Weekend Rumblings - News for June 13, 2015
Drew Butera's defense was the deciding factor in the decision to keep him as backup catcher, Yost says.
"We thought he might be an upgrade defensively back there a little bit," Yost said. "It was a hard decision because they both have positive points about their game. We're a team built on defense and we liked his defense."
Over their careers, Kratz and Butera's defensive stats are similar. When Butera catches, pitchers have a 4.23 ERA; Kratz, 4.12. Butera has thrown out 32 percent of base stealers; Kratz, 31 percent. Butera is generally regarded as a better game-caller. Advanced stats show both are below-average pitch-framers.
Sam Mellinger at the Star says it is easier to endure poor starting pitching when the team is so resilient.
This further amplifies the Royals’ most significant big picture problem – yes, including the offense’s ongoing slump – because combined with Danny Duffy’s struggles their top two starting pitchers have combined for a 5.06 ERA.
That the Royals are still winning is a loud testament to their significant strengths, most obviously a dynamite defense and lockdown bullpen.
But they have something else going for them, a carryover from last year that has been somewhat overlooked amid all the talk about fights and Mike Moustakas’ emergence and more recently the All-Star voting.
This is a remarkably resilient group. More than anything else, that is the characteristic that has defined them for the last 13 months – the miserable May, being below .500 after the All-Star break, and then the run to the seventh game of the World Series.
Once again, Andy McCullough answers questions about the Royals in his weekly mailbag.
@alexmare_uh: How worrying is Holland’s loss in velocity?
It’s troubling. There’s no doubt about that.
The Royals refuse to utter a negative word about Holland. Why should they? He has a 1.76 ERA. He has blown one save in 12 opportunities, and he came back to pitch a second inning that night in Detroit and earn a win. He is a two-time All-Star closer, probably the best reliever in the American League from 2011 to 2014, and he’s earned the benefit of the doubt.
But if you watch his outings, like rival scouts do, you notice some alarming signs. First, the most basic: His fastball velocity is down a decent amount. He sat at 95.8 mph in 2014. He is sitting 93.4 mph in 2015. He has started throwing more curveballs, and the other night he flung a few change-ups.
Another reason for concern: He’s already been on the disabled list once this season for an arm injury. The greatest predicator for future injuries is past history. Holland is a tireless worker, and he has transformed himself from a 10th-round pick into one of the game’s elite relievers. But rival talent evaluators still wonder if he is compensating for some sort of discomfort that is affecting his performance.
BleacherReport ranks the Royals' farm system as the 20th best in baseball. In a slideshow, of course, because BleacherReport.
This is pretty indicative of Yordano Ventura's starts right now.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">ICYMI Here is the latest from <a href="https://twitter.com/ConradMcGorkin">@ConradMcGorkin</a> <a href="http://t.co/yR9w7Sl2Ik">pic.twitter.com/yR9w7Sl2Ik</a></p>— Dave Darby (@DaveDarby46) <a href="https://twitter.com/DaveDarby46/status/609702798733606913">June 13, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Other items of interest
American trains are just terrible. If you don't think so, go to Europe and you'll be blown away. So, why?
In June of 1965, the first American astronaut spacewalked. Here is a fantastic gallery of photos from 50 years of spacewalking.
Can a hot dog pizza be a pizza? Or is it a sandwich?
This is the story of Rachel Dolezal, a bizarre tale involving race, lies, and the NAACP.
Video games have a serious race problem. Often times, game developers aren't even aware of it.
Sergei Rachmaninoff had big hands. Maybe Yordano Ventura should play piano to help his hand strength?
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