Royals Rumblings - News for February 6, 2015
David Lesky at Pine Tar Press writes that the Royals ceiling is high, but their floor is low.
I look at this team and I see a lot of things going right and a few breaks going their way and see a team that can win 93 to 95 games...
Of course, it’s equally easy to see the opposite happening. Eric Hosmer has been anything but a superstar for the majority of his big league career. Why would that change now after nearly 2,400 plate appearances? Mike Moustakas could back into a decent season, but he seems to be getting worse each year, so that trend could very easily continue. Salvador Perez swings at everything. Resting more may or may not help that, but I’d wager that it won’t help that much. Alcides Escobar and Cain both rely on batted balls finding their way through holes. That’s not a great recipe for year over year success. And the rock of the team? Alex Gordon? He had off-season wrist surgery. Wrist issues can lead to power outages for players, so that’s a definite possibility for him in 2015. Add in the two offensive acquisitions of Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios coming off down season, and it’s not hard to see them having rough goes of it in 2015 as well.
The Sporting News' Jesse Spector gives the Royals a "D+" for their off-season.
The defending American League champions did not flat-out replace their departing free agent ace, James Shields. Instead, Kansas City’s hope is that Yordano Ventura rises to be able to take on that kind of role, and given his performance in Game 6 of the World Series, he has a chance to do that. Edinson Volquez and Kris Medlen slide into spots further back in the rotation, and ultimately the Kansas City catenaccio strategy of having starters go six or seven innings, allowing two or three runs, scratching out three or four runs, and letting a dominant bullpen do the rest remains intact.
Effectively replacing Nori Aoki and Billy Butler with Alex Rios and Kendrys Morales is either a wash or a downgrade, depending upon how the new arrivals fare after very disappointing 2014 campaigns for each. The Royals have not made themselves appreciably better in any area, and it is easy to see how they can end up being worse and going from the pennant to on the outside looking in come October.
Miles Wray at Fangraphs writes how James Shields could still maximize his earnings.
Shields’ best negotiating tactic at this point may just be to use a team’s suddenly dire need to fill in a spot in the rotation against them. While speculating about individual injuries seems cruel, it would also be silly to think that the dreaded specter of T.J. won’t cast its shadow over the 2015 season — and, specifically, over the starting rotation of a contending team.
Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez may not be ready for Opening Day after tearing his left meniscus.
Indians pitcher Danny Salazar won't face sexual assault charges after being named a suspect.
Al Michaels says the Twins pumped in fake crowd noise in the 1987 World Series. Innocence robbed.
Sam Miller at Just a Bit Outside examines the stigma that "baseball is boring."
The NFL's "No More" domestic abuse campaign seems to be more about selling things than doing much about domestic abuse.
Former Jayhawk great Jacque Vaughn has been fired as coach of the Orlando Magic.
Former K-State great Darren Sproles opens up about his stutter to help others.
Coca-Cola has suspended its #MakeItHappy campaign after Gawker had it unwillingly make art out of Hitler's "Mein Kampf."
Speaking of ill-advised marketing campaigns, McDonald's "Pay it With Lovin'" campaign is going awkwardly.
There is a free new streaming service for classic TV and movies now available.
Looking back on Bob Odenkirk's long, strange career and his rise to the top.
Your song of the day is Electric Light Orchestra with "Mr. Blue Sky."