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Royals Rumblings - News for May 16, 2017

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What happened to Alex Gordon?

Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for May 16, 2017

Rustin Dodd looks at why Alex Gordon is struggling.

From 2011 to 2015, Gordon was the sixth-best hitter in the American League against fastballs, compiling 92.4 runs above average, according to data from FanGraphs. To look at the players who were better is to see a list of the best hitters from the era: Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, Jose Bautista and David Ortiz.

But then came 2016, and Gordon’s numbers against fastballs plummeted. He compiled just 1.1 runs above average against the pitch. This year, he’s been the 24th-worst hitter in the American League against fastballs, compiling -2.3 runs above average. He entered Tuesday batting .190 against four-seam fastballs and .167 against two-seamers, according to MLB Statcast data. For comparison, the league-average batting average against four-seam and two-seam fastballs was .271, according to Baseball Savant.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City sees some encouraging signs, particularly with the bullpen.

While they’re certainly no HDH, I think the foursome of Matt Strahm, Mike Minor, Joakim Soria and Kelvin Herrera is definitely enough to lock down games. When you add in Peter Moylan pitching as a ROOGY (right-handed one out guy) like he should be, and hopefully some contributions from Al Alburquerque and Seth Maness, I can see the Royals bullpen climbing back to the top of the league by the end of this season. I thought before the season that things would eventually shake out to give the Royals a very good bullpen, and it looks like Yost is finding his formula to make that happen. SMSH worked to give up just one run in 8.2 innings over the weekend and that came in Herrera’s third game in three days. The strikeouts weren’t there for those four over the weekend, but I like what they bring to the table as a unit.

Lee Judge explains why Chris Young is in the starting rotation.

A lot of armchair managers were grumpy about Chris Young being given Sunday’s start, because C.Y. has not been exactly lights out in 2017.

But of Young’s eight appearances this season, four were scoreless and he had good overall numbers against this particular group of Baltimore Orioles.

And the Royals bullpen was not exactly overflowing with better options.

(I started to list how many starts the other guys in the bullpen had — most of them have never started a big-league game — but this thing is going to be long enough without that.)

So Young got the start and it went OK for three innings.

Royals minor league outfielder Elier Hernandez is finally starting to show his talents.

The Royals still believe in Hernandez’s tools and makeup, the skill set that attracted them in the first place. A 6-foot-3, 200-pound outfielder, he possesses above-average speed and the ability to play center field — though club officials see him more suited to play in a corner spot. The questions, for most of his career, have centered on his ability to develop at the plate and access the power in his athletic frame....

“He’s an extremely hard worker, an intelligent guy,” Picollo said. “He’s a leader. He’s a guy that’s hard not to pull for because he does everything right. He just hasn’t had a ton of success with the bat.” ‘

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