Royals assistant pitching coach Zach Bove wants Royals pitchers to “raid the zone.”
“As I went through the interview process and after, I learned that these guys are good,” Bove said. “The results weren’t great last year. But there are a lot of pieces to this that are interesting, whether it’s the age of guys or the stuff that maybe wasn’t being utilized maybe to the best of the ability. The guys had success, it’s not a knock on anybody that was previously here. But is there a creative way to take the same people — we don’t need a whole bunch of new pitchers, the ingredients are there — and view them differently and help them improve.
“The strike-throwing was definitely something. Talking to Brian and the analysts, we were just all coming to the same conclusions. That’s where ‘raid the zone’ came from. We got to teach this mentality of not being afraid to throw strikes, especially early in the count, and then go from there.”
Anne Rogers also writes about his use of data.
“Through those questions, learn what he values, then find creative ways through the data that can give him what he wants,” Bove said. “Or maybe it’s not the data. Maybe it’s pictures or analogies, trying to tell a story. It’s not us trying to shove data down some guy’s throat if he doesn’t want it. I love data, but it’s just an accelerator at the end of the day. It’s not the only thing.
“I want players to be problem-solvers. When it’s them on the mound, it’s them. My job is to create an environment that supports the player and gives them the resources they need and want.”
David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about spring training storylines.
We won’t get a full answer over six weeks in Surprise, Arizona, but all eyes will be on the Royals pitching that they’ve been counting on since starting to reload their system with the 2018 draft. The name I keep hearing the most is one that may surprise you - Jackson Kowar. Almost every single person I talk to wants to see what this new pitching instruction can do for him because they see the stuff to succeed but he obviously has done basically the opposite of that. One scout I spoke with a couple of weeks ago thinks he’s a reliever, but a great one. One I spoke with back in December (I think) believes he can still be a top of the rotation starter with the right alterations to his pitch mix.
The Royals say they have contingencies in place to air games if Diamond Sports goes bankrupt.
“MLB has been focused on this,” the Royals said in a written statement about Bally’s financial troubles, “and has a variety of contingencies in place to make sure fans have access to our games. We’ve had numerous conversations with MLB, and there is no higher priority.”
Last week, Diamond Sports Group, which owns Bally Sports network and is a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, skipped about $140 million in interest payments that were due.
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