Royals Rumblings - News for September 10, 2018
Jorge Lopez didn’t even feel like he had his best stuff on Saturday as he flirted with a perfect game.
“I didn’t have my best stuff, but they were there in back of me and it was awesome to watch them,” Lopez told Fox Sports Kansas City’s Joel Goldberg about the defense after the game.
Goldberg was incredulous and responded: “That was not your best stuff?”
“Well,” Lopez said, “I didn’t feel my best stuff, you know. But as a pitcher, you know, you just keep attacking to the hitters and try to do the most you can do.”
Rustin Dodd at The Athletic writes about Jorge Lopez’s amazing night and what motivates him.
Inside the dugout, López sat by himself. Only catcher Salvador Perez would approach. For eight innings, they had focused on a simple plan. Pound the zone down.
“I just tried to be down,” López said. “Be down. Attack the hitters.”
Dodd also explains those quarterback-style wrist bands Salvador Perez wears.
“He loves it,” catching coach Pedro Grifol says. “He embraces it.”
Indeed, Pérez offers a strong review for the wristband. He glances at it when he needs to, he says. It is helpful to combat young hitters and pinch hitters.
Designed in Microsoft Excel by first-base coach Mitch Maier and championed by Grifol, the cards are the brainchild of a coaching staff that is nimble, younger and increasingly progressive. At its most basic level, Wilson says, the card represents a code for “staying away from slugging percentage.”
Jon Heyman reports the Royals want to bring back Ned Yost for at least one more year.
— The Royals plan to offer manager Ned Yost a one-year extension, and they obviously hope he takes it. Yost suggested earlier this year he wanted to keep going, but of course, it’s been a long year (with another rebuilding year or two to go), so there will be a discussion and no guarantee he accepts …
David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City is a bit disappointed with Jorge Bonifacio since his return.
The Statcast data for him isn’t good. His average exit velocity is way down. His hard hit rate is way down. His barrel rate is way down. His launch angle is way up, but not in a good way. Some underlying numbers, though, are quite good. His walk rate is up by about one percent. His strikeout rate is down by about two percent. He’s swinging at fewer pitches outside the strike zone and making contact on more pitches inside the strike zone. One of the biggest differences in his batted ball profile is that he’s pulling way more pitches and not using the middle of the field as much. And he’s hitting considerably worse on balls he pulled.
Merrit Rohfling at Beyond the Boxscore writes about Ryan O’Hearn’s hot start.
Players go on streaks, and get lucky with some cheap dingers sometimes, but that’s another thing about O’Hearn. He’s averaging 395 feet on those nine home runs, a hint behind Edwin Encarnacion (admittedly an aged Encarnacion) and the quite bicep-ed Eric Thames. Not quite Judge territory, but he gets his fair share of big bombs. This is from a 24-year old, with room to grow, and he’s not nearly as pull-happy as most sluggers, which makes you wonder what he could do if he did swing for the downs.
The Low-A Lexington Legends reach the South Atlantic League championship series.
Joel Penfield at Royals Farm Report looks at how the prospects acquired by the Royals in mid-season trades fared this year.
The union criticizes the Blue Jays for not calling up Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.
Teams are complaining the Indians circumvented rules when acquiring injured third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Why almost every MLB game begins with a fastball.
Despite a shortened season, Jeff Sullivan argues Shohei Ohtani was a success.
The next generation of baseball analytics nerds are ready to take over baseball.
The unconventional roles of Ryan Yarborough have broken fWAR.
Could a pitching staff that only throws 88 mph succeed in today’s game?
Baseball players believe in haunted houses.
All your NFL Week One highlights and weird stuff.
The WTA backs Serena Williams’ allegations of sexism in how she was treated by an umpire at the U.S. Open.
Are cities making animals smarter?
Why are hip hotels giving us bathrooms with no privacy?
There has been a rise of murder-comedies.
Your song of the day is The Avalanches with Because I’m Me.