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Royals Rumblings - News for May 3, 2019

Chock full of Royals news today, for once

Tampa Bay Rays v Kansas City Royals - Game Two Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Shawn Sean Shawon Sheaghn Chone Shaun’s dive into Hunter Dozier’s good start attracted the attention of Craig Edwards at Fangraphs with the optimistic title “The Best Hitter You’ve Never Heard Of”:

With seven homers, nearly as many walks as strikeouts, and a .364 BABIP, Dozier is riding a .337/.441/.663 slash line good for an American League-leading 189 wRC+. His 1.7 WAR is fifth in all of baseball behind only Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich, Paul DeJong, and Mike Trout. This isn’t going to last. It can’t possibly last, but it is worth exploring how Dozier got here and the level he might settle in to once the magic wears off. Over at Royals Review on Tuesday, Shaun Newkirk discussed Dozier’s start and listed some reasons why he’s bound to slow down:

The KCStar’s Sam Mellinger also looks at Hunter Dozier’s hitting transformation:

This is a classic baseball explanation. It’s all in here. First, he’s mentioning something that quite literally every person who’s ever played baseball above coach pitch has tried to do. Second, he says it like it’s really that simple — just stop swinging at bad pitches, dummy. But third and most importantly: he’s telling the truth, and shamelessly understating it.

Sam McDowell asks Ned Yost about lineup management:

“Gutierrez, Dozier and (Adalberto Mondesi) are the three hottest hitters we got, so I’m not taking him out of the lineup,” Yost said. “Do I want to sit O’Hearn? Nah, not really. But I’m not taking (them) out of the lineup.”

In the meantime, the fluctuation will primarily come at designated hitter. In lieu of a day off, Whit Merrifield is serving as the designated hitter on Thursday. Dozier did the same for the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Baseball America’s Josh Norris has a story about the reload entitled “Royals Hope To Speed Up Rebuilding Blueprint”:

The Royals have a somewhat unorthodox way of assembling their draft board. Instead of blending every player into one list, they separate the prospects into four categories: College pitchers, college hitters, high school pitchers and high school hitters. As scouting director Lonnie Goldberg and his team ranked them, the depth of talent seemed to skew toward college pitchers. The Royals held five of the first 60 picks, and as the chips fell around them, they picked off five college pitchers in a row.

Royals Farm Report names their minor league players of the month. Normally, this is where I’d link to a paragraph or two but, instead you need to go to the site unless you can figure out who Angelic Cabler and Busi Brick are.

I did not realize that Clint Scoles was blogging about the Royals still. Huzzah! Over at Royals Academy, he catches up with Assistant GM J.J. Picollo.

Q: How are older coaches at using the technology is there any pushback?

A: If coaches and people in the game don’t want to embrace this then they need to retire. Our coaches have all came on board and embraced it. Having different voices involved allows the data and video to get different interpretations and sometimes when expressed from one coach it doesn’t click where another may be able to get it to come through.

Yahoo’s Scott Pianowski leads off his fantasy column with a “buy” on Ian Kennedy.

We can already say with confidence: The 2019 Kansas City Royals aren’t going anywhere. The offense is actually middle of the pack (17th in runs), sparked by four interesting hitters. The pitching staff (27th in ERA) has been a mess. There are a handful of Royals worth rostering, and they’re long gone in any self-respecting league. Maybe it’s time to add Ian Kennedy to that worthiness list.

In a Fangraphs story entitled “Shortstops Are Hitting Like Never Before”, Ben Clemens mentioned Adalberto Mondesi and his theoretical evil doppleganger Tim Anderson.

Over at Fansided:

The turn of the month brings listicles:

ESPN’s David Schoenfield gives “First-month grades for all 30 teams”:

Kansas City Royals: D

Best storyline: What’s weird is the Royals actually have several good storylines despite the awful start. Adalberto Mondesi is one of the most exciting players in the league, Hunter Dozier leads the AL in OPS, Terrance Gore is hitting .438! But Alex Gordon’s turn-back-the-clock start is a nice reminder that he was one of the best all-around players in the league from 2011 to 2014, when he averaged 6.1 WAR per season.2019 MLB Draft Coverage

Mulligan: I’m not exactly sure why Chris Owings continues to get so much playing time. Arizona kept him around as a semi-regular for years because of his versatility, but he has never hit much, especially on the road (.608 career OPS). Owings has already sucked up over 100 PAs with poor results.’s Scott Merkin lists “5 AL Central Players to Watch this Month”:

Royals: Brad Boxberger

It has been no secret that the Royals’ bullpen has been the main culprit for the team’s slow start. And while there have been some signs of consistency lately, Kansas City needs Boxberger to lead a turnaround.

The Royals signed the right-hander to a one-year, $2.2 million deal this offseason expecting him to at least be a serviceable setup man. Boxberger, though, has two blown saves, three losses and an 7.30 ERA in 12 games. Wily Peralta, Ian Kennedy and Jake Diekman have been fairly reliable lately, and now it’s Boxberger’s turn to contribute and look more like the guy he was last year, when he had 32 saves for Arizona.

R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports has a Royal on his “MLB Prospect Watch”:

Royals: Checking back in on speedster Nick Heath: He has 13 steals versus 16 hits on the season.

With April attendance figures in, MLB’s flagging numbers are a popular topic.

Yesterday, Max linked to Jeff Passan’s story at ESPN.

This story in Golf Digest (yeah, like they have room to talk when they can’t pull ratings unless Tiger Woods has a late career renaissance) points to that article and adds some of its own commentary. I was with the introduction:

Kansas City fancies itself a baseball town. The Royals did win the World Series in 2015, made the Fall Classic the year before. It does boast one of the sport’s best museums, played a small part in that sweet highlight of George Brett going bananas for getting caught cheating, and perhaps best of all, it’s not St. Louis.

But then he takes some cheap pot shots and everyone kindly forgets to mention that there was a threat of weather and the game was rescheduled. That just might have had a hand in taking attendance from not-very-good to national laughingstock.

Chris Cwik, at Passan’s former employer, Yahoo, penned his own article on the downturn.

Whereas (the aforementioned) Craig Edwards at Fangraphs had a more measured headline: “April Attendance Was a Mixed Bag for Baseball

Attendance is still well above where it was in the 1980s, and it grew by 20% in the 15 years following the strike as a new stadium was built basically every year. But those gains have stopped, and are showing some signs of decline that very well could continue this season. Whatever teams are doing, whether it is the slow winters or the lack of expected competitiveness or the price of tickets, it isn’t attracting more fans at the ballpark. The teams that are doing well this season compared to last had active winters or just won a bunch of games. The sport needs to do whatever it can to cultivate new fans and to get them out to the ballpark because without them, the television money that has made baseball less dependent on attendance will eventually dry up as well. Generating excitement about a team, through wins and activity in the offseason, is the best way to get more people to buy tickets.

This story from Rich Hill at the Players Tribune is a bit rough. He opens up about losing a newborn son a few years ago.

And I guess that’s a big part of what I’m trying to get at here. Just like there’s no guidebook for how to deal with hearing that your newborn child has a medical condition that will likely take his life, there’s also not one for when it’s O.K. to try to find some normalcy again in the aftermath of it all.

If you need a silly pick me up after that one, the Braves mascot Dinger tricked Manny Machado into signing a $300 million check over to him.

We’re already pushing 1500 words so we’re just going to revisit an old classic: Advance Wars. We’ve done two of the main characters, so we’ll finish off the trio today. It’s everyone’s favorite bruiser, Max.