Royals Rumblings - News for October 3, 2018
Craig Brown looks at Alcides Escobar’s hot second half.
Now it’s time for the Royals and Escobar to part ways. Maybe his second half production will elevate status and get him that contract that didn’t come last winter. That’s highly unlikely given what we know about the current status of the free agent market and how ugly his numbers have declined the last several seasons, but by surrendering his position at short and moving around the field, he was able to prove a versatility that a team may find attractive in a limited role. His mentorship of Mondesi should play into that equation as well. Stranger things have happened. It’s OK to hope for a happy end to a major league career.
Darin Watson at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City compares this year’s team to other 100-loss Royals clubs.
Of course, the 2018 Royals did most of their stinking early in the year. As the calendar turned to August, they were 33-73 and had been outscored 582-388 on the season. That’s 5.49 runs allowed per game and 3.66 runs scored per game, and they were a total difference of -1.79 runs per game below the league averages on July 31. Since then, they went 25-31 and scored almost as many runs as they’ve allowed (251-250). As you might imagine, they’d be right at league average over that span. Yes, for two months this Royals team has basically been a .500 team. That should be taken with a grain of salt, because it is only two months and one of them is September, with its expanded rosters and teams possibly trying out younger players for next season. But still.
Drew Osborne at Royals Farm Report looks at prospect Walker Sheller.
Sheller’s delivery is a little like that of former Royal Louis Coleman. It is not nearly as extreme as Coleman’s, but there is some crossfire there. What I mean is that Sheller steps toward the hitter more than his catcher. This makes it look like he is going to throw the ball at the batter instead of the catcher. It can be deceiving for hitters.
Sheller’s FIP and xFIP will be slightly higher because of his lack of strikeouts. The numbers suggest that he out pitched his abilities this season because of his FIP being nearly a run-and-a-half higher than the ERA. I don’t necessarily think this is the case.
Whit Merrifield is the Royals’ nominee for the Hank Aaron Award for offensive excellence.
Ned Yost was the most successful manager in baseball at challenging calls.
Four Royals - M.J. Melendez, Nick Pratto, Seuly Matias, and Yefri del Rosario - make Baseball America’s list of Top 20 prospect in the South Atlantic League.
Leigh Oleszczak at KC Kingdom looks at the most surprising Royals of 2018.
The FBI probe into MLB teams dealing in Latin America may be focusing on the Dodgers.
MLB’s post-season ad is all about breaking the unwritten rules of baseball.
Has analytics killed the art of hitting?
Eric Hosmer wants to press the reset button after a disappointing season in San Diego.
A closer look at the historically awful Orioles season.
Cuban baseball historian and expert Peter Bjarkman dies at the age of 77.
Patrick Mahomes became an elite quarterback this week.
Was HBO bad for boxing?
Amazon will pay its employees a minimum of $15 per hour.
Donna Strickland becomes the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in over 50 years.
A lot of the negative online reaction to The Last Jedi came from Russian troll-bots.
Your song of the day is George Harrison with Got My Mind Set on You.