Royals Rumblings - News for July 1, 2021
In his Mellinger Mintues, Sam gets into Hunter Dozier’s struggles.
His exit velocities and barrel percentages remain strong, but he’s chasing bad pitches, swinging and missing far too much, and sort of tunneling himself into a dead-pull guy.
The clearest way to see it is to just watch him against fastballs. Dozier has always hit fastballs well. Two years ago, when everything seemed to click with him, he was 12.2 runs above average against four-seam fastballs, according to FanGraphs.
So far this season, he’s 6.4 runs below average on all fastballs. That ranks 329th of 341 hitters with 100 or more plate appearances.
I’m not smart enough to break down his mechanics. My hunch has been that Dozier puts too much pressure on himself, and I’ve wondered if that’s been compounded by the extension he signed.
Craig Brown notes the lack of swing-and-miss stuff with Brad Keller
On the night, Keller threw 102 pitches. He generated just four swings and misses. Take a second to let that settle. Keller got just four whiffs on 102 pitches. He got just one whiff on his slider. The other three came on elevated fastballs, two on the four-seamer and one on the sinker.
David Lesky also comments that “pitch to contact” is not a great strategy.
I’m not saying ground balls are bad, but I am saying that pitching to contact is a concept that is silly as a philosophy in 2021, especially with a pitcher who has next to no command. Sometimes it is absolutely better to get an early at bat out, but the batting average on strikeouts throughout history is .000. I’m sourcing common sense on that. It’s not that players can’t reach base occasionally on strikeouts, but that’s not even worth an argument. If you see the stretch mentioned above where Keller was good, you’ll notice he struck out more than a batter per inning. If you see the most recent stretch, you’ll notice he’s struck out 16 in 76 total outs and has given up 40 hits. Not so good!
Anne Rogers talks to Emmanuel Rivera about his MLB debut.
“I thought about it for awhile, so the first pitch I get, if it’s a strike, I was going to swing,” Rivera said Monday. “It’s a childhood dream. I’m extremely happy to be able to be up here and play at this level. It’s something that I wished for a really long time. Really happy.”
Mike Matheny laments the loss of Rivera, writes Lynn Worthy.
“That was a guy, every time he walked into the box I’m like, ‘He’s about to do some damage,’” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “I’m enjoying watching him do his thing. He looks confident in the field. He was in-tune with every pitch as far as moving with the counts. He was going through all of the scouting work that we ha given him. He was looking the part.
“I just believe it’s not the last time we’re going to see him. Day Two of your major-league experience shouldn’t have to go like that.”
Alec Lewis relays what he’s hearing about Royals pitching prospects at Northwest Arkansas, such as Yefri del Rosario.
Among Double-A Central pitchers who have thrown 10 innings in 2021, Del Rosario is the youngest. It’s a nice place to start for a 6-foot-2 right-hander who Friday night was consistently sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball and spinning a hard-to-hit curveball.
“I got a chance to see him in 2018 in Lexington,” Thorman said, “and I’m as excited now as I was then. He is a confident, free-and-easy pitcher who is aggressive in the zone.”
Kevin Goldstein at Fangraphs looks at how each AL team will approach the trade deadline.
Current Tenor: Minor sellers. Dayton Moore doesn’t like tear downs, so the club is more likely to focus on expiring contracts.
What They Are After: Young bats. They surely entered the year hoping that Jorge Soler would be one of the better offensive targets come summer, but his collapse has greatly hindered their ability to provide a big boost to their already strong system.
Behavior: The Royals tend to be aggressive, and also tend to focus on athleticism, tools and upside when it comes to position player prospects, which can produce some good matchups with more data-oriented clubs.
Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report gives updates on some prospects that have fallen off the radar.
Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman writes that Ryan O’Hearn is giving Royals fans hope.
Trea Turner hits for the cycle on his birthday.
Lucas Giolito has a problem with Josh Donaldson’s antics.
Mississippi State is your 2021 college baseball champion, defeating Vanderbilt in a blowout.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman is blunt about the state of his mediocre team.
Mark Feinsand looks at the best trade options at each position.
Will the Giants act like contenders at the trade deadline?
There will be a minor league post-season after all.
How has the foreign substance crackdown affected pitchers?
Former Mets GM Jared Porter is suspended one year by MLB for sexual harassment.
Legendary baseball writer Thomas Boswell pens his last column for the Washington Post.
Graphic details emerge about Trevor Bauer’s sexual assault allegations (warning, explicit and disturbing details).
The NCAA will begin allowing athletes to profit off their name and likeness beginning today.
The fan that caused a crash at the Tour de France has been arrested.
America’s pot labs have a THC problem.
What makes Steven Soderbergh’s heist movies work?
Your song of the day is Level 42 with Something About You.