Weekend Rumblings - News for April 30, 2016
Rustin Dodd writes about the power stroke of Mike Moustakas.
But a brief study of his homers reveals a few trends: Four of Moustakas’ homers have come on pitches slower than 90 mph. Five have come on fastballs, including three that clocked in at faster than 92 mph. All but one have been pulled to right field or driven out toward dead center field. But the results also show a hitter who is comfortable waiting on an off-speed pitch or driving a fastball to the middle of the field.
It is perhaps too early to start the Balboni Watch — against most odds, the Royals’ single-season home run record remains at 36 after three decades, the lowest number among all major-league teams, a continuing testament to the slugging first baseman Steve Balboni. But for the moment, the Royals are hopeful that the current Moustakas is the real Moustakas. After a breakout season, he has picked up where he left off, in both approach and production.
Ned Yost won't be shaking up the lineup any time soon.
Don't expect Ned Yost to re-think Escobar in leadoff spot anytime soon. "It's proven to work," he said. "I haven't even thought about it."— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) April 30, 2016
Jesse Newell at the Star wonders what happened to Esky Magic?
For his career, the numbers tell us Escobar has been a better hitter on fastballs than offspeed pitches. It’s part of the reason why last year’s strategy seemed to work so well; pitchers were trying to get ahead in counts with first-pitch fastballs, which allowed Escobar to sit on his favorite offering. To illustrate, here’s a list of first pitches that Escobar saw to lead off in the 2015 postseason:
Fastball, Fastball, Fastball, Fastball, Fastball, Fastball, Fastball, Fastball, Knuckleball (R.A. Dickey), Fastball, Fastball, Fastball, Fastball, Fastball, Changeup, Slider.
Thirteen of the 16 pitches were fastballs, and 14 if you consider that Dickey’s knuckleball serves as his primary pitch. Not surprisingly, all four of Escobar’s hits came on heaters. Here are the first pitches he’s seen in the last 10 games:
Sinker, Slider, Fastball, Sinker, Changeup, Curveball, Fastball, Fastball, Changeup, Fastball.
Jeffrey Flanagan does not get the Omar Infante criticism.
As for Omar Infante, I seriously am puzzled by some of the fans' discontent with him. He played hurt last season, and therefore not very well. I get that. But Infante had a career-high 66 RBIs in 2014 and hit for a .924 OPS in the World Series, and many seem to have forgotten all of that. Managers, coaches and general managers don't.
August Fagerstrom at Fangraphs looks at Lorenzo Cain's struggles.
Clark Fosler at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at how the organization has evolved over the years.
MLB is unveiling a new broadcast incorporating analytics in the program.
An oral history of Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series home run.
The Chiefs drafted the guy who had a wardrobe malfunction during the NFL combine.
The Ghostbuster teaser trailer is drawing hated reviews, but mostly because some men are terrible.
Key and Peele do an interview while eating extremely hot chicken wings.