Scott Barlow has been a revelation, retiring the first batter he’s faced 8 out of 11 times, including on Sunday when he entered the game with the bases loaded in relief of starter Brad Keller. Had Yost made the wrong call in that situation, we wouldn’t even be in the position to lament Kennedy’s bad luck in the tenth. Barlow whiffed three, including the two batters he faced with the bases loaded and now sports a 12.3 SO/9. That works.
The club entered Monday with 19 triples in 35 games — or 0.54 per game. Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi leads all of baseball with six triples and Whit Merrifield is right behind him with five. Together, Mondesi and Merrifield have more triples (11) than all but two teams in baseball, the Rays and the Rockies. Separately, each player has out-tripled more than half the teams in the league.
5.) Josh Dye
Looking for the next Richard Lovelady in the Royals system? Josh Dye may be your answer. The funky left-handed reliever currently owns a 0.92 FIP (2.30 ERA) in 15.2 IP at Lexington, with 15.51 K/9 and just 1.72 BB/9. Dye dominated the Carolina League for 5 innings in a pinch at the end of 2018, and appears to be close to the Carolina League once again. The Royals front office will want the Wilmington Blue Rocks to continue winning in 2019, as they like their cores to make playoff runs, and Dye could go a long way in helping ensure that Wilmington makes the playoffs this year.
Zach Haake’s 1.73 ERA. A gleaming example of the uselessness of pitcher Wins and Losses, the 22-year old righty has opposing hitters flailing without much success so far this season. In a recent interview with Royals’ beat writer Rustin Dodd, J.J. Picollo compared Haake’s fastball to Noah Syndergaard and Brandon Maurer. Whichever it may be, he’s got it working.
Yost said that Sparkman is dealing with the thing almost every young pitcher faces -- that is, trusting that the stuff that got him to the big leagues is good enough to keep him here.
“These are young guys learning their craft,” Yost said. “Our guys continue to work at it and stay focused on it. It’s not something you’re going to learn in a year or two. It takes a long time to be able to get consistent in your mechanics.”
Kansas City is focusing on the top tier of four players as well. Witt, a potential five-tool shortstop, is the front-runner as of now.
Lopez, a fifth-round pick in 2016, knows he’s close to achieving that dream. He knows because Royals general manager Dayton Moore said so at the end of last season.
“He’s got great personality,” Moore said of Lopez during spring training in Omaha. “He’s a fan favorite. Our players adore him. The coaches love putting his name in the lineup. He plays with energy. He has a lot of fun. He’s got talent. He’s got ability. We think he’s got a chance to be a part of our middle infield in the very near future.
Scott Barlow continued his impressive run out of the bullpen last night.
Scott Barlow since April 10th:— Alex Duvall (@duvy_013) May 5, 2019
11.2 IP, 1.61 ERA, 16 K, 5 BB
You could make the argument that he’s the Royals best reliever. Especially with his ability to go multiple innings effectively.
Barlow has been using his slider more this year, dropping his fastball.— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) May 7, 2019
Batters are hitting .143 AVG/.286 SLG (.264 wOBA) off his slider vs .286/.333 (.322 wOBA) off his fastball pic.twitter.com/bPl4aWOENB
Dozier and Mondesi both hit impressive home runs last night:
That dispute was not an isolated incident for Denbo, 58, a longtime mentor and confidant of Marlins CEO and former Yankees great Derek Jeter. Denbo has transformed the organization with his brusque and at times overbearing manner, and he remains a polarizing figure in his second full season with the Marlins, eliciting strong loyalty from those who support him and strong enmity from those who do not.
“I’ve never encountered someone in baseball — or in life, honestly — who seemed to go so far out of their way to treat other people badly, to the extent where you think, ‘Why would anyone do this?’” one former Marlins employee says.
“I don’t know if the umpires were joking – they didn’t know who I was,” Dietrich said. “So I got the shirt unbuttoned and the chains popped, I think they got a clear idea it was 2-2 out there wranglin’ ’em up.”
Your song of the day is “Living and living well” by George Strait, to celebrate The King’s return to Kansas City.