Royals Rumblings - News for April 14, 2015
The Royals are riding high, but they insist they're still focused on taking it one day at a time.
"We need to stay right where we’re at," Duffy said. "It’s a long season. You hear that every day. We’re just keeping it all in front of us. I don’t think we’re really thinking about anything but executing right here and right now."
Peter Gammons has a nice piece marveling at the energy of Salvador Perez.
It was one of those late March days a year ago, and a scout who had the Royals in his spring coverage went to the day game. Salvador Perez caught seven innings. The scout went to a 6 p.m. game on the Surprise complex because it was for pitchers who needed work in a game between camp minor leaguers. The scout took his place behind home plate, and to his surprise, there, as well, was Salvador Perez, age 23, Kansas City’s then-23-year-old regular coming off a 2013 season in which he had caught 169 games between the minor and major leagues.
"You caught in the heat this afternoon, what are you doing here?" asked the scout. "I’m going to catch all these guys some day," Perez answered. "It’s important to be here with them."
The Royals want Yordano Ventura to hydrate more to avoid cramps.
Ventura dealt with this issue in "very mild" fashion in 2014, team trainer Nick Kenney indicated on Monday afternoon. But never to this degree....
"It’s not just about drinking," Kenney said. "It’s about eating, too. And some guys get a nervous stomach. And they don’t want to eat on the day that they’re pitching. Well, that’s fuel. That’s like gasoline. If you want to go on a trip, you’ve got to put gas in your car, or you’re not going to make it." He added: "He eats. But he doesn’t take in quantities that he needs to. And he’s getting better. It’s a process." .
He needs electrolytes - its got what plants crave.
Lee Judge gets a base-stealing lesson from Rusty Kuntz.
The first move a base stealer makes is a crossover step; the left foot crosses over the right and that turns the runner’s body toward second base. Rusty had me stand up like I was a base runner and point both feet toward home plate. He then asked me to take a crossover step with my left foot and see how big a step I could take — I could barely get my left foot past my right.
Then Rusty asked me to turn my right foot at a 45-degree angle toward the pitcher’s mound and try another crossover step. Having my right foot turned at 45 degrees opened my right hip and allowed my left foot to make a much longer stride toward second base. That extra foot or two might be the difference between being out or safe.
Here is video of Sam Mellinger, Vahe Gregorian, and Blair Kerkhoff discussing the Royals hot start.
David Schoenfield of ESPN is open to the possibility that his 79-83 projection for the Royals may have been low.
While the projection systems didn't like the Royals, it's also possible some of their key players can improve, even if they're no longer young guys. Hosmer, Moustakas and Perez, in particular, weren't good at the plate last year. Moustakas and Perez posted horrible .271 and .289 OBPs and Hosmer hit just nine home runs. While I'm not counting on veteran free agents Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios to do much after poor 2014 seasons, both aren't that far removed from being productive offensive players.
But my biggest concern is the rotation. Even assuming Yordano Ventura holds up and takes over as staff ace -- he's looked great so far -- and Danny Duffy continues to improve, I don't have a ton of confidence in Edinson Volquez, Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas. Of course, that outfield defense will make up for a lot of mistakes.
There's a potential solution down the road if the Royals need rotation help, however: How about if the Royals go after Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto if and when they become available on the trade market?
Sports Illustrated looks at whether the Braves and Royals can continue their hot starts.
Rob Neyer is still a bit skeptical.
What we don't know is how many Royals will outperform their projections this season. Might be one, might be five or six. You don't want to bet against projections because you'll lose your money. But of course they're not always right. Maybe Mike Moustakas really did find himself last season, and Ned Yost's optimism is well-founded. Jon Paul Morosi watched the Royals sweep the Angels, and says Kendrys Morales has never before moved around this well.
There are things we just don't know until they've actually happened. The Royals finished ninth in the American League in scoring last year, and I certainly didn't expect them to fare much better this year. Still don't.
But it wouldn't be the first time we whiffed on one of these things.
Jonah Keri at Grantland wonders if the Royals are this year's.....Royals.
So if the Royals make another run at the AL pennant, chances are it’ll seem improbable because we’ve underestimated their bats. And, well, maybe we have: In the past 100 years, just 43 teams, including the 2015 Royals and Tigers, have started the season 6-0. The average record of those teams comes out to a .565 winning percentage. Over a 162-game season, that’s 92 wins.
Torii Hunter discusses how he almost came to Kansas City.
Asked Monday if he ever woke up thinking he would sign with the reigning American League Central champions, Hunter gave an extended exhale. "It came close," he said.
"I thought about it. I thought about a lot of teams in the offseason. I stayed up praying at night. I sat up all night, didn’t go to bed some nights and just tried to make that decision."
In the end, the pull of a homecoming with the Twins was too much for Hunter to ignore. He signed a one-year, $10.5 million deal that includes a full no-trade clause. The Royals reportedly offered Hunter $8.5 million for one season, while the Rangers (with no state income tax) offered $8 million to the Prosper, Texas resident.
So was it awkward for Nori Aoki to be with the Giants for their World Championship ring celebration?
Bless you, Nori Aoki. pic.twitter.com/t1zwYYNCYR— Lindsey Adler (@Lahlahlindsey) April 13, 2015
Its fun to pretend.
Long-time Royals farmhand Sugar Ray Marimon is up in the big leagues with the Braves.
The Royals Class A ball affiliate in Wilmington may be looking to jump up to AA next season, leaving the club to look for a new team.
Baseball American mentions Royals pitcher Gerson Garabito as a prospect to look for in the Dominican Summer League.
Rob Neyer looks at baseball's futile attempt to fill Derek Jeter's shoes as the face of the game.
Bad news for Sporting Kansas City center back Ike Opara, likely out for the year with an Achilles injury.
Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet are returning to Wichita State basketball.
The Knicks are "knick'ing" their way out of the most ping-pong balls in the lottery.
Former Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips is already in jail and is probably making things worse for himself. Yikes.
The Turner County Sheriff's website is fantastic.
Jordan Weissmann at Slate writes that not as many pro football players go bankrupt as you might think.
Marvel's "Ant-Man", starring Royals fan Paul Rudd, has a trailer.
Your song of the day is Smoked Sugar with "I'm a Winner."