Royals Rumblings - News for January 14, 2016
Craig Brown at Royals Authority tries to parse the projections of the Royals.
The funny thing to me is how fans frame the projections to prop up their own bias. A 95 win projection? "Hell, yeah! We’re going to the World Series!" A 79 win projection? "What the hell? Computers don’t know a damn thingIn the unfortunate case of the !"
What I glean from these projections is, for starters, they’re incomplete. There are still a handful of the top free agents on the market. Wherever they land, the balance will certainly be affected. To grab at a projection in January while the market is still extremely fluid is only going to frustrate. Second, while they do get specific, I like to look at them in more general terms. For example, the spread of projected wins in the AL Central is just seven games. The highest win total is assigned to the Indians at 85 wins while the lowest win total is the Twins at 78. Ignoring the raw numbers for a moment, the projections suggest a tight race in the Central where no team – as currently constructed – stands head and shoulders above the rest. What tends to happen in this scenario is one club leaps to the front of the line through circumstances that weren’t accounted for at the time the projections were posted.
Hunter Samuels takes a look at Ian Kennedy.
As a flyball pitcher, Kennedy is always going to surrender some home runs. That’s a feature, not a bug. And fly balls aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but there has to be some weaker contact mixed in to counteract the dingers. Think of a guy like Chris Young. He’ll give up his share of home runs, but because he can generate so many popups, there aren’t as many runners on base when the homers are hit. Kennedy doesn’t have to become exactly like Young, and he shouldn’t. Kennedy will miss more bats than Young, and he won’t get as many fly balls. However, if Kennedy gets back to attacking the inner half against righties (something the Royals preach to their pitchers) he’ll likely start to see weaker contact, more popups, and less traffic on the bases.
Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs also takes a look at Ian Kennedy.
What we’re left with is something on the order of a league-average starter, with ball-in-play upside and ball-in-play downside, and the market has so far rewarded pitchers like this, so Kennedy shouldn’t be punished too much. Mike Leake has age on his side, and his own fastball has improved, but Leake probably has the bigger home-run problem. To add Ian Kennedy isn’t to add anything sensational, but there’s probably not a team in baseball he wouldn’t make at least a little bit better. Soon, we’ll find out where he goes. The fans, probably, will come away underwhelmed. Still, he’s likely to do more good than harm.
Jeffrey Flanagan looks at the comeback potential of Chien Ming Wang and Dillon Gee.
"We've seen it work in the past," said Scott Sharp, assistant general manager/baseball operations. "You take a calculated risk, and sometimes you just hit on one or two." Sharp, who has a strong background in scouting, was instrumental in the Gee signing. Jin Wong, assistant general manager/baseball administration, also has a solid scouting background and was the man behind the Wang signing. "Dillon Gee is a guy not that far removed from success," Sharp said.
"With the Mets, he battled a groin injury last year, and when he got healthy, he was kind of caught in the middle with Noah Syndergaard coming on, and then Dillon became the odd man out. "But he wanted to pitch in front of our defense, and he was willing to sign a Minor League deal with the confidence that he could help us. There is a lot of intrinsic value with him. He's a guy whose numbers slightly regressed, and we have a chance here to see him come back. He will be a motivated guy."
Grant Brisbee looks at the remaining holes on each American League roster.
It's a mostly complete roster, but is that Omar Infante starting again? I thought they put traps out for him.
The White Sox name a new announcer to replace Hawk Harrelson just for home games.
ESPN tabs Jessica Mendoza to Sunday Night Baseball full-time and demotes John Kruk.
What would it be like if the St. Louis Cardinals moved?
If you won Powerball, would you try to buy the Royals?
Mizzou basketball is going on probation, vacating all wins from the 2013-14 season.
US Women's national team member Sydney Leroux, wife of Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer, is traded to FC Kansas City.
The Browns hire Hue Jackson, which may mean the end of the Johnny Manziel era.
Astrophysicists may have found gravitational waves.
A professional poker player was disqualified for peeing at the table.
What if you bought all 292 million combination of numbers for the Powerball?
Your song of the day is Deacon Blue with "A is for Astronaut."