Weekend Rumblings - News for August 12, 2017
Rustin Dodd writes the Royals are swinging at a record pace.
By now, of course, you have heard of “frenzy hitting” and “keep the line moving” and all manner of ways to describe what it is the Royals do once inside the batter’s box. But here in the early weeks of August, as a club find itself in another postseason chase, is another phrase to add to the list.
Moustakas calls it “Battle Mode,” and it offers a fine summation for what happens when he finds himself with two strikes. The definition crystallized during a recent conversation with teammate Eric Hosmer.
“Hos said it best,” Moustakas says. “It becomes a ping-pong match with two strikes.”
Clark Fosler at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City isn’t sure how the Royals dig out of their mess.
Having watched the last couple of weeks (as much as my constitution will tolerate anyway), I find myself wondering what the way out of this mess might be and struggle to find an answer. One can pray for a quick recovery by Salvador Perez and look for Danny Duffy to have a dominant ‘get-on-my-back’ outing. Alex Gordon had a hit and a walk last night, you want to dream that is the start of a his return to his old (i.e. young) self? Hey, go ahead, more power to you.
Grant Brisbee writes that the Royals probably wish they could sell now.
If I have control of the DeLorean and I’m redoing their trade deadline, I’m selling. There would be no way to sell it back then. It would have been worse than the White Flag trade of the 1997 White Sox — a punch in the throat of fans who deserve better. That’s why I’m taking all of you with me. To explain.
The Royals have been outscored on the season, and their expected record is more like 54-60. The players they traded for — Brandon Maurer, Trevor Cahill, and Ryan Buchter — have all been terrible. The most important part of this endeavor, though, is that the Royals are going to be decimated by free agency. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and Jason Vargas are either going to be so expensive that they’ll prevent the Royals from signing some of the other guys, or they’re going away.
Stephen Goldman of FanRag writes that signing players over the age of 30 has hurt the Royals, as it did when the Yankees signed Alex Rodriguez.
AXIOM OF ALEXES: When a player over 30 years old tells you he will tear up his contract and become a free agent unless you grant him an extension, which takes him into or past his mid-30s, you say, “No!” very loudly, thank him for past services, and wish him the best of luck with his new team. Even if you’re wrong in the short term, you will be right in the long term. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Gordon’s post-extension decline has been far more rapid than Rodriguez’s was. Last season, he hit .220/.312/.380. This season, he’s hit the bench. Only two seasons and $44 million to go, but the results are much more dire than that, because Gordon is personally a good chunk of the team’s payroll. There are opportunity costs to having him, namely that some expensive players who might otherwise have been Royals next year will be playing elsewhere. That includes Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. It also includes Lorenzo Cain, 32 next April, about whom see the above.
Brayan Pena is embracing his adviser role in Omaha.
How could a rebuild go for the Detroit Tigers?
The funniest ways the Dodgers could blow it this year.
Josh Reddick is bummed the Astros didn’t do much at the trade deadline.
FiveThirtyEight writes that hot pitchers are hot.
Ken Rosenthal talks about the state of baseball media on the Fangraphs podcast.
Jeff Passan debates who has the best farm system - Braves or White Sox?
Derek Jeter buys the Miami Marlins.
Tim Tebow greets an autistic boy, then smacks a home run for him.
Is Ronald Acuna the best prospect in baseball?
Rio looks apocalyptic one year after the Olympics.
Scientists may have discovered four Earth-sized planets a nearby sun-like star.
Is Snapchat doomed?
Your song of the day is Stanley Turrentine with Sugar.