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Royals Rumblings - News for May 22, 2019

Is Cal Eldred on the hot seat?

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Minnesotoa Twins v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for May 22, 2019

The Royals will play a day-night doubleheader today to make up for yesterday’s rained out game.

Kevin McCarthy was called up to replace Heath Fillmyer.

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam addresses the criticism for pitching coach Cal Eldred.

Well, now that Chris Owings is playing less, Cal Eldred is the Next Man Up as the fan punching bag.

The problems throwing strikes, and particularly from guys who have thrown strikes in the past, is concerning. Brad Keller is very much an Eldred guy, an important part of the future, and among the league leaders in walks. Something has to change there.

Jakob Junis and Jorge Lopez are probably swing guys on a good team, but their struggles are also a bad look.

Look, this pitching staff was always going to be difficult. It’s an awkward mix of younger guys trying to establish themselves and older guys trying to re-establish themselves.

I’m also a firm believer that when things go wrong coaches and managers take far more of the blame than they should.

But Danny Duffy credits Eldred with some tweaks to his mechanics.

Now, he’s working from the stretch and has gone to a slide step and eliminated the leg kick that had previously been part of his motion.

“I think less motion is better,” Duffy said. “I think more down the hill is really what’s been pertinent for me to get the ball where I need it to go. Slide-stepping almost exclusively has really been good for me. That was Cal’s idea in spring training.”

Sam also addresses whether the team can be competitive by 2021, as does Jeffrey Flanagan in his mailbox column:

still think 2021 is doable in terms of being competitive. By then, pitchers such as Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, Jonathan Bowlan, etc., could be ready, and maybe even position players Seuly Matias, Nick Pratto, Kyle Isbel and M.J. Melendez and others will be knocking on the door. And one can see the present pieces in place -- Adalberto Mondesi, Lopez, Hunter Dozier, Whit Merrifield, Ryan O’Hearn, Lovelady, Kelvin Gutierrez, Scott Barlow, et al. We still don’t know about Khalil Lee or Brett Phillips (Jorge Bonifacio appears to be on a comeback), so it’s not unthinkable to view 2021 as a reasonable timeline.

Alec Lewis at The Athletic looks at how the speedy Royals are a throwback.

Not only do the Kansas City Royals lead the league in steals per game (1.00) and attempted steals per game (1.43), but they also boast a Speed Score of 6.1, according to Fangraphs. Speed Score is a Bill James-invented statistic that rates a player on his speed and baserunning and takes into account stolen-base percentage, frequency of steal attempts, percentage of triples and runs-scored percentage.

The last time a team posted a plus-six Speed Score: Whitey’s Cardinals in 1987 (6.2).

Rustin Dodd writes about how the Royals found Scott Barlow.

The Royals had actually been interested in Barlow for months. Assistant general manager Scott Sharp watched him duel against Royals prospect Foster Griffin in a Double-A game in Tulsa. Cody Clark, one of the club’s pro scouts, turned in a positive report. Vance Wilson, the manager that season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, offered his own endorsement.

“He was a guy that was on our lists,” Sharp said.

The Royals will feature a bobblehead of Danny Duffy and his dog.

Are plate discipline breakouts like Hunter Dozier’s for real?

Zack Greinke becomes the 37th pitcher to reach the 2,500 strikeout mark.

Baseball America lists which draft prospects have the best tools.

2018 first-round pick Carter Stewart will avoid the draft and head to Japan.

The Mets are terrible, even by Mets standards.

Adam Eaton and Todd Frazier are having the dumbest beef ever.

The Orioles have already given up 100 home runs.

Baseball Savant now has a pitch movement leaderboard.

Can minor league players get paid more without a union?

Patrick Mahomes thinks he can throw a football 100 yards in Mexico City.

NBA draft luck goes beyond the lottery, just look at the Milwaukee Bucks.

Why are celebrities so susceptible to grifters?

Taco Bell is opening a hotel.

An oral history of Game of Thrones, told by bit players.

Your song of the day is Stevie Nicks with Edge of Seventeen. (h/t cmkeller)