Weekend Rumblings - News for April 23, 2016
Rustin Dodd asks about Lorenzo Cain's slump to begin the year.
Ned Yost was asked on Thursday if Cain’s early struggles could be attributed to any sort of swing or mechanical issue. He downplayed that notion. Here is what we know: Lorenzo Cain is batting .222 (10 for 54) in 15 games. His strikeout rate (28.6 percent) is pacing for a career high. His previous high with the Royals was 23 percent in 2012. Cain, of course, has also walked nine times — his walk rate (14.3 percent) is also on track for a career high — and his on-base percentage is still a respectable .333. One theory: After a third-place finish in the MVP voting last season, teams are pitching even more carefully to the 30-year-old Cain, which has resulted in longer at-bats, more strikeouts and more walks. Even as he’s struggled a bit, Cain has logged some good at-bats, in his usual fashion. Another theory: It’s early.
Lee Judge writes that Mike Moustakas is maturing as a hitter.
Moustakas’ adjustment worked and in 2015 he posted his best year yet: a .284 batting average, 22 home runs and 82 RBIs. That season I asked Moustakas what took him so long to adjust — he laughed and said: "Better late than never." And in 2016, Moustakas seems to be sticking with the game plan.
Some hitters use batting practice to play home run derby: pull the ball, hit it in the air and give the fans a show. But that’s lousy batting practice and doesn’t help you in a game. During Friday afternoon’s BP, Moustakas concentrated on hitting the ball to the opposite field. But in his first at-bat Moustakas got an 84 mph pitch and hit his sixth home run of the season more than 420 feet, just to the right of dead-center field.
Hunter Samuels at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City thinks that with Jarrod Dyson back, Alcides Escobar may improve.
Now that Dyson is back in Kansas City, he’ll likely be hitting ninth, which means he’ll be batting ahead of Escobar every time the lineup turns over. Obviously Dyson won’t reach base in every plate appearance – ideal though it may be – but Escobar should come to the plate many times with Dyson on first or second base. Dyson is one of the most aggressive base stealers in the game, which should mean Escobar will be seeing more fastballs than he would with a lesser runner on base. And, considering the results of Weinstein’s study, we can reasonably assume that pitchers will also want to keep their pitches up and on the outer half of the plate when Dyson is on base. It just so happens that Escobar has hit fastballs better than other pitches in his Royals career, and pitches up in the zone and on the outer half are the pitches Escobar has had plenty of success against in his Royals career.
Eric Hosmer was out at Noah's Run this morning, a 5k to honor fan Noah Wilson.
A teenager gets to job-shadow Rex Hudler.
The 6:15 game times saw an increase in attendance this week.
Yovani Gallardo will see a shoulder specialist in Baltimore after leaving last night's Royals game.
The Blue Jays sign Michael Bourn to a minor league deal.
MLB teams are still struggling with when to challenge a call.
Braves players may file a complaint about the condition of their own field.
Is baseball the best it has ever been?
A minor league team strikes out five times in one inning - while scoring four runs.
Joe Posnanski gives his thoughts on Curt Schilling getting fired.
The Commissioner of the MLS says a Kansas City-St. Louis rivalry could be around the corner.
Microsoft and Google are reach a global agreement to stop fighting with each other.
Prince was responsible for a lot more hit songs than you realize.
Your song of the day is Dave Brubeck with "Take Five."