Royals Rumblings - News for March 16, 2018
Rustin Dodd at The Athletic talks to Jason Hammel about FIP, grips, and salary caps.
If you look at some of the advanced metrics, like FIP, you might have pitched a little better than your results. Did you sense that at all?
Hammel: Honestly, I left a lot of starts last year scratching my head. Because I felt like I had thrown better, and you go back and you look at the box score — well, that’s why sometimes the box score doesn’t really tell the tale. But there were so many times where I left where I was like, ‘Man, literally, it was one pitch or two pitches that really cost us.’ And it cost myself. But that’s the big leagues. They make sure that your mistakes are known. So the idea is to learn from that. It was a confusing season. Average. Good and bad.
Bubba Starling, battling an oblique injury, said he will be shut down from baseball activities for close to a month. Almost surely will stay here in extended Spring Training after camp breaks.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) March 15, 2018
After reading that Tweet, Kyle Zimmer is out for 3 weeks with eyestrain.
At his real job, Alex Duvall interviewed Chase Vallot for Royals Farm Report:
CV: “That’s something a lot of coaches tell me is that I have a good eye for the plate. I know the strike zone because I’m behind the plate for 9 innings. I know where the umpire likes it, but it does get me sometimes because I have a different umpire every night.
I checked the past couple of Rumblings and didn’t see this story yet from Fangraphs. It catches up with old friends Kris Medlen and Matt Strahm.
Thanks to the keen eye of Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley, he knows what the problem has been. “Balsley showed me video and pointed out that I slowed down when I threw it,” admitted Strahm. “It was visible to the naked eye in real speed. I basically need to be more aggressive and repeat the arm action of my fastball with my slider.”
For the last couple of weeks, BPKC’s Darin Watson has been counting down his 50 Greatest Moments in Royals History. Today we get #15-11 with a heapin’ helpin’ of playoff moments.
KOK’s Justin Jones weighs in on the new pace-of-play changes in the minors. Personally, I’m all for them except for the stupid extra inning one.
I may have just linked to this Royals Blue story because of Luke Goosen’s title: The Royals Suck at Sucking.
Continuing FanPost month at Best of Royals Review, we present The 25 Man Roster as Kitchen Tools by trusttheprocess.
Sure the “Royals as X” thing has been done before. Oldest I can find is Will’s If the Royals Were Nations: Position Players. And one of the more popular recent ones was Farmhand’s 2014 vegetarian guide to the Royals lineup. But this is Fanpost month so we’re going with this entry from 2010. Most of the entries were really strong and, looking at the comments, it was one of this highest rec’d Fanposts back when you could do that sort of thing.
Gil Meche. Broken Microwave – the once mighty stalwart of the kitchen that’s really seen better days, just hasn’t been the same since it was used for 132 straight minutes to cook a complete dinner.
I have to say: I don’t have a lot of non-Royals news today as there’s this basketball-thingie going on that has taken a lot of my time this week. Unfortunately, linking to a bunch of stuff to help you with your bracket is going to be pretty useless today. So let’s go with good baseball stuff instead. It’s hard to believe we’re less than 2 weeks until Opening Day.
I’ve linked to stories from Fangraph’s Sheryl Ring before (here) as she does a great job covering the legal aspect of the game. I totally missed this one about Lenny Dykstra blackmailing umps a couple of months ago but Max had it in one of his Rumblings. Today’s involves the question “Why isn’t intentionally beaning someone assault?”
So the current state of the law is that getting hit with a golf ball unintentionally (albeit recklessly) can give rise to liability, but being hit intentionally by a baseball can’t.
The Marlins Man-Derek Jeter tiff continues.
For those who forgot (the details or to care), Mr. Man has beef with Derek Jeter stemming from the latter’s refusal to honor a list of demands that includes a ceremonial first pitch and Marlins Man-themed promotion for all Monday home games -- reasonable, everyday stuff like that. Additionally, Jeter refuses to ride in the Marlinsmobile
Staying with the Marlins, CBS’s Mike Axisa looks at how they could have constructed the team this offseason if Jeter and co. hadn’t hadn’t been so determined to
give Mike Stanton away to the Yankees tear it apart.
Last night, I finished off Zero Time Dilemma, the final game in the Zero Escape trilogy and it’s been a long time coming.
The first game in the trilogy, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (999) was released back in 2009 on the DS. Back in the DS-era, storybook style games (I think the technical term is “visual novel”) surged in popularity with series like Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton becoming best sellers. For those unfamiliar, think of them like “choose your own adventure” books where players watch dialog-heavy story cutscenes and then have to solve a puzzle or make a choice before seeing the next plot point. The game has a bit of a different tone than its successors, more survival horror than science fiction. But a number of characters and concepts are introduced that are used in the more tightly coupled sequels.
The second game in the series, Virtue’s Last Reward (VLR), was released on the 3DS(/Vita) in 2012. But, with lackluster sales numbers, it appeared the final cliffhanger would never be resolved. However, in 2015, after a fan campaign, a teaser appeared on web and Zero Time Dilemma (ZTD) was released in 2016. It even sold well enough to be ported to the PS4.
If you’re looking for a reflex tester, this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a complicated, engrossing story that effectively features concepts like Schrödinger’s cat and the Monty Hall problem, give it a look. I don’t want to give away much plot-wise but the series uses a number of well-worn horror and scifi tropes but weaves them together in a creative way.
The games are not without their weaknesses. The continuity and characterization from one game to the next is not entirely consistent. Maybe I just feel that way because it was so long between releases and it’s a complex plot with a lot of nuance. It’s also a little too fanserivce-y at point, as each game’s ensemble cast features one busty female character wearing very little clothing.
The music is a bit like Metroid Prime from a couple of weeks ago - mostly spooky mood music. However, it’s more industrial than “organic”. That said, I went with something a little different here. In each game of the series, you have to go through a number of bad endings to work your way towards a good ending. This sorrowful tone is used in a couple of the more memorable bad endings.
Maybe now, Hokius can get off my back as I’ll probably get to Birth By Sleep next. However, there’s one other game I need to finish first.