Mike Moustakas hung a really high dong, reports Jeffrey Flanagan:
Then, Moustakas hit a moon shot in the second inning toward the right-field corner. When the ball finally came back down, it just sneaked inside the foul pole and into the seats, a two-run homer, his 12th. That gave the Royals a 5-0 lead en route to a seven-run second frame.
The home run traveled only a projected 339 feet, according Statcast™. It had a 46-degree launch angle, the highest of any home run hit in MLB this season.
At the Athletic (subscribe or perish—seriously, it’s 40% off this week), Rustin Dodd wondered whether the Royals had anything to worry about with Brad Keller moving to the rotation (at least temporarily):
Keller entered Wednesday having allowed opposing hitters to make contact on 73.7 percent of pitches outside the strike zone and 82.3 percent of pitches overall. Put another way: He’s inducing swings and misses on fewer than 27 percent of pitches outside the strike zone. All of these numbers would put Keller in the bottom 10 to 15 among starters in baseball.
But the young right-hander does have two things going for him: The cutter and the sinker. With the ability to manipulate a baseball to both sides of the plate, he has proven exceptionally hard to square up. In 21 appearances, he has allowed “hard” contact just 26.1 percent of the time, according to FanGraphs data. The number puts him 27th among relievers in baseball.
BP Kansas City’s David Lesky gives us a progress report on the Royals this year.
Flanagan also reports that Jorge Bonifacio is about to start his rehab assignment while serving his 80-game suspension.
Bonifacio, who had been the Royals’ starting right fielder entering Spring Training, will be reinstated from the suspended list after the club’s game against the Brewers at Miller Park on June 27. On June 28, an off-day, he will be activated and a corresponding move will be made.
That corresponding move should be interesting. The Royals could have a logjam of outfielders then with Bonifacio along with Jorge Soler, Jon Jay and Alex Gordon. And Cheslor Cuthbert, presently on the disabled list, likely will be activated by then and would probably fill the DH spot again, especially if first baseman Lucas Duda, also on the DL, is activated by then as well.
Royals officials also say that Bonifacio probably will alternate time between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha during his rehab, depending on the logistics of each team’s travel schedule.
Another Flanny piece: the Royals almost signed Deion Sanders after drafting him in the sixth round of the 1985 draft.
Royals Farm Report’s Marcus Meade profiles potential draftee Triston Casas in advance of next week’s draft.
All-Star voting has started. You all know what to do.
KC Kingdom’s Joel Wagler posits that the Royals may have their next star in the form of Seuly Matias. Also at KC Kingdom, Leigh Oleszczak runs down the best Royals pitchers of all time in terms of WAR (warning: slide show).
At BP (subscription required, but again, why have you not subscribed?), the brilliant Russell Carleton tries to suss out why walks are up when teams shift.
- This month’s residency writer Jake Mailhot looks for the next Edwin Díaz (converted starting pitcher turned relief ace).
- Travis Sawchik looks at how the Astros have quietly employed a catching platoon.
- Jeff Sullivan marvels at the continuing evolution of Justin Verlander in Houston.
- And Alexis Brudnicki pens a feature on talented former minor-leaguer Blake McFarland and how he plies his talent outside of the game.
Drew Goddard talks about the X-Force movie he’ll be directing (spoilers for Deadpool 2 therein).
Watch Kendrick Lamar accept his Pulitzer.
Why are genetics researchers looking for the Loch Ness Monster?
Are avocados toast? California farmers bet on fickle trees that take 25 years to bear fruit.
Which of Paste’s top 30 dystopian novels are we nearing becoming true?
The song of the day is “Click Clack” by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band: