The Royals offense finally seems to be finding some rhythm:
“We’ve got to grind at-bats out, we’ve got to compete for the last 60 games of the season,” general manager J.J. Picollo said on July 28. “… We need to set the tone for the things we need to do in 2024. Our guys are being tested pretty good right now. This is where we’re going to find out who has the moxie to step up and say, ‘I am a part of this moving forward.’”
In nearly two weeks since Picollo said that, the Royals are 8-3, have scored 68 runs in that span (6.1 runs/game) and entered Tuesday with an .807 OPS, ranked fifth-best in the Majors in that span.
David Lesky also talks offense, featuring a headline no doubt inspired by yours truly:
They’ve scored 4.8 runs per game since the break and they’re doing it in all the ways. They’re hitting some home runs (30 in 24 games, that’s a 203 HR pace in a full year). They’re stealing bases (36 in 24 games, that’s a 243 steal pace) and not getting caught (just three caught stealing). They’re hitting situationally with eight sacrifice flies. They look awfully good out there. And that’s with a couple of guys who they figure to be part of the solution not producing.
Garcia has struggled some, in spite of his long hitting streak. Vinnie Pasquantino isn’t even playing. Those are two guys who I think the Royals are counting on long-term as well. When you combine them with the five above, you can start to see a light at the offensive tunnel. If they do keep Salvy and you can give him more time off from behind the plate because of Fermin, that only helps. They need more because all five of the above aren’t likely to keep this up.
Craig Brown talks Monday’s game, including the emergence of Cole Ragans:
Don’t let a garbage call distract you from something very good that happened in that game: the continued emergence of Cole Ragans as a valuable starter in this rotation. The lefty has thrown 17.2 innings in the majors since coming over from Texas for Aroldis Chapman and has thrived—posting a 1.02 ERA with 22 strikeouts and four walks.
He did it on Monday with a five-pitch array, leading with a four-seamer that averaged 96.5 MPH with an elite spin rate. The changeup was a tremendous weapon, coming in with 10 MPH of separation from his fastball and wrong-footing Boston hitters all night. Of the 13 swings they took, they missed on nine…a 69 percent swinging strike rate on the pitch. Filthy.
Frank Mozzicato has struggled making the jump to High-A.
Bobby Witt Jr. doing cool stuff:
Baseball is the best.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) August 9, 2023
Bobby had a special surprise for his biggest fan. pic.twitter.com/4pA0neJwXB
A very important Mark Teahen update:
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Tampa Bay ace Shane McClanahan is unlikely to pitch again this season after suffering a forearm injury.
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A guide to how likely a comeback win is within a game.
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With the Pac-12 seemingly on its deathbed, let’s pour one out for the Conference of Champions. Say what you will about that moniker, but the Pac has won almost twice as many national championships across all sports as any other conference.
We could be at the dawn of the nuclear fusion era.
What caused radiation to spike in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone after Russia invaded Ukraine? There’s evidence manipulation was involved.
Your song of the day is Bleach (Move On) by Cash Cash.