Royals Rumblings - News for April 6, 2015
Is it too early to start complaining about the Royals? Ned Yost plans to hit Mike Moustakas second in the lineup.Why?
Yost said the situation reminded him of his first year with the Royals when Alex Gordon took over the No. 3 spot out of spring training despite playing a stint in in the minors during the previous season. Gordon bounced back with a .303 batting average and 45 doubles. "Out of nowhere I put (Gordon) in the three-hole and gave him extra confidence that they believe I can handle this," Yost said. "This confidence boost to go along with the hard work and effort (Moustakas) put forth is something that could carry him through the first half of the season offensively."
Just close your eyes and repeat "We're the defending American League champs. We're the defending American League champs."
Andy McCullough has a nice long piece about how last October changed this franchise.
Moore did not build a franchise from scratch, but his front office did resurrect one from its ashes. On the day the Royals introduced him as their general manager, Moore conducted an interview with a television host. After the conversation, the cameraman spoke up.
"Congratulations," the man said, in Moore’s recollection, "you’re the general manager of a minor league team who has to play in the major leagues."
Moore told this story as he wore a pullover with an American League championship logo over his heart. The proof is plastered all over this complex, on signs and T-shirts and all 68 lockers inside the major league clubhouse. On Monday afternoon, before 40,000 fans at Kauffman Stadium, the Royals will raise the pennant high enough for all passers-by on Interstate 70 to see.
David Glass is also quite the sex symbol.
One night this spring, Mike Sweeney and George Brett bumped into Glass at dinner. The owner "looks like a middle-aged model out of a Brooks Brothers magazine," Sweeney said, but his mind churns with baseball.
Matt Jackson at Beyond the Boxscore examines the Yordano Ventura deal.
While Ventura may seem like the ideal candidate for a standing appointment with Dr. James Andrews following each start, this deal doesn't seem out of line with other recent extensions of starting pitchers with between 1 and 2 years of service time. Ventura basically got Jose Quintana money, with a nearly identical salary and contract structure. While they are two wildly different pitchers, you can imagine how Ventura's high ceiling and Quintana's consistency result in similar contract values. However, Teheran is probably the best comparable for Ventura on this short list, posting nearly identical innings, K%, ERA, and FIP the season before his extension. Teheran did, however, post a much lower 5.8% BB% and was a year younger. Could this have been the only reason Teheran got more guaranteed money and a higher average annual salary, or did the Royals also build in an additional injury rate discount?
Andy McCullough address his gout issues and how the starting rotation may be a potential weakness.
The group ranked 10th in ERA last year (3.60), 19th in FIP (3.89), ninth in innings and 14th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.67) — and they lost their best pitcher to free agency. James Shields did not pitch well in the playoffs, which apparently allowed a significant segment of the fanbase to forget how valuable he was for this team. So the current construction of the rotation features two young pitchers who have never thrown 200 innings — and must be considered injury risks — and three veterans who profile as back-end starters.
Kiley McDaniel at Fangraphs evaluates Royals prospects.
Manaea was almost all the way back to his old self in 2014, carving up the league and especially standing out down the stretch in his last 10 starts. He sat 91-94 mph with an above average to plus slider and a changeup, which used to be his third pitch, more consistently flashing above average. He flashes average to slightly above command at his best, but is still learning the nuances of pitching.
Summation: I’d like to see another full healthy season before I move all-in on Manaea, but all the elements are here for a huge 2015 and a potential big league look in September if things line up just right.
Sean Keeler at Fox Sports Kansas City writes that its still a debate whether Kansas City is a baseball town or a football town. College football playoff executive director Bill Hancock:
"Baseball is -- I don't know, it's like the big house on the corner, that two-story house that we all drove by all the time, but kind of remembered it was there and we didn't pay attention to it," Hancock says. "And somebody mowed the lawn and trimmed the shrubs and now we can be proud of it again."
Michael Baumann of Grantland lists Lorenzo Cain as a player worth getting MLB.tv over.
Here's the Star's big baseball preview cover and features.
The American League Championship trophy makes a tour around Kansas City.
The Royals have added free wi-fi to Kauffman Stadium.
Alex Gordon, cover boy.
Just because. pic.twitter.com/9xeij4DHXj— Dave Darby (@DaveDarby46) April 4, 2015
Former Royal Mark Teahen has opinions on the Josh Hamilton situation.
Athletic drug addicts get significantly more praise, support and understanding than non-athletic drug addicts.— Mark Teahen (@ESPY_TEAHEN) April 4, 2015
Royals superfan Jimmy Faseler will be in attendance at Opening Day today, weeks after being shot in a home invasion.
ESPN has their pre-season predictions with Alex Cora, Jerry Crasnick, and Jim Bowden all picking the Royals to make the playoffs.
Thrillist ranks Kauffman Stadium dead last in food options in the league, you know, because of all the mouse feces.
Old friend Jeff Francoeur and Andres Blanco are back in the big leagues with Philly.
The Padres pull off a stunning trade for Craig Kimbrel, but they have to take on the bloated contract of Melvin Upton, Jr. So the going rate for an elite closer requires you to take on a bad contract.
The Royals aren't the only Central Division team locking up arms, as the Indians sign long-term deals with Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco.
The White Sox can't even spell the name of their own pitcher.
This collection of historic animated GIFs of old ballplayers is amazing.
Your complete SB Nation MLB Preview is here.
Nate Silver writes that Coach John Calipari blew it on Saturday in Kentucky's loss to Wisconsin.
Kentucky's Andrew Harrison said a couple of naughty words afterwards.
Is it time to end the internet outrage cycle?
Here's a supercut of all of Sterling Archer's literary references on "Archer."
David Lynch is out of the proposed "Twin Peaks" revival project for Showtime.
Your song of the day is John Fogarty with "Centerfield."