At BP Kansas City, David Lesky asserts that patience is fueling Alex Gordon’s resurgence:
So you can see that he’s not getting pitched around basically at all, and when he is, he’s leaving the bat on his shoulder. He’s even swinging and missing at the lowest rate of his career. I’ll spare you the chart or the graphic, but he’s below 20 percent on swinging strike rate for the first time in his career.
What that’s led to is the lowest soft contact rate since 2012 and the highest hard contact rate of his career. He’s not setting the world on fire as far as his hard-hit percentage, which sits at just 40 percent and ranks 143rd in baseball (out of 366), but his average exit velocity of 90.4 MPH corroborates the idea that he’s making less weak contact this season.
The Star’s Maria Torres has some bad news for us:
Royals injury updates: Nate Karns (elbow inflammation) stayed back in KC. Currently shut down.— Maria Torres (@maria_torres3) May 9, 2018
Justin Grimm (back atiffness) threw a bullpen yesterday. Could throw live BP before going on a rehab assignment.
But she offsets that Grimm news with this gem:
Outside the Royals, many seemed to lack confidence that Alex Gordon could separate himself from two years of futility.— Maria Torres (@maria_torres3) May 9, 2018
But never anyone on his team.
“There’ s nobody that I’ve ever come across in my whole life that works harder than he does.” https://t.co/fFUhqAyScg
FanGraphs’ Craig Edwards writes of Jorge Soler’s resurgence and contradicts the thought that the Wade Davis trade is lost:
Concluding that the Davis-Soler trade is already a loss for Kansas City requires some hindsight analysis. Davis was hurt in 2016, and his performance in 2017 was far from a guarantee. There is an alternate, even reasonable, scenario where Herrera pitches well in 2017, Soler provides solid production in an outfield corner, and the money saved on Davis’s salary that went to (which went to Moss and Wood) produces two more contributors to a potentially contending team. Davis didn’t get hurt, Herrera wasn’t great, Wood didn’t pitch well, and Soler and Moss combined for -1.4 WAR on the season. The plan didn’t work out, but it was at least defensible in terms of competing in 2017 with the added benefit of acquiring a future asset in Soler.
Also at FG, Jeff Sullivan breaks down Dylan Bundy’s terrible outing.
KC Kingdom’s Leigh Oleszczak thinks Cheslor Cuthbert’s proving he’s a backup.
Ichiro is the best.
More at FanGraphs:
- Jay Jaffe wonders if anyone wants to win the AL Central.
- Travis Sawchik posits that the the Pirates won the lottery with minor-league free-agent signing (and 2017 Shadow Royal) Richard Rodríguez. He also notes that the Astros aren’t the only team adding spin this year.
At Baseball Prospectus:
- Russell Dorsey warns that Billy Hamilton is running out of time in Cincinnati.
- Kevin Carter argues for retooling the hit tool for scouting.
- Bryan Grosnick and Jeffrey Paternostro break down the Matt Harvey/Devin Mesoraco deal.
Federal chemists poisoned alcohol during the Prohibition.
What comic book storylines could fuel the next phase of Marvel movies?
Looks like Trump is in dutch with the Scots over banning Irn-Bru at his Scottish luxury golf resort.
Oregon’s got too much weed on their hands.
How Netflix resurrected the high school movie.
The song of the day is “Transdermal Celebration” by Ween: