After a poor start to the season, many Royals fans were thinking of alternative DH options to Kendrys Morales. Though he was still hitting well from the right side, that’s the shorter side of the platoon. Morales spends much more time hitting from the left side, where he had been an absolute dumpster fire.
It would appear that slump is over.
Truly, Morales’ season beginnings were poor. FanGraphs recently rolled out a new feature to visualize rolling averages of statistics, which really help get a sense of short-term trends over less arbitrary periods of time (like picking the last 14 days or the previous 11 games or whatever). Remember Morales’ earlier dumpster fire 2014 season? His start to this season was worse.
Below is a 15-game rolling average of Morales’ wOBA, a more accurate measure of offensive production than batting average and on base percentage:
The dotted line is Morales’ own reference line, and you can see, if you look closely, that the nasty valley earlier this year was in fact lower than at any point in his crappy 2014.
Now look at the peak at the far right. That’s higher than any peak shown in the graph. As bad as he was at the beginning is how great he has been over the past few weeks or so. He’s kicked butt.
I suppose those other-DH discussions can stop now. With Omar Infante out, Whit Merrifield in, Kendrys Morales scorching hot, and Alex Gordon back, the Royals have plugged a few holes.
Now if only Lorenzo Cain could be healthy and Alcides Escobar could hit, this would be a fairly complete lineup. Previous trade rumors for a player like Jay Bruce, who would almost exclusively DH in Kansas City, probably don’t hold much water anymore with a producing Morales.
Probably good to focus on pitching.