Craig Brown details how the Royals’ makeup has changed this offseason:
In 211 career games, Soler has drawn a walk in roughly nine percent of his plate appearances. Since joining the Athletics in 2012, Moss has posted a walk rate of 9.7 percent. Neither will lead the league in base on balls, but this is an exciting development in Kansas City. Last year only Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer had a walk rate above league average. Add Soler and Moss to the table and you suddenly have four hitters with the potential to not only draw a walk, but to work the count.
Additionally, we can remove Cheslor Cuthbert and his 6.3 percent walk rate from the everyday lineup and reinsert Mike Moustakas. In the years the Royals were winning pennants, Moustakas had a walk rate of seven percent. Last year, in limited action, he added a full percentage point to his rate and moved it right in line with league average. If you buy the adjustments he’s made at the plate (and factor in that he was absolutely blistering the ball in the early part of the season), it’s not out of the realm of possibility the Royals third baseman could be the fifth member of the lineup to finish with a walk rate above the league average, wherever that ends up.
Jeffrey Flanagan reports from the press conference for Brandon Moss’s signing:
Impressions of the Royals
Moss: "I'm impressed with the type of people here. They're not just going to get a guy just because he's a good player. You have to fit a certain mold. I take pride in fitting that mold. I've always thought this would be an outstanding place to play because from afar it always looks like they're having fun."
Changing philosophy from speed/defense to power?
"With guys like Jorge Soler and Brandon," Moore said, "and the continued production of our other players, maybe we'll have a chance to have a three- or four-run lead late in the game where in past years, we've been hanging on to one-run leads late. Defense, speed, going first to third, that's all still there. But we play a lot of games on the road, too. ... We're going to need to score more runs. I'm looking forward to more home runs. ... It's going to be a fun year."
There’s a lot more there, including talk of the Wild Card Game, performance escalators, and the floating DH.
Brandon Moss called the 2014 Wild Card Game at Kauffman "the most fun and most heartbreaking game" he's ever played. His memories: pic.twitter.com/IA495sRqAD— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) February 1, 2017
Flanagan also looked at Moss’s success at the K and how his spray chart from last year looked overlaid at the K, noting:
There were two main issues: Moss couldn't hit four-seam fastballs, and he couldn't hit strikes up and in or up and away.
Moss hit .198 against four-seam fastballs and saw more than twice as many four-seam fastballs (603) as any other pitch.
Pitchers also pounded Moss in the strike zone up and in, where he hit .100, or up and away, where he didn't get a hit all season.
In John Perrotto’s Royals Spring Training preview at FanRag Sports, he highlights Kelvin Herrera:
Scout’s pick to click: RHP Kelvin Herrera. “Sometimes, guys have a hard time mentally when they move into the closer’s role, but I can’t imagine that will be the case with Herrera. He has pitched in a lot of high-leverage situations in big games and been dominant in them. No situation ever seems to be too big for him. My only concern is how many leads the Royals are going to give to him because their rotation and bullpen are both thin.”
Kings of Kauffman’s Beau Estes profiles the two bench players the Royals will look to the most this season.
Rustin Dodd on the Brandon Moss signing and the roster taking shape.
Which was the best winner-take-all World Series Game Seven?
At 2080 Baseball, Melissa Lockard profiles a couple minor-league free agents, including Dusty Coleman.
Russell Carleton looks at the effect travel has on players’ performance over at BP.
Joe Buck got blown off by Barry Bonds back in the day:
Get to know Cedar Rapids’ Municipal Island.
A trickle of news about Stranger Things Season Two has come.
How Gregg Popovich became the NBA’s most fearless political voice.
The song of the day is “Ran” by Future Islands.