Today is the last game of the current Royals homestand. They are currently 4-1 on the homestand. They look to complete the win of this four-game series with the suddenly hapless Twins. Expected to compete for the division crown this year, the Twins are behind even the Detroit Tigers in the standings.
The last time the Royals found themselves in this position - having gotten to Twins ace Jose Berríos but failing to win the game, they fell into a massive slump and lost 11 games in a row. Today Brady Singer and the rest of the team will attempt to avoid repeating that fate. Singer’s ERA is about a run higher than last year and is currently over 5, which isn’t good. However, his FIP is half a run better than last year and looking pretty nice at 3.50. He’s done an excellent job of limiting home runs but lately appears to be easily flustered on the mound when the strike zone is called poorly or his defense makes a mistake behind him. Hopefully, if any such problems arise today he can overcome them. He has faced the Twins once already this year and allowed one run in two innings before exiting the game after being hit in the leg with a line drive that started a bizarre double play. Tyler Zuber, Ervin Santana, and Wade Davis combined to allow seven walks and eight runs over the remainder of the game.
The Twins originally had scheduled Michael Pineda to start today’s game but he is experiencing forearm tightness so they’ve pushed him back as a precaution. Instead, right-handed pitching prospect Baily Ober will start for Minnesota. Ober is rated by FanGraphs as the Twins twentieth-best prospect. He is projected to have above-average command with an above-average changeup but his fastball, slider, and curveball are all rated below-average. He made his major league debut earlier this season in a start against the White Sox. He struck out four in four innings but also allowed four runs including a pair of dingers. he received a no-decision as the Twins came back and ended up walking off the game 5-4 on a two-out Jorge Polanco single.
As Royals fans can attest when watching Kris Bubic and Mike Minor when they pitch well, a nasty changeup can be a serious problem even if the other pitches aren’t working great. Hopefully, the Royals can find a way to get to the 25-year-old or at least force him out early and take advantage of the Twins’ shaky bullpen.
In case you missed it, the Royals demoted Tyler Zuber and placed Adalberto on the Injured List retroactive to June 4. I’m apparently less familiar with Injured List restrictions than I thought because I believed the Royals could make the move retroactive to June 1. Here’s a brief thread from Joel Goldberg explaining the inconsistency:
However, if the replacement player is an early recall (meaning he did not stay 10 days in the minors), the retro back dates to the day after the recalled player was sent down. Translation, Olivares was sent down Thursday and recalled today. Mondesi retro starts Friday.— Joel Goldberg (@goldbergkc) June 6, 2021
In better news, the moves allowed the Royals to recall Josh Staumont from the Injured List and Edward Olivares from AAA Omaha. With Olivares and Kelvin Gutierrez on the active roster, the Royals are able to give the slumping Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier the day off. Hopefully it helps them figure some stuff out because the team could definitely use the 2019 versions of both players.
I could not find a tweet anywhere containing the Twins lineup even 40 minutes before the start of the game.