FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen drops some quick knowledge about newest Royal Elvis Luciano:
Luciano is a live-armed 18-year-old Dominican righty who spent most of 2017 in the DSL, then came to the U.S. in August for a month of Rookie-level ball, then instructional league. I saw him during instructs when he was 90-94 with an average curveball, below-average changeup, and below command, especially later in his outing as he tired. He was an honorable-mention prospect on the D-backs list.
The Athletic’s (subscribe already) Rustin Dodd checks in with the team in the wake of the trade:
“They’re professionals,” Yost said in the moments after the loss. “They know that these things happen, and there will be more guys probably traded before now and then. But they just go out and compete. That’s what this group does.”
The instinct to compete has not translated into a successful formula. On Wednesday, the offense managed just one run in five innings against Angels starter Shohei Ohtani, who exited with a blister on his right middle finger.
Dodd also wonders who’s next?
BP KC’s David Lesky tries to see the bigger picture for the Royals’ draft this week:
I don’t profess to be a draft expert like Clint Scoles, who does an amazing job covering that for us, but I do have some takeaways from the first two days of the draft and what it might mean for this organization. I believe it’s pretty clear the mindset in the organization was to get pitching, pitching, more pitching and then even more pitching. And I understand why the team might have some interest in that tactic. As it stands right now, the best starting pitching prospect in the system is probably Carlos Hernandez, a pitcher very few have even heard of. He has 86.1 career minor league innings and is at least two or three years away and that’s if everything works perfectly.
After him, Daniel Tillo is likely the best bet to be a quality starter among Royals prospects and while I like Tillo, that’s a good sign it’s a very thin system when it comes to pitching. So the Royals drafted nine pitchers, and nine college pitchers at that. No, not all of them will end up in the starting rotation, but I would guess the vast majority will at least begin their big league career starting games. I expected them to go for plenty of pitching, but to lean toward upside plays. High school arms like Ethan Hankins, Mason Denaburg or Shane McClanahan were names I thought were decent bets to be called by the Royals. They most definitely were not.
BP KC’s Clint Scoles also looks at the Royals’ return for Jon Jay.
At Royals Farm Report, Alex Duvall takes a gander at Elvis, too.
The Star’s Pete Grathoff breaks down the Angels’ steal of home two nights ago.
Fivethirtyeight’s Neil Paine posits that the 2018 Brewers are using the 2015 Royals’ model for success:
One of 2018’s top teams is taking a page out of K.C.’s championship playbook anyway. It isn’t just that the Milwaukee Brewers share the same center fielder with those Royals — although another All-Star caliber seasonfrom Lorenzo Cain hasn’t exactly hurt the comparison. The Brewers are also leading the NL Central with a strikingly similar combination of fielding, relief pitching and clever base running, even as the advanced metrics remain skeptical. (Sound familiar, Royals fans?) All that’s left is for postseason history to repeat — assuming Kansas City’s winning formula still works in a game that looks very different than it did just a few seasons ago.
MLB.com’s Jordan Wolf asserts that the Royals just added a bunch of polished pitchers to their farm system with this draft class. He also notes that JJ Picollo’s son was drafted by the Mets.
- Craig Edwards tells us not to blame hitters for all the strikeouts.
- Sheryl Ring asks whether PEDs are actually illegal.
- Travis Sawchik profiles post-label star Josh Hader.
- David Laurila asks Braves’ helmer Brian Snitker to compare managing in the bigs to the minors.
At BP, Russell Carleton dives deeper into the shift, positing that it works in theory, at least.
Canadian pot dealers argue that legalization won’t kill the marijuana black market.
The alarm on these scooters is causing some problems.
Terry Gilliam really hates superhero flicks.
Dan Harmon talks about the biggest moments on Rick and Morty.
Take a gorilla poop treasure hunt in Central Africa
The song of the day is “Good Hearted Woman” by Waylon Jennings: