Weekend Rumblings - News for July 2, 2016
Sam Mellinger tries to figure out the Royals’ weird home/road disparity.
At this rate, the Royals would have the third-biggest split between home and road success in history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It would be the biggest since the Philadelphia A’s in 1945, which was the year the Cubs made their last World Series.
So what gives? Simple explanation, really.
"As pitchers," Ian Kennedy says, "it’s because we don’t have batting practice at home."
Kennedy laughs at the line, because honestly, none of this makes complete sense. The Royals, like all teams, should be a little better at home than on the road. But the extreme split in their results this season has birthed at least five flimsy explanations that we might as well address separately.
Don't expect Alcides Escobar to be out of the lineup.
Yost has taken care to give catcher Salvador Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer half-days (DH only), and has built in days off for second baseman Whit Merrifield, left fielder Alex Gordon and third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert. But not Escobar, who has started all 78 games entering Friday night's game against the Phillies. He was in the starting lineup again Friday.
"He doesn't need one right now," Yost said. And why does Yost think that? "I know him," Yost said. "I know when he needs a day. He doesn't need it right now." What are the signs Escobar needs rest? "Starts dragging a little bit," Yost said. "He's not dragging."
David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City wonders if Dayton Moore will have to shift strategies soon.
I was getting to thinking about all the home runs being hit in baseball this year and how offense is up drastically from just a couple years ago, and I think the Royals might need to change their approach on the free agent market. In the past, the Royals have typically targeted pitchers who get a fair amount of fly balls, have good control and command and fit to their ballpark. What’s happened is that these pitchers do still fit in the ballpark, but when they go on the road to parks that aren’t as friendly to pitchers regarding the home run, they have trouble. That’s a result of the game shifting. And it changed very fast, so you can’t fault Dayton Moore too much for it, but it still has shifted. Because of this, rather than the Royals maybe going after someone who can take advantage of the deep alleys and great outfield defense, I wonder if they start to look toward guys like Doug Fister who keep the ball on the ground a lot more. The fly ball pitcher strategy has worked for the Royals for a few years now, but it’s at least worth thinking about if it’s time to alter that approach.
John Viril at Kings of Kauffman writes that Ryan O'Hearn has put himself on the prospect radar.
A local college student finds Royals fans in Cuba because of Kendrys Morales.
Mike Moustakas pays tribute to the WW II veteran who tossed out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day, who passed away last week.
Reds outfielder Jay Bruce would waive his limited no-trade clause for the Indians.
The MLBPA won’t allow Madison Bumgarner to participate in the Home Run Derby.
The Red Sox are banned from making international signings this year.
Disney buys one-third of MLB Advanced Media.
Beyond the Boxscore has a roundtable to discuss why MLB doesn’t want to pay minor leaguers much.
Johnny Cueto pays tribute to his dead horse.
NBA free agency has begun, here is your rumor mill.
Kansas City has a new team in the American Basketball Association.
Adnan Syed, the subject of Serial, is granted a retrial.
This year has been a record year for terrible movie sequels.
Should today actually be Independence Day?
Your song of the day is Ray Charles with "America the Beautiful."