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Royals Rumblings - News for October 10, 2016

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The post-season is not the same without Ned.

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for October 10, 2016

Hunter Samuels at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks into why Royals pitchers fared so much worse this year on ground balls.

In 2015, Royals pitchers allowed a batting average of .241 on ground balls, according to Statcast. That was the fifth-best mark in the league. Unsurprisingly, they also allowed the fifth-lowest slugging percentage in the league, at .260.

This year, things didn’t go quite as well. Opposing ground balls resulted in a batting average of .270 (second-worst) and a slugging percentage of .290 (third-worst).

Breaking it down further, the Royals allowed 59 more hits on grounders this year, despite inducing just six more ground balls total. How many extra pitches were thrown due to a ground ball not being converted into an out? Probably a lot! I’d even go so far as to say a whole lot.

Lee Judge looks at the strengths and weaknesses of Ned Yost.

In 2016, though, Ned did not have Holland, Ryan Madson, Jason Frasor or Luke Hochevar, and he lost Davis for some extended stretches. Without a pen full of lockdown relievers, a manager has to play mix-and-match: find good matchups for the reliever and have the next guy ready.

This is a big part of the job description for an American League manager, and this is also where Ned is often criticized. At times, he seemed to want to manage like he still had lockdown guys who could handle any hitter they faced.

And that brings us to Joakim Soria. Ned kept running Soria out there like he was a lockdown guy, and in 2016, Soria just wasn’t.

But Ned kept saying he had faith in him.

So when we look at this manager’s limitations, being stubborn is on the list.

Judge also explains why playoff baseball is different.

John Viril at Kings of Kauffman looks at how the Royals can cut payroll.

To my mind there’s really only one idea that fits the bill: package Wade Davis with Joakim Soria. Not only does this move bring back significant value, it also clears one heck of a lot of payroll. Trading Davis and Soria would clear $18 million off the books in 2017.

You don’t deal Davis and Soria without getting a young pitcher with upside that is ready to make his major-league debut in 2017. Such an acquisition frees up Matt Strahm to pitch as a reliever next season. It also strengthens the rotation and leaves extra money for Dayton Moore to sign help this winter.

The beauty of such a move is that Moore can sign Greg Holland to a one-year, prove it deal to replace Davis.

Royals Assistant General Manager J.J. Picollo is reportedly a candidate for the Diamondbacks GM job.

Royals scout Alec Zumwalt was on the Ringer podcast with Ben Lindbergh.

John Sickels looks back at where Carlos Beltran ranked among the top prospects of 1999.

Are the 2016 Cubs already a success?

Could the Dodgers’ depth strategy be a turn-off for veterans?

What can a manager do to spark a team?

Jim Caple at ESPN wants to tweak instant replay.

What went wrong with James Shields this year?

Why is Mike Trout less famous than Jimmy Garoppolo?

Former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthropoulous does not want the Diamondbacks job.

Jon Bois looks at how Georgia Teach defeated Cumberland 222-0.

The NFL is threatening to fine teams for posting content on social media.

Is it even possible for Republicans to change the nominee at this point?

Could alien life be supported by cosmic rays instead of sunlight?

The trailers for the new Power Ranger movie was released and it is serious.

Your song of the day is OK Go with Don’t Ask Me.