Weekend Rumblings - News for June 27, 2015
Another Saturday, another Kansas City Star mailbag answered by Andy McCullough.
@jllovett: Any minor-league arms that could make a rotation impact after the ASB? Is it even worth speculating?
Andy: Nothing in baseball is worth speculating about. But here goes: One guy to keep an eye on is Miguel Almonte...
...So, anyway. Almonte. He is one of the team’s better pitching prospects. Baseball Prospectus rated him the No. 56 prospect in the game before the season. Almonte has had some struggles in 2015, but the team framed this as part of the developmental process.
At 22, Almonte wields precocious ability with his changeup. The Royals tasked him with improving his fastball command this year, so they restricted his changeup usage. His strikeout totals have dipped accordingly. But if Almonte stays healthy, there’s a decent chance he could contribute as a reliever in September.
Mr. McCullough also writes about the acquisition and importance of Chris Young, our local giant pitcher.
That same week, Royals general manager Dayton Moore experienced an epiphany one morning. He tasked assistant general manager Scott Sharp with a mission: Go sign Chris Young. He did not care that his rotation was already full and his bullpen was stocked nearly to the brim. He told Sharp to offer Young a big-league contract and hammer out the details.
"We need the guy," he told Sharp.
Moore cannot discern the source of his impulse. The Royals did not experience an injury the day before. He did not see anything that piqued his interest in depth. He felt something, like a primal need to protect his roster, and acted upon it.
"The analytical guys can’t understand me, either," Moore said with a grin during batting practice at Safeco Field in Seattle earlier this week.
Craig Brown at Royals Authority is unconvinced the Royals will spring for a starter at the trade deadline.
Also, do the Royals have the necessary prospect depth to deal for a front line starter? I’m not sure they do. A move without quality would take quantity, something we know the Royals are loathe to do given their desire to build a strong pipeline to the majors. Plus, do they have the stomach to ship a key prospect in a deal where they would have a rental starter for two months? Johnny Cueto would be a nice addition, but there’s no way the Royals are going to keep him beyond this year, should they land him in a trade. Cole Hamels is under contract for the next three seasons at $22.5 million per (with an option for 2019) which is nice to have that certainty, but is that something the Royals can add to a payroll? Especially when Alex Gordon is a pending free agent and they will certainly look to restructure Sal Perez’s contract. Not to mention the possibility of extending Mike Moustakas. Anyway, the Phillies are a shambles and difficult to deal with, setting the prices extremely high for their trade chits.
At Pine Tar Press, Paul Torlina is excited about #MooseDong and suggests that his newfound abilities might be for real.
The better Line Drive Percentage and Ground Ball Percentage seem like they would show that when Moose hits the ball, he mostly hits it harder than in previous years. Another indication of this is the number of Fly Balls hit that are going over the fence for Home Runs. That number shows that his fly balls are being hit harder. Again, this is evidenced by the fact that Moose has around 5 more Doubles than he typically would have by this time in previous seasons and also has one Triple already this season after having only 4 in his entire career. Moose’s success in hitting the ball harder on a more consistent basis has also eliminated another problem for him: opposing teams have virtually eliminated defensive infield shifting toward Right Field for majority of time. The 3rd Baseman is no longer parked in shallow right field awaiting a ground ball to throw him out at first.
Other items of interest
Same-sex marriage is legal in all states as of yesterday. In addition to the obvious changes that will happen in regards to marriage specifically, the Supreme Court's ruling will have an immediate and unprecedented fallout in regards to religious liberties.
Translating the show Seinfeld is harder than it would seem to be.
Some people take Mario Kart very seriously. As do we all somewhat once a blue shell sends us from first place to last.
The US Women's National team beat China last night, but they still should try to fix issues in their midfield if they want to improve.
Selfie sticks are banned at Disney parks. Hallelujah.
James Horner, film composer, died this week in a plane crash. Horner is most well-known for his Academy Award-winning score to Titanic and co-writer of the hit song (and Academy Award-winner) from the movie 'My Heart Will Go On.' However, Horner was not a mere one-hit wonder, and his Titanic success unfortunately overshadows a long, illustrious career.
Horner was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score for Aliens, Field of Dreams, Apollo 13, Braveheart, A Beautiful Mind, House of Sand and Fog, and Avatar. The list of favorite movies whose scores were composed by the late Horner is even longer: Star Trek II and III, An American Tail and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, The Land Before Time, Glory, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Glory, Once Upon A forest, The Pagemaster, Jumanji, Balto, The Mask of Zorro, Bicentennial Man, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Enemy at the Gates, Radio, Troy, and The Legend of Zorro, among others.
Horner's music has touched countless lives, and for that I salute him.