Royals Rumblings - News for May 11, 2021
Alec Lewis writes a guide for fans to recalibrate their expectations for the Royals.
Baseball’s peaks and valleys put the Batman roller coaster at Six Flags to shame. At times, you can feel as high as the Alps. At others, in the depths of the ocean. It can be exhilarating, both for good reasons and bad, which can make it hard to maintain perspective.
Let’s try this, though.
If this were a football season, the Royals would be through three games and a quarter of their season. This last week alone wouldn’t even equate to three-quarters of one game. That feels like something important to remember, especially with folks such as White Sox manager Tony La Russa saying this after Sunday’s game about the Royals: “They’re on their way up. They have a lot to deal with. … You saw a couple guys in that bullpen, if they had the lead, they’re tough to score on. They have good team speed. I know Mike and a couple of coaches. They’re in a funk right now.”
David Lesky at Inside the Crown sees promising signs from Brad Keller.
But what I also found is that he looked a lot more like 2020 Keller on Friday night, and while the result wasn’t good because the offense couldn’t plate a run, the long-term ramifications of that could be huge. He still relied mostly on his four-seamer and didn’t throw the slider all that much, but it was so much better when he threw it. He had nine swings on it and five whiffs. It did get hit hard when it got hit, but that’ll happen with a slider.
But it wasn’t just his slider. His fastball was back moving in ways that actually got swings and misses and even his sinker got the White Sox to swing through it a few times. The end result was 16 swings and misses, which is the second most he’s ever had in a game. He had 19 against the Pirates in September of 2018.
Craig Brown at Into the Fountains looks at whether Daniel Lynch was tipping his pitches.
Again, this isn’t a perfect comparison because of the camera bobble between the two deliveries. But it sure looks like Lynch’s arm is higher on the release of his fastball. It’s lower on the slider. Release point data collected from Brooks Baseball confirms that Lynch was throwing his slider and fastball from two different release points.
It’s so small. So slight. It’s imperceptible while viewing from the dugout or probably even from the center field camera at home. But if a team did their homework and went looking for a difference that already existed…a major league hitter is trained to pick up those differences in delivery and exploit them. Perhaps they could take advantage as the White Sox did.
George Brett has advice for slumping Royals hitters.
“I think right now the Royals are swinging too hard — they’re trying to do more than they’re capable of doing,” Brett said Monday.
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at recent pitching woes.
The Pirates part ways with veteran Todd Frazier.
Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom has a clean MRI, but will go on the Injured List anyway.
Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks will miss six weeks with an elbow injury.
Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is away from the team for violating COVID-19 protocols.
Some Major League stars who struggled initially in the minors.
Who are the big BABIP outliers so far?
Does MLB have the parity it wanted?
Nationals broadcaster F.P. Santangelo is pulled from games after a sexual assault allegation.
Is baseball being hypocritical by embracing gambling?
ESPN looks at the big issues facing the sport of baseball.
Former #1 overall pick Mark Appel pitches in a game for the first time since 2017.
How much energy does mining Bitcoin consume?
Did Frank Abagnale concoct many of the stories depicted in the film Catch Me If You Can?
Your song of the day is Richard Marx with Don’t Mean Nothing.