At BP KC, Craig Brown tokes up and enjoys the Mike Moustakas Laser Show:
Through the first six games of the new season, Moustakas has a hit in all of them. His average exit velocity is 89.9 mph, which is a full mph faster than the league average. His average launch angle of 16 degrees says he’s barreling the ball more often than not and his average distance of 251 feet confirms he’s making contact with authority. This is an exciting early season development. It’s especially reassuring given we just didn’t know how the Royals third baseman would return to form following his extended layoff.
Returns of the first week have been highly encouraging.
Meanwhile, there another new early trend that is the same as the old early trend. There just aren’t enough runners on base ahead of Moustakas for him to do the kind of damage the Royals need to have done. So far this year, he’s come to the plate with eight runners on base. Just one time has he had a runner on third. (That came in the seventh inning of the first game against the Astros when Raul Mondesi singled back to the pitcher then stole second and third.) Twice he’s had a runner on second. Meanwhile, the average major league batter with the same number of plate appearances as Moustakas has had 11 runners on base.
Jeffrey Flanagan details the Royals’ tribute to Yordano Ventura:
They carried it almost like pallbearers. And then they gently unfolded it, a black-and-white banner that read simply "ACE 30." They laid it on the ground.
It was perhaps the most moving part of the Royals' pregame ceremony Monday before the 2-0 loss to the A's in their home opener, as they honored the memory of Yordano Ventura, who died tragically in a January car accident in the Dominican Republic.
Terrance Gore was optioned to Double-A.
How, where, and why Salvador Perez thought to invite Yordano Ventura's mother to Kansas City. https://t.co/GQwRy8B9nX— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) April 11, 2017
The Royals talk about the tribute here (with video).
At Call to the Pen, Phil Kimmel tells how the Royals are trying to work through tragedy.
BP’s Ashley Parela dives into Jeremy Guthrie’s awful birthday.
Mike Podhorzer advocates buying Shelby Miller.
Travis Sawchik profiles John Hart and his Giving Tree of innovation.
Dave Cameron looks at the league’s continuing march towards three true outcomes.
At the Hardball Times, Mary Craig chronicles the first Congressional baseball game.
Patrick Dubuque reevaluates the criminally underrated John Burkett.
Italian divers are searching for Caligula’s lost pleasure boat.
A small-town Iowa (Storm Lake!) newspaper man takes on big Agri and wins a damn Pulitzer, beating out the Houston Chronicle and Washington Post for the editorial writing prize.
Coachella bookers be dumb. They turned down booking Kate Bush, who has NEVER played in the US.
Alabama’s newly former Governor also be dumb. And corrupt. And got thrown in the clink. And resigned.
The song of the day is “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush.