clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Royals Rumblings - News for April 26, 2022

Is it time to be concerned about Whit Merrifield?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for April 26, 2022

Lynn Worthy writes that Whit Merrifield isn’t down about his slow start.

“Really, just look at this series. I had nine good at-bats out of (15). I had four the first day, three the second day, two today. Even going back to the Cleveland series, I can think of three diving plays, three lineouts, two balls off the pitcher that went right to the shortstop.

‘“Then, you know, I can do this for the whole year. It’s easy to look at today and go, ‘Oh, he’s struggling.’ Or whatever. I keep reiterating to the coaching staff, I feel really good. It just hasn’t come yet. Fortunately, I’ve got a little bit of a track record at this point.”

Alec Lewis profiles Daniel Mack and what he’s done for the Royals in the analytics department.

“You can’t just flip a switch, ‘OK, we have all these tools, and everybody uses them,’” Mack said. “You want to vet what you’ve created. You want to feel like it communicates the information easily and directly. Those things take time.”

The tools are also ever-evolving, informed by direct conversations with Royals coaches, scouts and, more than ever, the players themselves.

Brad Keller had this to say about the meetings with Mack from last fall that detailed elements such as the value of throwing the changeup more: “I’m not a big analytical person, but he sat down and walked you through all the numbers so you could actually understand what your year looked like. I thought it was really beneficial.”

MLB.com provides one stat to believe in for each team.

If there is one thing the Royals have been able to count on over the past two seasons, it seems to be Scott Barlow. The right-handed reliever has anchored the Royals’ bullpen for the past three years and has become one of the best relievers in baseball over the past two. Since the beginning of 2021, Barlow has a 2.4 WAR, per FanGraphs, third best in baseball among qualified relievers. He’s thrown 82 1/3 innings and posted a 2.30 ERA, which is 10th best among relievers (min. 70 innings pitched).

The writers at Inside the Royals chime in on the City Connect uniforms.

Phillies manager Joe Girardi says he wouldn’t mind an automated strike zone.

How Miguel Cabrera almost ended up playing for the Angels.

Next year’s plan for more interleague games could run into a problem if there are postponed games.

Bo Bichette is leading the Blue Jays with swag and sincerity.

St. Petersburg mayor Ken Welch believes the Rays have a path forward on a new stadium in his city.

The baseball this year has higher drag, according to Baseball Prospectus.

The top of this year’s draft could be very hitter-heavy.

Bill James considers the Law of Competitive Balance.

The Chiefs are a leading candidate to play in the first Amazon Prime Thursday game.

Manchester City and Liverpool are once again trading blows as the best teams in England.

Elon Musk could fix free speech on Twitter by treating it more like a messaging app.

How cities became accidental wildlife havens.

The Northman did well at the box office for an arthouse flick, but not for a movie with its budget.

Your song of the day is The Kinks with Apeman.