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Royals Rumblings - News for May 26, 2020

Can Brett Phillips make more contact in 2020?

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for May 26, 2020

Vahe Gregorian catches up with Hunter Dozier.

Toward that end, he essentially has created his own statistical system about his plate appearances. After every game, he opens up an Excel spreadsheet on his phone and types in not his hits in times at the plate but his quality at-bats.

If he goes hitless in four at-bats, for instance, but moves a runner over once, hits a ball hard for an out or battles through a 10-12 pitch at-bat only to strike out, those would be three quality at-bats in his book. Meanwhile, if he has a 4-for-4 day with all bloopers, he said, “I will take that every day.”

He didn’t elaborate on how that would appear in the spreadsheet, incidentally. But from where we sit, so what if it was just luck? It’s all about cultivating and maintaining confidence, after all.

“Baseball can beat you up,” he said, “and the (statistics) they put on the board can make you go crazy.”

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at the stats that will matter this season for Royals hitters, such as contact rate for Brett Phillips.

If Phillips wants to see an uptick in playing time and continue his future in Kansas City, or Major League baseball in general, he will need to improve upon that 73.2 contact rate from 2019. If he can improve it 2-3 percentage points in 2020, and make it around league average, if not slightly above, he could be decent at the plate, which would only amplify his value to the Royals due to his strong defense. Since Phillips is out of Minor League options, Phillips will get his chance to show that he can be productive in a bench role during this abbreviated season. Most likely, his contact rate will give Royals fans a sign of his future in KC, for if he regresses below that 73.2 rate, it is probable that Phillips’ career as a Royal will be done by season’s end.

Jeffrey Flanagan ranks the top right-handed starting pitchers in Royals history.

Saberhagen credited his success to his first manager, the late Dick Howser, who showed faith in Saberhagen as a teenager.

“I owe so much to Dick Howser,” Saberhagen said. “He gave a 19-year-old kid, a non-roster kid, a chance to compete one spring. I don’t know if I could have become the pitcher I became if it wasn’t for him.”

Saberhagen won his second Cy Young in ‘89, going 23-6 with an MLB-best 2.16 ERA and 12 complete games.

“He was the total package as a starting pitcher,” former Royals manager Hal McRae once said. “Great stuff, great fastball, threw strikes and competed his tail off against every hitter.”

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman thinks Danny Duffy should start on Opening Day, whenever that is.

David Hill at Call to the Pen writes it is not time for a Brad Keller contract extension quite yet.

The Star ranks the biggest moments in Kansas City sports history.

How the David DeJesus trade is still paying dividends for the Oakland Athletics.

Jeff Passan writes about what it will take for the 2020 baseball season to happen.

The Angels will furlough non-playing employees on June 1.

The Baltimore Orioles release 37 minor leaguers.

Players that hit and throw left-handed are becoming an endangered species.

Jay Jaffe looks at historical offensive trends in the KBO vs. MLB.

Hyun-Jin Ryu shares his experiences in the KBO.

Kenny Kelly at Beyond the Boxscore looks at catcher career WAR.

The Cleveland Indians hid images of Nicholas Cage in their posted lineups on Twitter all year.

Noah Syndergaard is being sued by his landlord over his rent.

The minor league team in Pensacola, Florida put their stadium on Airbnb for fans to rent.

A look back on the 1990 MLB season.

The NBA is in talks to resume the season by playing games at a Disney facility.

After “The Last Dance”, the Bulls became an absolute dumpster fire.

Is Japan beating the coronavirus without lockdowns or testing?

Inside the flour company supplying America’s baking obsession.

The 100 greatest debut singles of all time.

Your song of the day is Chuck Berry with Maybellene.