
Your song of the day is LCD Soundsytem with "Drunk Girls."