Royals Rumblings - News for May 27, 2015
Lee Judge writes about how Yankee Stadium makes things tough for a pitcher that doesn't hit his spots.
Left-handed hitters crowd the plate and if a pitcher misses his spot even slightly the Yankees have a pretty good chance of doing major damage. There’s a reason they’re called the Bronx Bombers and Monday’s game showed you what it is.
Can’t the Royals lefties do the same?
Well, they can try. But long fly balls in Kansas City tend to get caught on the warning track. So Royals hitters try for line drives and hard grounders; those trajectories get rewarded in Kauffman Stadium. The K is known as a "pitcher’s park" but that usually refers to the larger dimensions limiting home runs; a larger outfield is good for singles dropping in and doubles in the gap. So if you don’t work at standing on top of the plate, turning and burning while getting the ball in the air—an approach that will kill you in KC—you’re probably not going to be very good at it when you go to New York.
Barry Svluga at the Washington Post looks at how the Royals are succeeding on offense.
It’s not terribly surprising, given Kansas City’s small-ball reputation, that the Royals’ strikeout rate (14.4 percent) is the lowest in the majors. That fits with the idea that Kansas City does little things – moves runners over, etc. – better than most teams. The other oddity, though, is that the Royals don’t walk – just 5.5 percent of the time, lowest in the majors. (The Indians, by contrast, walk 10.3 percent of the time.)
So Kansas City’s success offensively comes on the balls they hit fair – 80 percent of their plate appearances, a remarkable rate. The potential worry for Royals’ fans: they are currently have a .319 average on balls in play (BABIP), second in the AL. Will that mark trend toward the AL average (.292) over time, therefore taking away some of Kansas City’s effectiveness?
Alex Rios could join the team as soon as this weekend in Chicago.
Andy McCullough discussed Chris Young's workload in his chat session.
Comment From Hitterish
Do the Royals have any reservations with Young getting 26 to 27 starts? Fear of him wearing down the stretch like last year maybe...
They would not voice that publicly, but I think any club monitoring a pitcher's workload would have a few concerns about Young holding up over the course of a season. He struggled with it last year, of course. His heavy throwing program leading into 2014 contributed to that, I'm sure, and he cut down on his throwing somewhat this year. But it's still a factor.
Clark Fosler at Royals Authority says not to panic, the Royals are still on pace to make the playoffs.
The Royals, however, are right on schedule. A little while back, I arbitrarily picked thirteen game stretches and determined if the Royals simply went 7-6 in each stretch (after their 7-0 start), they would end up with 90 wins. Well, they went 7-6 and then they went 7-6 again and are already 7-4 in this current thirteen game period. Sure, they have been outscored 20-2, the last two games, but all that goes away with a win tonight. Is 90 wins enough? Maybe, maybe not, but if all the Royals have to do to get there is go 7-6 all year long, I like their chances of doing a little better.
The Royals are #1 in MLB.com's power rankings.
The Royals have been in the top five every week, with the exception of our silly preseason prediction that had them floating somewhere in the bottom half. The Royals continue to show why that estimation was utter hogwash. What can we say? They're pitching well and scoring runs in bunches. And their ballpark is packed. Good times are rolling in Kansas City.
Keith Law observed Royals left-handed pitching prospect Cody Reed at Wilmington.
Reed was 92-94 mph all day with a solid-average changeup at 83-85 mph that he used heavily and a fringe-average slider at 82-85 that didn't have a lot of tilt, although he did run it in hard to tie up a right-handed hitter for a strikeout.
Reed, the Royals' second-round pick in 2013, is a big boy, listed at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, most of which appears to be located in his shoulders. He stays high over the rubber and takes a huge step-over stride toward the plate, which I think is a big reason he can maintain his velocity so well. The great sign is that he has cut his walk rate by a third over last year while doubling his strikeout rate, albeit in a small sample, so if he can get that slider working more consistently, he would project as a fourth starter.
Johnny Damon and Art Stewart will represent the Royals at the MLB Draft in June.
John Viril of Kings of Kauffman takes a look back to the almost impossible 2003 season.
The Tigers are at a crossroads under skipper Brad Ausmus.
Is the American League Central the best division in baseball?
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro asks his fans to trust the process.
Old friend Alberto Callaspo nixes a trade to the Dodgers.
Do defensive stats overrate the important of fielding?
Grant Brisbee with a nice piece about how he fell in love with his old baseball cards again - with an appearance from George Brett!
How to clean up the NFL, in the wake of its latest domestic abuse incident.
FIFA officials have been arrested for corruption, to be extradited to the United States.
K-State unveils premium seating at the football stadium.
Matt Ufford recaps the latest "Game of Thrones" episode.
The downside to being good at your job - you get more work.
"The Bachelorette" brought comedienne Amy Schumer on to coach the men on stand-up, and instead ends up insulting them all to their face.
Oh the list of celebrities who believe in conspiracy theories is much too long.
Your song of the day is Jim Croce with "New York's Not My Home."