Royals Rumblings - News for October 26, 2020
Lynn Worthy writes about the potential of outfielder Franchy Cordero.
Cordero and the Royals attempted to make at least one adjustment at the plate during this disjointed season of COVID. Cordero went to the club’s facility in Arizona after his hand procedure and started working with Single-A Lexington hitting coach Jesus Azuaje on elevating the ball more consistently.
Cordero posted a top-tier exit velocity (94.1 mph in 2018), but a below average launch angle (7.3 degrees).
“From the beginning of the year I was trying to get the ball in the air a little bit more,” Cordero said in September. “The injury got me to take a step back and work on some stuff.
David Laurila at Fangraphs writes about Brad Keller making adjustments to his slider.
“We made some adjustments during the shutdown,” Keller told me following the completion of the season. “Between spring training and spring training 2.0 we made some mechanical adjustments that allowed my arm to become more athletic, if that makes sense. That’s kind of a weird way to put it, but whenever I would throw my slider in the past, I’d almost block my arm out. We were like, ‘OK, we don’t do that on a fastball, we don’t do that on anything else, so let’s do that same thing on the slider.” Basically, I needed to start throwing my slider just like I throw my fastball.”
The adjustment took time to bear fruit. Initially, the pitch wasn’t breaking at all. As Keller put it, “the very first one almost took the catcher’s head off,” as it was devoid of downward movement. Diligence, accompanied by a Rapsodo and an Edgertronic, eventually did the trick. Once mundane, his slider morphed into a monster.
“With the help of analytics, it became like my fastball for a longer time toward the plate,” explained Keller. “The spin went up. It became sharper, and as a result I started getting some silly swings-and-misses on it.”
Nicky Lopez is a favorite to win a Fielding Bible Award.
Clint Scoles at Royals Academy is not a fan of the idea of moving Bobby Witt, Jr. to the outfield.
Royals beat writer Jeffrey Flanagan wrote about a possible move for Bobby Witt Jr. to centerfield this week, and all I have to say is ugh. We had read all summer about Witt’s dominance and got to see a bit of it when the teams were scrimmaging, but it’s putting the cart way in front of the horse to be moving him already. The Royals don’t have a fixture at shortstop based on Mondesi’s career numbers. Even with a good summer season, Witt should be forced to prove his numbers in minor league games at the Double-A and Triple-A level before he gets a move to the majors. Making a quick move based on his dominance against pitchers he’s quite familiar with is not a reason to promote a young player too early in his career. Additionally, the Royals aren’t in a position to compete in 2021 until more young pitching establishes itself, and forcing a player to start his clock too early would be another mistake for a small-market club.
Old friend Brett Phillips had quite a night on Saturday, with the game-winning hit in a thrilling end to Game 4.
“I’m just glad that people know me for some baseball videos now as opposed to laughing,” Phillips said, with a smile. “I’m glad I’m not just a movie star anymore.”
Mark Polishuk at MLB Trade Rumors looks at the three trades that brought Brett Phillips to Tampa Bay.
Alex Gordon will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
How Mookie Betts made the sabermetric World Series super-fun.
Where does Randy Arozarena’s post-season rank among the best ever?
The Rays and Dodgers could feature the first Jewish pitcher-hitter matchup in World Series history.
Ben Reiter wrote a book about the Astros but didn’t see the sign-stealing scandal coming.
Alex Rodriguez says he would have raised Mets payroll to $225 million had he been awarded the team.
Rockies prospect and Kansas City native Riley Pint is trying to get his career on track.
A conversation with Tom House, the father of modern pitching mechanics.
Baseball fans don’t like that Rob Manfred doesn’t seem to be a fan of the game he presides over.
Orioles GM Mike Elias may be in some trouble over how he handled pensions.
How the Falcons scored a game-losing touchdown.
Arizona basketball gets notice of what look like big time allegations.
Are we trading happiness for modern comforts?
Your song of the day is Neutral Milk Hotel with Holland, 1945.