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Royals Rumblings - News for February 11, 2021

Josh Staumont talks spin rates.

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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - SEPTEMBER 26: Relief pitcher Josh Staumont #63 of the Kansas City Royals throws in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 26, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for February 11, 2021

Alec Lewis participates in a roundtable of other writers to discuss the Central Division.

Royals: Overall, inconsistency and inexperience are the two factors that could prevent the Royals from succeeding this season. The pitching staff is young: Brady Singer and Kris Bubic are entering their first full big-league seasons. Expecting them to perform from beginning to end wouldn’t be fair. Then there’s the lineup, and we’ve already mentioned Mondesí. Though he has finally had a healthy offseason, it’s hard to think at age 25 he finally eliminates the swing-and-miss. Can Jorge Soler stay healthy? Can Salvador Pérez do what he did last season at the plate? Can Carlos Santana bounce back from his 2020 season? There are lots of ifs. Winning a division requires few ifs.

Josh Staumont talks to David Laurila at Fangraphs about spin rate and analytics.

Laurila: That said, when did you start throwing in front of a Rapsodo and learning about your metrics?

Staumont: “I never did. The Royals are… I wouldn’t say behind; they just kind of have the same viewpoint as me, which is that these numbers can get in the way of actual productivity on the field. Some people really, really like to see their velocities, and even if they’re able to hit those spots and get outs, in their minds those numbers are more important. I think the Royals have seen that you don’t necessarily need 24–7 access to Rapsodo and StatCast numbers in order to be an extremely productive professional player. Personally, I really don’t even look at them.”

Craig Brown takes a closer look at Royals infielder Hanser Alberto.

The guy can hit lefties. The platoon splits above are for Alberto’s career. They absolutely track for the 2019 season where he was a regular and even the small sample of the recently completed 2020 season. The tOPS+ is telling. Remember, that’s a favorite stat of mine, used to measure the OPS+ of a particular split against that player’s entire performance. In this case, Alberto did 25 percent worse than his overall numbers against right-handed pitching. He was 45 percent better against southpaws. A difference of 70 percent is staggering.

Alberto hits with an open stance and chases no matter what hand the pitcher throws with. But he chases a lot more of the low and away stuff against the right-handers. And he chases in an area where good—or even half-decent—contact is basically hopeless.

Anne Rogers writes about the corner infield depth for the Royals.

Josh Vernier talks to pitcher Kris Bubic.

The Tigers sign slugger Renato Nunez to a minor league deal.

The Athletics sign infielder Jed Lowrie to a minor league deal.

Ryan Braun says he is not interested in playing at this time.

Which teams haven’t done enough this winter?

Dan Szymborski writes that the Reds have had a disastrous off-season.

A look at which players could ask for a trade this year.

Mark Simon looks at what makes Nolan Arenado such a great defender.

An amazing story about the time a 12-year old bat boy got to play in a minor league game.

Former Red Sox outfielder Billy Conigliaro dies at the age of 73.

The biggest questions ahead of the NBA trade season.

What’s holding up a Carson Wentz trade to the Bears?

One day after we had “cat lawyer” on a web conference, now we have “upside down disembodied lawmaker head.”

Pedro Pascal will headline a series adapted from the video game The Last of Us.

Fifteen documentaries to look forward to this year.

Your song of the day is The Clash with Pressure Drop.