Weekend Rumblings - News for June 25, 2016
Sam Mellinger looks into why the Royals have failed to develop much starting pitching under Dayton Moore.
The shortcomings hurt in more ways than the obvious. Free-agency is a notoriously inefficient market, and the Royals have been forced to throw their limited dollars toward starting pitchers. Including Omar Infante, the Royals are paying 11 free agents from other organizations around $74 million this year, using annual average value of contracts. Two-thirds of that money — $48.8 million — is going to seven men in an effort to fill five rotation spots.
A handful of scouts helped create another way to measure an organization’s ability to develop starting pitchers: Look at the opening-day rotations of every team in the last five years. We added Baseball-Reference’s Wins Above Replacement to approximate the effectiveness of those pitchers, and sorted them by their original organization. The Royals ranked 28th in rotation spots (13), and 16th in total WAR (27.4). That’s perhaps better than many fans would’ve guessed — it’s mediocre, not terrible — but still well below the standard for a club so heavily dependent on amateur scouting.
Rustin Dodd is asked who will be in the rotation the rest of the year.
Will the current rotation be in place at the end of the season? I suppose the answer could be yes, but there will likely be plenty of movement in the second half. Chris Young could be in and out of the rotation. Kris Medlen is close to coming back. There could be injuries. The Royals could look at external options around the trade deadline (The market is pretty weak, though.) It’s hard to know.
Lee Judge talks to some scouts to see what they look for in games.
Nobody knows how to measure it, but both scouts thought team chemistry mattered. You can sign a bunch of guys with great individual numbers, but that doesn’t guarantee they’ll play well as a team. If a scout wants to learn something about a player’s makeup, he can watch the dugout; who’s talking and who are they talking to? Between innings is the catcher in constant conversation with his pitcher and the pitching coach? Is a starter getting a day off talking to the guy who’s replacing him? Are the guys on the bench locked in on the game or screwing around spitting sunflower seeds? This is one of the reasons scouts show up at games; to see the stuff that doesn’t get measured.
David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City thinks about which Royals might be in the All-Star Game.
Because I’m a nerd, I decided to really try and figure out who would make the All-Star team for the Royals this season now that Lorenzo Cain is out of the starting outfielders. What I came up with is that I think the World Champs will be represented by Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Perez and Eric Hosmer. I know that people think Ned Yost will find a way to get Cain on the roster, and he very well might, but some of those spots might be needed in order to meet the requirement of one representative per team. One thing I feel confident in predicting is that if he can’t get Whit Merrifield on the team somehow that he’ll put him in the running for the final vote and then name him a replacement for an injury if Whit doesn’t win. Because, hey, it’s Whit’s world and we’re just leasing space.
Edinson Volquez's start was historic in so many bad ways.
Royals top prospect Raul Mondesi will begin rehabbing with Wilmington today while he is suspended for banned substances.
Clubhouse Conversation talks to Royals prospect Ryan O'Hearn.
Governor Jay Nixon signs a bill re-naming the Broadway Bridge after Monarchs legend Buck O'Neil.
Braves General Manager John Coppolella answered questions on Twitter and admitted they were close to a trade.
Jon Heyman cooks up eight ridiculous trade scenarios.
Is Trevor Bauer a completely different pitcher now?
Meg Rowley at Baseball Prospectus makes the case for caring about All-Star voting.
There is a limited edition "What if" 1994 Expos World Series cap being sold.
The Mariners send former Royals outfielder Nori Aokito the minors.
Deion Sanders says he almost signed with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.
NBA Draft winners and losers.
Coverage of the 2016 NHL Draft.
A collection of Brits regretting their vote to leave the EU.
Barnes and Noble is turning to booze to save its business.
Independence Day: Resurgence was not screened for critics, unusual for a movie of this size.
Your song of the day is The Ray Brown Trio with "A Night in Tunisia."