Royals Rumblings - News for May 6, 2015
Chris Mosch of Baseball Prospectus writes about the new look approach for Mike Moustakas.
But of course, when considering whether or not to shift a player, we’re taking into account a subset of balls in play: specifically groundballs. If it’s true that Moustakas has become a master of beating the shift, then he should be hitting more grounders between second and third base, right?
Wrong. In fact, the reverse is happening. Moustakas’ ground ball rate on balls hit the opposite way have actually gone down this season, according to FanGraphs, with his groundball rate on balls hit up the middle basically hovering around his career norm. The number that probably caught your eye is that 39.4 percent line-drive rate to the opposite field this season—the prevailing driver behind Moustakas hitting to all fields. He isn’t directing a bunch of groundballs past the lone man often left to guard the left side; rather, he has been flipping the ball over the infield for singles the other way. As you can see below, he’s still hitting the majority of his grounders into the teeth of the shift.
Grantland's Ben Lindbergh also has a nice in-depth piece on the new Moose.
Moustakas leads the majors with 17 opposite-field hits. He had 18 all of last year. And he’s done this despite pitchers responding to his new approach by busting him in. Last season, 27.8 percent of the pitches Moustakas saw were over the inner third or inside; this year, 40.6 percent have been, the fifth-highest rate among qualified hitters. It’s hard for a pull hitter to switch course mid-career, but Moustakas has made it happen. He won’t be a .320 hitter all season, but as long as he doesn’t become complacent and backslide into his old ways, he won’t be in any danger of making another return to Triple-A.
Sam Mellinger writes that its fine the Royals haven't been beating the cream of the crop in the American League.
First, baseball history is FULL of playoff teams that treaded water against the best teams and beat up on the rest. There is no shame in this, the same way there are tens of millions of dollars to be made by hitting nothing but mistake pitches. The Royals lost 13 of 19 to the Tigers last year. The Giants were below .500 in the regular season against teams that made the playoffs.
Also, I think the Royals have played well, regardless of opponent. The defense has been stupid good, and that’s not something that’s easier against bad teams than good. The offense has been so good that even if you’re a skeptic and want to shave, say, five or 10 or even 15 percent of the numbers, they’re still performing really well.
They’re a good team. They have good players. It’s OK.
Tigers closer and former Royals All-Star Joakim Soria is impressed with his old ballclub.
"You could see this coming through the minor leagues because they were winning everywhere they played," said Soria, who was back in town this past Thursday through Sunday for a series between the Royals and Tigers. "That’s a good competitive team they have, and they love to play hard. They’re a solid team and they approach the game like they have to."
Owner David Glass sure is happy you fans are turning out in droves.
"The fans in Kansas City have proven again that this is truly a great baseball town," Glass said. "If you put a decent product out there, they will support you. "They have been supporting us for years, and that support really grew last fall and into this season. We owe it to the fans to compete and put the best product on the field that we can."
Only took him fifteen years to figure that out!
The Royals announced they will wear "Los Reales" jerseys on July 25 for Latin American Night.
"Good brother, good," Perez said. "Oh, I have to speak in Spanish."
Guys, you won't believe this, but Kyle Zimmer had a setback while rehabbing.
"He left the game the other day with some tightness," Picollo said before Tuesday’s game against the Indians. "We think it’s just normal spring training soreness. As [team doctor Vincent] Key put it, if this is a guy with no history, he’s shut down for five to seven days and he picks it up again."
Zimmer, 23, has a lengthy injury history.
This couple made their baby announcement at the K last night.
The firing of manager Ron Roenecke reflects poorly on the Brewers.
The Astros are baseball's biggest surprise early on this season.
Blue Jays hitting coach Brook Jacoby was suspended 14 games for an incident in the hallway with the umpiring crew.
Former Phillies teammates Lenny Dykstra and Mitch Williams got a little heated at each other during a roast in Philly.
A woman at a Phillies game took a foul ball off the noggin.
Adam Felder of The Atlantic argues its time to get rid of retaliation beanballs for good.
Isiah Thomas, a man once sued for sexual harrassment and a general failure in everything he has done in since his playing career, has been hired to run a WNBA team.
The SBN mother ship has a nice long-form piece on the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
Why don't we hate Mike Tyson as much as we hate Floyd Mayweather?
Fantasy baseball is one step closer to becoming legal in Kansas.
Millenials aren't the job-hoppers we previously thought they were.
Rolling Stone takes a look at the new documentary on Kurt Cobain, "Montage of Heck."
Australian astronomists were baffled by.....a microwave oven.
Your song of the day is Bill Withers with "Use Me."