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Royals Rumblings - News for September 12, 2018

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Royals Rumblings - News for September 12, 2018

Rustin Dodd writes about the meeting with pitching coach Cal Eldred that turned Jake Junis’ season around.

So he listened as Eldred offered a simple suggestion: If he wanted to regain his old form, he needed to focus on his four-seam fastball.

“I was a little hesitant at first,” Junis said. “But I’m glad I bought in.”

In more simple terms, Eldred wanted Junis to throw more four-seam fastballs, which would mean fewer two-seam sinkers. And yes, this probably all sounds simple enough. Eldred, however, thought it might mean better command. Maybe it could unlock Junis after he issued 12 walks across five starts in June and July.

Jeffrey Flanagan writes that Alex Gordon has been slowly improving.

Entering Tuesday’s game, Gordon was hitting .241 with a .361 slugging percentage. But since moving into the No. 2 or No. 3 spots in the lineup, Gordon’s hard-hit rate per Statcast™ was up almost three points to 42 percent.

And Gordon’s expected batting average (xBA), which accounts for hit probability based on exit velocity and launch angle, is .274. His expected slugging percentage is .531, up from .457 before August.

What that means is Gordon has been hitting the ball much harder since the move up in the order, but simply has run into some bad fortune.

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam looks at the future of this Royals rotation.

The Royals’ hope is that the best part of the next window’s rotation is only getting started in pro ball. Organizationally, they saw a hole in their portfolio of pitchers, which is why they went so heavy on it in the most recent draft.

If they can get even one of those guys to click, yes, this can be a good group going forward.

Cliff Corcoran at The Athletic recognizes the “second-half All-Stars.”

Catcher

Salvador Pérez, Royals

.255/.298/.516 (117 sOPS+) 11 HR, 6 BB, 36 K, 168 PA

The fans correctly chose Wilson Ramos to start behind the plate for the American League in this year’s Midsummer Classic, but a hamstring strain passed that honor down to players’ ballot pick Pérez, who wound up making his fifth-straight All-Star start. Pérez, who hit just .221/.259/.394 (78 sOPS+) in the first half, didn’t appear deserving of that distinction, but he has earned it since, rising back to the top of the AL’s thin catching field with a power surge in the second half.

Royals 2019 FanFest will take place January 25-26.

Some Royals Hall of Famers travel to the Middle East to visit with our troops.

Drew Osborne at Royals Farm Report makes the case for Xavier Fernandez to be added to the 40-man roster this winter.

Morgan Vogels at Kings of Kauffman thinks the Mike Moustakas trade has worked out well.

Joe Sheehan tries to come up with a solution to gaming service time.

The value of old players has been dropping dramatically.

How the Angels can build a winner around Mike Trout.

Can we use contact data to sort out the American League Cy Young Award race?

This may be the first year no pitcher in baseball has more than one shutout.

Does baseball need automated umpires to get younger fans watching again?

Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson talks about the limited ballot and the character clause.

Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald calls Run-Play Options “communist”, but there are a lot of things in football more communist than that.

A motoGP rider gets fired and quits the sport after grabbing a competitor’s brake mid-race.

Amazon is stuffing its search results page with ads.

There is a big dispute about a tiny name change for Macedonia.

Some pen dispensers in Long Island actually dispensed crack pipes.

Your song of the day is Beck with Colors.