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Royals Rumblings - News for April 12, 2023

Somehow, FanGraphs published THREE pieces about the Royals in one day. First, Ben Clemens tried to figure out if the defensive alignments they’ve used against Joey Gallo works:

Gallo has hit exactly five career opposite-field grounders against a standard defense. He rarely hits the ball on the ground, rarely hits it the other way when he does, and has rarely faced unshifted defenses (until this year, of course).

Still, I have good news. We can completely ignore that side of the table, because nothing the Royals choose to do can change anything about that. They can shuffle their outfielders all they want; there will still be two infielders on the left side. All we care about is the difference between Gallo’s production to the pull side against standard defenses and how much worse he does when the defense shifts.

For every 100 batted balls, Gallo hits 29.3 grounders, as we covered up above. Out of those 29.3, he pulls a ton of them, with 90% of his batted balls either up the middle or pulled. That makes the math straightforward. For every 100 batted balls, there will be 26.4 pulled grounders. Adding an extra fielder in shallow right is worth 171 points of wOBA, in expectation, on those grounders. After doing a bit of conversion to turn that into runs, the Royals are saving 3.8 runs in expectation per 100 batted balls, specifically on grounders, by bringing their right fielder in close.

Next up, Kyle Kishimoto likes Taylor Clarke’s pitch mix, utlimately concluding that Clarke “looks to take a step forward as a dominant high-leverage reliever.” Lastly, Jake Mailhot opens up the FanGraphs toolbox to ask if Kris Bubic has made the leap:

When a pitcher completely overhauls their repertoire like Bubic has, how do we know if their adjustments were the right ones? With a deeper understanding of how a pitch’s physical characteristics contribute to its success, we can rely on pitch-level modeling to gain quick insights into how a pitcher is evolving his arsenal. Luckily for us, FanGraphs has a new tool to help us evaluate individual pitches and pitchers: Stuff+. Developed by Eno Sarris and Max Bay, Stuff+ (and its relatives Location+ and Pitching+) attempts to quantify the quality of a pitch using only its underlying physical characteristics. Stuff+ quickly becomes reliably predictive — in under 100 pitches — and is extremely sticky year-to-year. That reliability means that it’s sensitive to changes in a pitch’s characteristics, making it an excellent tool to evaluate a pitcher this early in the season.

Some AL Central injury updates: the Twins placed Joey Gallo on the IL with a right intercostal strain, and the White Sox will be without Tim Anderson for a few weeks due to a left knee strain.

The Rays are now 11-0.

The Marlins had never had a player hit for the cycle, until Luis Arraez did it yesterday.

Is anyone having more fun with celebrations than the Orioles?

Xander Boegarts talked about the Red Sox offer(s) he turned down before landing with the Padres on a huge deal in free agency.

I have my suspicions: “someone or something is deleting our work emails.

The Ringer’s Succession’ power rankings (obviously this contains plot details through this past Sunday’s episode, so please click accordingly).

Jeremy Renner walked the red carpet at a premiere, for the first time since he nearly died in an accident with a snowcat.

Billy McFarland claims that Fyre Fest II is happening. But did Fyre Fest I really even happen?

A truck carrying 40,000 pounds of contaminated soil away from East Palestine, Ohio, crashed and dumped half its load in a different location. Spreading the love, Norfolk Southern style. :(

Today’s question: when was the last time you tried skipping or frolicking?

SOTD: Hozier - Eat Your Young