Royals Rumblings - News for June 3, 2015
Mike Batest at MLB Daily Dish is concerned with Salvador Perez's workload.
When he debuted at 21, Perez seemed like he would be a force behind the plate for a decade. Defensively, he was fantastic. On offense, his batting average-driven, line-drive power profile translated to .301/.331/.451 in his first three seasons and made him incredibly useful on the offensive end. As a 23 year old, under a normal workload, he was an all star for the first time and worth around four wins.
Since then, he has started 187 of the Royals' 210 games (89 percent) and has seen his performance drop off precipitously. Thankfully, Perez's defense remains as strong as it ever was. He's still excellent at blocking pitches and at throwing out baserunners, but offensively, he has become a different player. In 781 plate appearances, his batting line has fallen to .264/.289/.411. After a hot start to 2015, he hit just .235/.244/.388 with one walk for May while starting 23 of 26 games behind the plate. He's essentially stopped walking, and his strikeouts have ticked up. He's too talented to fall completely off the table at this point, but he is also no longer an asset with the bat.
Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs looks at why so many hitters are pulling the ball on Yordano Ventura.
We’ve all been able to easily recognize that Ventura is impressive. Physically speaking, he’s blessed, and the stuff that he throws gives him an extraordinary ceiling. I think we’ve also seen that Ventura isn’t close to his ceiling quite yet. He doesn’t miss bats like you’d think, and he doesn’t control contact like you’d think. For two months, hitters have been surprisingly comfortable against Yordano Ventura. Even when he’s, you know, been mad at them. You can never predict when it’s going to click, but at least we know it hasn’t clicked yet.
Sam Mellinger wonders if Royals fans are a bit too sensitive to national criticism of the team.
My first response is that the MLB establishment does not hate the Royals’ success. Like, not even a little bit. Depending on what "establishment" you’re talking about, MLB loves the Royals’ success because it is a shining example of the sport’s parity, and if anything, national media loves the success because it’s a different story to be able to tell.
But, MUCH more than any of that … I touched on this a bit in the column, and I know this is something we’ve talked about before here, but my biggest response is that Kansas City must lead the league in fans caring about national perception.
We could do a lot of armchair psychology about this. Maybe it’s a flyover state thing, or a Midwestern desire to be liked, or Kansas City being the second biggest city in Missouri, or a sudden burst to compensate for decades of sports irrelevance. But whatever it is, at least in my view, it’s accentuating what I’ve always perceived to be a civic inferiority complex here.
Andy McCullough reports on John Lamb, who is impressing with his performance in Omaha.
Four years later, Lamb continues to build a case to make his major-league debut in 2015. With the big-league rotation still scuffling, Lamb looks like the organization’s best option in Class AAA.
"If we needed somebody to go up, and there was an opportunity, I don’t think any of us would hesitate to make that recommendation," assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said.
Lamb has maintained fastball velocity from 91 to 93 mph, Picollo indicated. He has been clocked as high as 96 mph. With the Royals executive in the house last week he touched 94.
Kris Medlen and Danny Duffy will throw simulated games on Thursday, so get ready for a simulated game thread.
"I feel really good," Medlen said. "Fastball location is there. We'll see Thursday. It's going to be in a big-league stadium against a couple of our guys. Adrenaline. I'll just try to stay under control and keep doing what I've been doing, and realize that I'm not back yet. I just need to get my work in."
Medlen said he was pleased with his fastball velocity as well as his curveball. He said his changeup has been inconsistent, sometimes in the mid-80s and other times hovering around 82 mph, where he wants the pitch.
Vahe Gregorian, Sam Mellinger, and Blair Kerkoff discuss the Royals slump in this video.
Outfielder Lane Adams was bumped down to AA to make room for Moises Sierra coming off the disabled list. Adams was hitting just .226/.305/.374 for Omaha.
Gregorian catches up with Royals World Series hero Darryl Motley, who received a letter from manager Dick Howser shortly before Howser passed away from brain cancer.
Motley, who now is back in the area, moved a zillion times after receiving the letter. His baseball career included stops in Japan and Mexico and lasted until he was 42, but he never again played in the majors after 1987. With all the moving around, a few items "got away from me over the years," he said, laughing.
He thinks, though, that he can "almost say I still have the letter." And he knows he can still recite it verbatim.
"The letter said, ‘Darryl, in life sometimes things have to change. Look at me,’" he said. "It said, ‘I hope that you’re able to straighten this whole thing out and get yourself back to the big leagues.’"
Motley remembers standing in the clubhouse in Richmond as he read those words the first time, feeling "genuinely shocked" that Howser had found it within him to undertake such a gesture as he was about to die.
Fox Sports Kansas City says the Royals middle of the order is among baseball's best.
Cardinals fans are not the Best Ballot-Stuffers in Baseball.
They did have the "best city for baseball" with Kansas City finishing eleventh, behind Oakland, Cleveland, and Cullowhee, North Carolina.
Royals broadcaster Rex Hudler was the guest on KCUR's "Central Standard" yesterday.
The Rangers called up slugger Joey Gallo, who could face the Royals this weekend.
Nerd stat guys Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller will get to run a real life baseball team.
A-Rod is a pretty good dancer.
All the coverage of FIFA President Sepp Blatter's resignation.
The FBI has been using low-flying planes under the guise of fictional companies to spy on us. I thought it was odd that "Flowers By Irene" needed a plane!
Why are so many Chinese students getting kicked out of American universities?
"The Poky Little Puppy" is just an awful kids book.
A writer for the new "Star Wars: Rogue One" script asked for the help of astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
Your song of the day is Run D.M.C. with "You're Blind."