Weekend Rumblings - News for April 29, 2017
The Royals are trying to hit the ball the opposite way more.
According to Statcast™, going into Fridays game, Royals' lefties were pulling the ball to the right side on 24 percent of batted balls, the eighth-highest rate in baseball.
What's worse is that Royals' lefties are hitting .231 when they pull the ball -- only three teams' lefties have a worse average.
When Royals' lefties go opposite field, they are hitting .340, 11th best in baseball.
The reward for going "oppo" is clearly there.
Jesse Newell has an interesting breakdown of Alex Gordon’s swing this year.
While Gordon isn’t hitting the ball as hard, the bigger issue seems to be his spike in groundballs. Many major-league teams have adopted mottos urging players to add lift to their swings — the Cubs say, “There’s no slug on the ground,” while Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is using, “Your OPS is in the air” — and a quick look at the numbers shows why.
In his mailbag, Rustin Dodd notes that Salvador Perez is allowing more base-stealers this year.
Of course, so much of this depends on the pitcher. Base runners steal bases on the opposing pitcher, not the catcher. And this becomes even more evident when you look at the numbers.
Opponents have stolen five bags off Nathan Karns, who has never been great at controlling the running game. They have also swiped four bases off Jason Hammel, who last season allowed 15 stolen bases with the Cubs. That was tied for the 14th-highest total among all pitchers.
Ned Yost is impressed with Jorge Bonifacio.
“He’s a young kid with a lot of energy. Pretty consistently a darn good at-bat for a young guy ... He’s got a good eye and is a good defensive player.”
Jon Heyman says the Royals have been quiet on the trade front.
They seem to be a likely seller from here unless they turn it around, with free-agents-to-be Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorzenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar. One rival exec said, “They are very, very quiet so far.” But that exec also suggests they may simply have a date in mind to start the selloff, if things don’t improve. Hosmer and Escobar are off to slow starts, potentially complicating things. Ian Kennedy could also be a candidate for trade, though he has a very high salary and opt-out after the year, which really complicates things. Joakim Soria should be coveted after his fast start.
Danny Duffy talks about getting scammed when he needed assistance with his dune buggy.
Will Leitch names Alcides Escobar one of the worst hitters so far this year
The Royals will always have 2015, but Escobar has never, not once, been an above-average hitter in his career. His best year, his prime, was 2012, when he was still at 96. Escobar is 30 right now. He'll have that ring forever, and he should enjoy it, because it's tough to see him still being in baseball in two years..
Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs asked opinions of some of the worst starts in baseball, including Alex Gordon.
Ryan O’Hearn is on the Baseball America prospect hot sheet.
Felix Hernandez is out 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis.
Madison Bumgarner will be out through the All-Star break.
Ken Rosenthal wants harsher punishments for throwing at hitter’s heads.
Pitch F/X is just a bit off this year.
Are teams gaming the new 10-day disabled list?
Larry Bird steps down as president of the Pacers.
Yik Yak was an app once valued at $400 million, and now it is shutting down.
The Fyre Festival organizer admits they were a bit in over their head.
Mike Myers will host a re-boot of The Gong Show, but as a character.
Your song of the day is Hank Mobley with I Should Care.