Royals Rumblings - News for September 18, 2015
David Schoenfield wonders if its time to be concerned about the Royals.
I did a quick little study. Since 2010, 46 teams have made the postseason. It's pretty unusual for a playoff teams to have a bad September (includes October games as well): Only seven of the 46 teams finished with a losing record; two finished .500; 37 finished over .500. The average record in September for a playoff-bound team over these past five seasons was 16.7-11.2, a .598 winning percentage. That's compared to an overall .577 winning percentage. So, on average, playoff teams play a little better the final month.
OK, but do teams that finish well do any better in the playoffs?
The nine teams that finished .500 or worse in September went 19-29 in the postseason; none reached the World Series. The nine best teams in September went 44-42 and three reached the World Series -- the 2011 Cardinals and Rangers and the 2013 Cardinals. However, our 10th hottest team was the 2012 Giants, who went 20-10 September and then 11-5 in winning the World Series. And our 12th hottest team was the 2010 Giants, 19-10 in September and 11-4 in the postseason. On the other hand, the 10th-worst team was the 2014 Giants, who went 13-12 record in September -- including a 3-8 stretch at one point -- before getting hot in October.
Hunter Samuels at Pine Tar Press writes that Alex Rios has played his way back into the right-field picture for October.
If you had asked me back on July 15 who the Royals should have starting in right field in the playoffs, I would have answered with a confused shrug. Today, if you ask me who the Royals should have starting in right field in the playoffs, I will answer with a slightly less-confused shrug. But for a different reason. Instead of having no great options, it kind of looks like the Royals might now have several acceptable options.
In the second half, Rios is batting .280/.316/.427, good for a 101 wRC+ in 177 plate appearances. He’s been even better lately, putting up a 174 wRC+ since August 19. Perhaps even more encouraging is how Rios’ approach has improved. Among Royals regulars, only Ben Zobrist has chased a lower percentage of pitches out of the strike zone since the break. In the first half, he swung at 32.6% of pitches out of the zone, well above his career mark of 29.1%. That improved pitch selection has helped boost his power, taking his isolated slugging percentage from .050 in the first half up to .146 in the second half.
Alex Rios actually looks like the Alex Rios of old, instead of an old Alex Rios.
Clark Fosler at Royals Authority looks at the potential post-season roster.
BACKUP OUTFIELD (the question marks) – I am proposing an 11 man pitching staff below, which gives us room for two more position players here. I will be shocked if Jonny Gomes is not on the roster. First off, he has been there before and that counts for something (however minor). Secondly, he will mash lefties and more specifically, LOOGYs. We all see managers overthink, just like we all overthink our lives as well, and Gomes gives the guy in the other dugout something to think about. Like last year, I think the last spot goes to Terrance Gore. Sure, Paulo Orlando is in the mix, but I think the Royals will opt for Gomes to pinch hit and Gore to pinch run, while they pray Alex Rios hits something some of the time.
Paul Casella writes that the 1984 Royals are among the most unlikely playoff teams ever.
Few teams have made a more perplexing postseason push than the 1984 Royals. This club not only had a losing record through 137 games, but also finished the season with a negative run differential. Kansas City benefited from going 26-21 in one-run games, though it had just as many losses by five or more runs as it did by one run. While 21 of their 78 losses came by at least five runs, only 13 of their 84 wins came by that margin, helping to explain their minus-13 run differential. The Royals managed to go 45-35 after the All-Star break with a plus-20 run differential (358-338) after going just 39-43 in the first-half and being outscored 348-315. Despite sneaking into the postseason, the Royals were quickly swept out of the ALCS by the Tigers, who outscored Kansas City 14-4 in the three-game series.
Sung Woo is coming back to Kansas City for the debut of the "30 for 30" short about him.
Is Dayton Moore a candidate for Executive of the Year?
Rob Neyer thinks the deadline deals were a lot to do about nothing.
The Pirates lose infielder Jung-Ho Kang for the season.
The unwritten rules of asking for time out correctly.
Former President Jimmy Carter did not disappoint on Kiss-Cam.
RIP Milo Hamilton, the long-time voice of the Astros.
The Chiefs suffer a devastating last-minute loss to the Broncos.
The BBC is launching an American streaming service. Doctor Who for everyone!
Craig Ferguson lands a show on History Channel where he'll discuss issues with celebrities and history experts.
Who are the ten best movie prisoners?
After half a century, Don Francisco, host of Sabado Gigante, will have his last show tomorrow night.
Your song of the day is Sam and Dave with "Hold on, I'm Coming."