Matt Quatraro was glad to be back in the dugout Monday night.
“Not everybody gets a break after five games of their career,” Quatraro said before the Royals opened a three-game road series against the Rangers. “It was a little poorly timed, but I’m happy to be back.”
The Royals ran into a buzzsaw with Andrew Heaney, who struck out eight consecutive Royals hitters at one point.
“Tonight we ran into a guy who was really locating with his plus stuff, so it was a tough night for us,” said Royals manager Matt Quatraro, who returned Monday from a five-game absence after testing positive for COVID-19.
Nate Eaton was throwing 93 mph in a relief stint!
Nate Eaton after hurling a scoreless frame and getting a strikeout vs. the Rangers: "I want to say it felt good, but it's obviously not a good situation to be in if I have to come in and pitch. ... I didn't want to just go up there and lob it the whole time."#Royals pic.twitter.com/oPJecxgfdb— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) April 11, 2023
Anne Rogers gives an update on Drew Waters.
Waters strained his left oblique early in camp, but he has progressed well throughout the spring. He is scheduled to play in extended spring games during the week of April 10 at the Royals’ facility in Surprise, Ariz. The 24-year-old will go through his own spring progression there before rejoining the team. All reports have been positive from his rehab, but the club will be cautious to make sure the injury is behind Waters before he makes it to Kansas City.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about the progress the Royals have already made with their coaching staff.
We see it beyond just the walks. They’re in the zone a lot more. They’ve thrown 44.3 percent of pitches in the zone, second in baseball only to Cleveland. Last year, they were 19th with 41.2 percent. My theory is that’s actually helping to get them to get more chases. I remember writing about that last year. Part of the issue for Royals pitching was that they just couldn’t get a chase. Hitters were able to take a lot against them. Now they have to be ready to swing and that’s led to some (not a lot) more swings outside the zone. But while they’ve only only increased from 31 percent of pitches outside the zone getting swung at to 31.4 percent, relative to the league, it’s risen a lot from them ranking to 27th to ranking 19th this year.
Craig Brown at Into the Fountains marvels at what he saw from Kris Bubic on Sunday.
I like that he was throwing all his pitches right out of the gate, and to hitters from both sides. (The Giants stacked their lineup with right-handed hitters on Sunday. Michael Conforto and Brandon Crawford were the only lefties to start.) I’m a little surprised at the two elevated curves, but those were just a couple of loose pitches. Facing mostly those righties, it was clear he was working inner half. It generally worked and allowed him to start the plate appearance with the advantage.
I can’t believe I’m writing this about Bubic, but watching the game, I was thinking his most impressive pitch was his four-seamer. It was alive. He held his velocity fairly well until the sixth (and final) inning when he saw about a tick fall off the pitch. The sixth was the only inning all afternoon where Bubic didn’t get a swing and miss.
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at the struggles by Royals hitters.
The Royals rank last in the league in batting average and OBP and 29th in OPS as a collective. Furthermore, they rank 29th in team wRC+ with a 57 mark, which is only three points better than the Detroit Tigers.
A big issue for the Royals’ hitters is that they’ve been swinging a lot and on pitches outside of the strike zone to boot. That can be seen in their swing data, via Fangraphs.
The Rangers placed Mitch Garver on the Injured List before their series against the Royals.
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Your song of the day is Bobby Brown with My Prerogative.