John Sickels profiles Cam Gallagher at Minor League Ball:
Listed at 6-2, 230, the right-handed hitting Gallagher looks like he should be a power hitter physically but hasn’t consitently sustained it for more than a few weeks at a time. A pull hitter, he can hammer something out to left field occasionally but goes through phases where his swing gets long. Most of his power comes against left-handed pitching.
Gallagher has been respected for his defense since high school and that’s continued to improve. He’s quite mobile for his size, very reliable, gives up few passed balls (only three so far this year) and controls the running game efficiently (37% caught at Omaha, 35% for his career).
The glove got Gallagher to the majors and he could have a long career as a defense-oriented backup and platoon player. If he ever learns to tap his physical strength into game power especially against right-handed pitching, perhaps he can be something more.
Joe Posnanski revisits Allard Baird’s dilemma:
It’s hard, even now, to say whether Allard Baird made the right or wrong choice in 2005. WAR doesn’t really offer much guidance — Zimmerman’s 35.6 WAR is slightly better than Gordon’s 33.0 WAR … but by WAR Gordon has three outstanding seasons (6-plus WAR) to Zim’s two.
While Baird loved Zimmerman for his defense and Gordon for his power, it is Zim with the power edge (50 points of slugging percentage) and Gordon who has endured as a terrific defensive player. Even this year, with all the offensive problems, Gordon’s defense has been sublime.
In the end, you would probably have to say it all worked out for the best. Neither Gordon nor Zimmerman has been a generational player, neither will get to the Hall of Fame, but they are both beloved in the cities where they play. Gordon survived years of dreadfulness to become part of a World Series champion. Zimmerman also survived years of dreadfulness and has been part of Washington’s strange rise to excellence — you would hope he could be part of a playoff series victory at some point.
BP KC’s Darin Watson explores what might have happened had the Royals switched to the National League:
OK, let’s stipulate that not much changed and the Royals still had very good teams in 2014 and 2015. In 2014, the Royals’ 89-73 record would have done just what it did in reality: entitle them to host the wild-card game against an 88-74 team from the Bay Area. Unfortunately, in this case, that team would have been the Giants. And do you know who started the wild-card game for San Francisco that year? Yep, Royal-killer Madison Bumgarner. In reality, he struck out 10 Pirates and pitched a complete-game shutout. Frankly, I expect nothing else in this alternate reality.
Oh, but it gets worse. The real 2015 Royals earned home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs by going a league-best 95-67. That wouldn’t have even won the NL Central, as the Cardinals went 100-62. In fact, that wouldn’t have even qualified them for a wild-card, as the Pirates won 98 games and the Cubs won 97. Now, if the Royals had been in that division, those teams almost certainly would have won fewer games, but the Royals probably would have too. The best-case scenario there is a four-team dogfight for three playoff spots. First place is a division title. Second place and third place is a coin-flip game to advance in the playoffs. Fourth place is you’re fired.
Alaina Getzenberg previews the final game of the I-70 series.
Rustin Dodd reports that the Royals expect Salvador Pérez to miss two to three weeks.
KoK’s Alex Duvall lobbies for Jorge Soler.
Rick Porcello threw an immaculate inning.
Minor League Ball’s Michael Cook asks whether or not Byron Buxton is a bust, ultimately preaching patience.
Travis Sawchik looks at how technology helped Josh Donaldson adopt his career-saving, air-ball approach.
Dave Cameron asserts that the A’s might have a star in Matt Chapman (photo shout-out to Minda Haas Kuhlman in the article).
Bless You Boys’ scribe Ashley MacLennan takes a gander at players who take the reins of marketing themselves for her first residency piece at FanGraphs.
BP’s Mark Berry posits that Danny Salazar might be a pitcher not a thrower now.
Steven Soderbergh’s return to the cinema comes with his control over the marketing of Logan Lucky.
In progressive haven Portland, inmates clean out homeless camps that were once their homes in a bitter twist of fate, earning a whopping dollar a day in the process.
Get your official Broad City, ahem, toys.
Want a dummy’s guide to North Korea?
Using Portugal. The Man as the platform from which to dive in, Steven Hyden asks what it means to sellout in 2017.
The song of the day is “Carin at the Liquor Store” by The National.