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Royals Rumblings - News for June 15, 2022

Wednesday again?!

A brown dog with a white stripe running down its face is being walked on a leash, toward the camera. It and its human are on a wide paved concourse with lots of other people walking in the background.
One of the Very Good Dogs at Sunday’s Chasers game
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

Two items from Anne Rogers’s latest newsletter (subscribe here). First, a bit on the emergence of Michael A. Taylor’s bat:

When asked about it, Taylor said he’s seeing the ball better and more consistently than he has before in his career, which allows him to make better decisions. He shortened his swing, too, with new pregame drills he added in Spring Training that have given him more time at the plate.

“The goal was to make more contact,” Taylor said. “I felt like I’d miss a lot of pitches, I’d foul a lot of balls off and put myself in a bad situation with two strikes, then I’m just battling from there. And that would lead to way more strikeouts than I wanted.”

The numbers support Taylor’s feeling. He’s swinging less (49% swing percentage) but making more contact (74% contact rate), and his contact on balls in the zone has significantly improved, up to 87.1% from 80.6% last year. That means he’s making better decisions on when to swing and what pitches to swing at — leading to more production.

Rogers also noted that several relievers have gotten into collecting and trading cards:

Turns out, fellow reliever Taylor Clarke has been collecting football, baseball and basketball cards for some time now. It was something he and his dad did together when he was a kid, and he got back into it a few years ago with his twin sons, who turn 7 years old this week. When [Scott] Barlow helped Clarke out of a jam in the eighth inning of the Royals’ win over the Rangers on May 11, Clarke bought his hockey-fan teammate a box of cards as a thank you. [Josh] Staumont quickly got into it, too, but with Pokémon cards.

“They’re heavily involved in it now,” Clarke said. “Scotty’s wife came up to me in the family room after a game the other day and she’s like, ‘I don’t know if I should thank you or hate you because every time we’re out, I have to stop at Target or Wal-mart to go check out the card section.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know the feeling.’ My wife was right there and just eye-rolling, nodding along, like, ‘Welcome to our world.’”

At Into the Fountains, Craig Brown wrote about Brady Singer’s start going off the rails, and is keeping an eye on Mike Matheny’s bullpen usage.

Speaking of things going off the rails, Jackson Kowar had a terrible two minutes in Des Moines. The video below is 2:05 long and contains three Iowa Cubs home runs, with no cuts in between.

The Royals released outfielder JaCoby Jones, who had struggled to find regular time in the field with Omaha.

Jimmy Govern made the mistake of calling Vinnie Pasquantino something like “a giant ear of corn” on Salute to Corn Night, so Vinnie’s retaliation involves tweeting that Jimmy is baby corn:

In AL Central news, the White Sox placed closer Liam Hendriks on the injured list withe a flexor strain in his forearm.

Poor Stephen Strasburg. After just one game, he’s headed back to the injured list with “a stress reaction in the second and third ribs on the right side of his body.”

Two Atlanta Braves things: Jay Jaffe looks into all the reasons for the team’s recent hotness, besides just Ronald Acuña’s return. But just like that, Ozzie Albies is headed to the 60-day IL with a foot fracture.

Selfishly, I wish the Phillies would have called up Yairo Muñoz a week ago, because he hit three homers against the Storm Chasers this past week with the IronPigs.

Russia is still holding Brittney Griner in custody, a detention that has now exceeded 100 days.

Major League Soccer and Apple TV announced a 10-year streaming deal starting in 2023, which will include every MLS match with no blackouts. Finally, a streaming deal that benefits me, personally.

Is the tampon shortage a comfortable topic? Nope! But everyone has someone in their life who menstruates and this is going to be a shittier than usual time for them!

Early readers, tell me what words you have pronounced incorrectly because you learned them on paper! Mine was “cognac,” which I learned in front of my entire AP English class.

Lizzo changed a song lyric in “Grrrls” after realizing she used an ableist slur.

It has been years since I’ve seen a Marvel movie (not knocking it, I just forget that going to movies is an option and then suddenly I’m 49 movies behind), but this was delightful nonetheless:

My fandom of the advice column ‘Ask A Manager’ is no secret. If you want to spend some serious time there, Alison just created a new tag for letters that make you say “wait, what?!” and there are 165 letters in there already.

SOTD: after all this time, I’m still into this song. Paramore - Still Into You