Royals Rumblings - News for June 10, 2022
Sam McDowell goes over the numbers and finds that Royals pitching has been very bad this year.
The Royals have the worst ERA- since 1954, a statistic that accounts for the ballpark and your peers’ numbers across the league. The Royals’ ERA- is 34% higher than league average. Only one team in a century has been worse — the 1954 Philadelphia Athletics. With the Athletics, for what it’s worth, that prompted a staff overhaul.
The Royals own the worst strikeout-to-walk ratio of any team in baseball since 2010. They are dead last in the American League this season in both walks and pitches per inning, both particularly disappointing since those were points of emphasis during spring training for Eldred’s pitching staff.
“That was the main goal,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said of working ahead in the count and eliminating walks. “How are we doing? Not as well as we’d like.”
Lynn Worthy writes the Royals are being cautious with Hunter Dozier having tightness in his side.
“I feel good,” Dozier said. “It was just a little tightness, but I think they were just being cautious. I feel good. I felt good yesterday. I’ve been feeling really good.” Dozier started in the first game of the Royals’ three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday, but did not play on Tuesday or Wednesday.
“I felt it swinging, but it wasn’t one particular swing,” Dozier said. “It just kind of got tight, which happens. I think just with my history of having some obliques, they were a little bit more cautious.”
Kris Bubic was able to pitch out of some jams and keep the Royals in the game last night.
Bubic after working out of a few jams in his 4.1-inning outing: "To be able to pitch out some jams and pitch out of some tight situations to keep the game competitive, keep the game close and keep our team ahead is really important." #Royals pic.twitter.com/MG7rG6GQmU— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) June 10, 2022
David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about Brady Singer’s latest start.
That said, Singer has also moved a bit away from his changeup that looked so good for him in his first two starts back. He threw 8.9 percent changeups in his third start and 9.7 percent in his last start. It hasn’t been a swing and miss pitch for him, but it’s allowed him to set up that sinker a little better than in the past and opponents were just 1 for 8 against it. But he completely went away from it in this start, which is at least a bit worrisome moving forward. As I said earlier, he threw just six, but if you really break it down, it wasn’t even mixed in as well as that makes it seem.
Craig Brown at Into the Fountains has some concerns as well.
Look, it was a decent outing from Singer. He didn’t walk a batter. He allowed eight hits on the afternoon, including those two that left the yard, but they were scattered enough that it didn’t inflict much damage. However, he recorded nine first-pitch strikes on 23 batters faced. And the traffic on the bases meant he needed 98 pitches to get through five innings. After praising last week what I saw as a transformation for Singer, it looks like he’s falling back into his old habits. He worked around trouble on Wednesday, but I have to say I’m a bit discouraged by what I seeing after a couple of strong starts after his return.
JJ Picollo spoke on 810 WHB about the frustrating start to the season.
J.J. PIcollo: It’s very difficult to “blow it up” and re-start and I don’t think we need to do that. There is a pretty good nucleus that will be ready the next few years.— Kurtis Seaboldt (@KSeaboldt) June 9, 2022
Andy McCullough addresses the Royals in his mailbag column.
Growing pains are to be expected, of course, for any prospects. “These guys have a chance to be good,” said one scout who had seen the team recently. But it will require patience from a fan base that has, to be fair, been quite patient with this regime. The first rebuild took longer than Royals fans hoped, but how can you argue against the 2014-15 run? This second rebuild was supposed to produce results quicker.
The Royals have too much talent to put up the worst record in baseball. It won’t be this bad forever. But there’s a big gap between last place and first.
Nick Selbe at Sports Illustrated examined some struggling All-Stars, like Whit Merrifield.
So far, though, he hasn’t looked much like his old self. His ISO has dipped to .093, which would be the lowest of his career, and his line drive rate (20.8%) is also a career worst. His contact numbers, though, are mostly in line with what he’s produced in years past. Merrifield’s hard hit rate of 30.8% would actually be his best since 2018, and Statcast data indicates he’s been among the league’s unluckiest hitters: The difference between his expected wOBA (.326) and actual wOBA (.254) is the fifth-highest among hitters with at least 200 plate appearances. Merrifield’s recent results—he’s batting .270/.321/.405 in his last 18 games—suggest that a turnaround isn’t far off.
Trey Donovan at Inside the Royals still thinks Carlos Santana is an issue, despite his hot streak.
The Royals have area kids participate in on-field activities and learn about the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Tony LaRussa’s decision to intentionally walk Trea Turner on a 1-2 count backfires.
Mets pitcher Max Scherzer has begun throwing bullpen sessions.
The Giants lead the league in bunt hits, but do they really love bunting?
The Twins are better off without Josh Donaldson, on and off the field.
Allegations against quarterback Deshaun Watson keep piling up without a word from the NFL.
Oklahoma defeats Texas to win the NCAA softball championship.
As the Great Salt Lake dries up, Utah faces an environmental catastrophe.
The Jurassic World trilogy has painted itself into a corner.
Your song of the day is The Supremes with You Keep Me Hangin’ On.