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Monday, December 05, 2016

New CBA, qualifying offers could impact Royals | MLB.com

Rany Jazayerli explained why this isn’t true on Twitter. I’ll consolidate his tweets here because Twitter is just horrible for stuff like this.

Yes, they can. I’m getting really tired of seeing this meme everywhere. The Royals planting this story doesn’t make it true. Let me explain: No, the Royals probably can’t afford to pay $90M to 5 players next year. But that’s not what will happen. What will happen is 5 different players will each separately make a decision on whether to accept a 1 year, $18M offer. And precisely because of who those players are they likely won’t accept, because they can get more $ elsewhere - ESPECIALLY because the penalty for signing FA has dropped considerably. But let’s say they do accept, and the Royals don’t want to pay the money. Guess what? The Royals can trade the guy. Are you telling me the Royals couldn’t find a team willing to trade for Mike Moustakas or Eric Hosmer on a 1 year, $18M contract? Please. If the player isn’t worth a 1 year, $18M contract - say Lorenzo Cain has a terrible year - then you simply don’t offer him a QO. But this idea that we can’t take the risk of being stuck with a star-caliber player on a one-year deal is ridiculous. It reminds me of after the strike in 1995, when the Royals suddenly decided they couldn’t afford expensive players, and took the first offer on Brian McRae and David Cone. For McRae - a 27-year-old elite defensive CF - they got two relievers who combined to throw 8.1 more innings in the majors. And for Cone who had JUST WON THE CY YOUNG AWARD - they got utlilityman Chris Stynes and two guys who never made the majors. When you’re afraid of uncertainty, you end up making certain mistakes. If KC wants to trade veterans now to avoid a complete rebuild next year, I get it. But level with us. Don’t claim you can’t afford to offer a QO when every piece of evidence says you can, and you should.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 10:39 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

The Royals are in a bind and will have to do something about it soon | FOX Sports

I can’t see how they wouldn’t be able to afford the draft picks. Each player they’d be losing makes more than the draft slot will be. I would think they’d also be tempted to make one last run.

In theory, the Royals could carry all of their potential free agents through ‘17, make each a qualifying offer and collect draft picks following the first round for every one who signs a contract above $50 million — a new stipulation under the collective-bargaining agreement.

Realistically, a low-revenue team such as the Royals never would make qualifying offers to six players, not when the QO likely will be in the $18 million range next offseason. The Royals also might not want to direct their limited resources to six high picks, not when the alternative is acquiring prospects with professional track records in trades.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 06:17 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Royals using Statcast as coaching tool | MLB.com

Good stuff. Read the whole thing.

Previously, baseball has relied on the highly subjective statistic of Defensive Runs Saved used by the sabermetrics community to evaluate defenders. Statcast™, through its tracking devices, can replace that with an objective measure of route efficiency based on the flight of the ball and the defender’s route to it.

“To be able to determine whether or not [Jarrod] Dyson or anyone else took the proper route,” Wakamatsu said, “is something we as coaches can use as a coaching tool.”
...
“To me, BABIP simply raises a red flag, one way or another, and tells you to dive into it more deeply,” Wakamatsu said. “Along the same lines, if we look at an opponent who is 0-for-5 on sliders low and away, and he has a BABIP of .000 on those, you might think that’s the way to pitch him. But if his average exit velocity is 105 mph on those balls and they were all rockets, you’re not going to pitch him that way.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 11:09 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, statcast

Family of Caleb Schwab, boy killed on Verruckt, helped by Royals | The Kansas City Star

Here’s your feel good story of the day.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 10:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Monday, November 14, 2016

2017 Kansas City Royals Top 10 Prospects | BaseballAmerica.com

Staumont at #1 in Baseball America?

MLB Pipeline ranks him 10th. The biggest issue is clearly his control.
MLB Pipeline’s Scouting grades: Fastball: 80 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 40 | Overall: 45

Here’s what they had to say about him.

Staumont can maintain a mid-90s fastball into the late innings as starter, work in the upper 90s as a reliever and hit 102 mph with riding life. He also can run a two-seamer into the high 90s with heavy sink. He has ace-caliber stuff when he can locate his pitches, backing up his heat with a hard downer curveball and a changeup with splitter action.

The problem for Staumont is that he rarely locates his pitches because he has trouble keeping his mechanics in sync. He has below-average control and even worse command, which means he’ll probably wind up as a reliever rather than a starter. If he can find the strike zone on a consistent basis, he could become a closer.

This is BA’s take.

1. Josh Staumont, rhp |

SCOUTING GRADES
Fastball: 70.
Curveball: 60.
Changeup: 40.
Control: 45.

Based on 20-80 scouting scale—where 50 represents major league average—and future projection rather than present tools.

Scouting Report: Staumont creates extremely easy top-of-the-scale velocity. He’s touched triple digits with a delivery that looks almost effortless. Staumont’s right arm has allowed him to pitch successfully at a level beyond his current understanding of the craft. This year his understanding of pitching started to catch up to his stuff, although it still has a ways to go before he’s consistently setting up hitters. His plus-plus four-seamer sits anywhere from 92-98 as a starter and has touched 102 when working out of the bullpen. It is a rather true pitch without much life. The only thing keeping it from an 80 grade is its lack of life. He also throws a two-seamer with sink, but the Royals have had him focus on commanding the four-seamer first before letting him rely on the harder-to-control two-seamer. His 11-to-5 curveball isn’t consistent but is a plus pitch at some point in most every outing and will flash plus-plus at its best. His changeup is below-average and he uses it more at this point because he knows he needs to rather than because it’s a reliable weapon. Staumont’s control improved as the season progressed in part because of a mechanical tweak. He now brings his hands above his head in his windup instead of the simple hand break he used earlier. It improved his timing. He is focused on using his legs in his delivery more instead of the “tall and fall” delivery he used in college. He is somewhat stiff, which limits his below-average control and command and his ability to diagnose and correct delivery issues quickly as they crop up. Staumont has work to do on holding runners. He was easy to steal on and four of his five errors in 2016 came on errant pickoff throws.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2016 at 10:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, royals

Friday, November 11, 2016

Blue Jays To Sign Kendrys Morales

The Blue Jays have struck a deal to sign free agent DH Kendrys Morales, as first reported on Twitter by Chris Meola and as Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets. The contract will reportedly cover three years and guarantee Morales $33MM.

Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone Posted: November 11, 2016 at 04:55 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, kendrys morales, royals

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Congratulations! The Royals are sending pizzas to the Chicago Cubs front office

It’s a tradition like no other. OK, maybe not at the level of The Masters, but this is certainly very cool.

After the Royals won last year’s World Series, the San Francisco Giants sent 25 pizzas to the Royals. The Giants were the defending World Series champions and they had received pizzas the year before from the Boston Red Sox, who won the title in 2013.

So the Royals are paying it forward.

Toby Cook, the Royals’ vice president of publicity said the team is sending Giordano’s deep dish pizza to the Cubs front office. It’ll be deep dish, naturally. Cook said the pizza feast will be enough to feed 150 people, but wasn’t sure how many pizzas that will be.

Zach Posted: November 03, 2016 at 11:58 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, royals, traditions, world series

Friday, October 14, 2016

Heyman - Teams Calling Royals On Wade Davis

Davis, though, should have excellent value even in a market stacked with excellent closers. It’s the best closing market perhaps ever, with Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon all free agents.

Of course all three of those closers will cost a pretty penny (one GM predicted all three would top Jonathan Papelbon’s record $50-million deal for closers, and Chapman and Jansen certainly will), while Davis is a bargain.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2016 at 11:28 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, rumors, wade davis

Friday, September 30, 2016

Why Bo Jackson chose baseball

“Bo would like to visit Kansas City,” the agent said. “He’d like to see the players, see the stadium. But he doesn’t want to work out.”

Schuerholz wasn’t buying it. He suspected Jackson and his agents were merely using the Royals as a negotiating tool against the NFL, and asked Stewart for his opinion. He contacted Gonzales, who assured the director of scouting that Bo Jackson had genuine interest in the major leagues. “John,” Stewart told Schuerholz, “all I can tell you is Kenny Gonzales has spent seven years on Bo Jackson, and he knows him and his family better than anyone. We have to believe in Kenny.”

That Saturday afternoon, Jackson and Woods arrived at Royals Stadium and sat down with Schuerholz, Stewart and Gonzales. The general manager wasted no time. “Bo,” he said, “do you really want to play baseball?”

Jackson was young and green and raw but haltingly sincere and steadfast. “Mr. Schuerholz,” he replied, “that’s why I’m here.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2016 at 10:34 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, bo jackson, draft, football, royals, yankees

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Royals, not too long ago promising, just got dominated by the rotten A’s | The Kansas City Star

Exhibit 2,157,874: Winning is hard.

“It just isn’t happening, man,” said first baseman Eric Hosmer. “I don’t really know, man. There’s no excuses. Didn’t really feel like their pitching was overpowering, or good enough to hold us, but stuff just didn’t happen.”

These are proud professional athletes, and most of them are accomplished at their sport’s highest level, so most will bristle at what is nonetheless a fairly obvious and noncontroversial observation — they tapped out.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2016 at 09:38 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Nothing bugs the Royals like doubters, and they’ve still got plenty left

Bugs or propels?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 01, 2016 at 05:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Royals’ Cheslor Cuthbert regularly calls home to check on his chickens

When a young man receives a significant amount of money to sign with a Major League Baseball team, it’s no surprise that he won’t wait long to spend some cash.

You’ve probably heard about ballplayers buying fast, expensive cars or nice clothes or even a big house.

But Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert apparently dropped some money on chickens. Seriously.

Zach Posted: August 24, 2016 at 07:59 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: ain't nobody here but us chickens, cheslor cuthbert, royals

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Kansas City Royals will miss the MLB playoffs; they have too much ground to make up | The Kansas City Star

Sam Mellinger is not optimistic about the Royals.

They have virtually no chance at making the playoffs. Still.

This is true, even now, with eight straight wins and 11 of the last 12. This is true, even now, with a wild-card deficit cut from 9 1/2 games to 3 1/2 . This is true, even now, with the starting rotation soaring and Alex Gordon hitting and Paulo Orlando making a sneaky case for team player of the year.

This is true, even now, for two main reasons:

Math, and July.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2016 at 11:21 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Q&A with the Los Angeles Times’ Andy McCullough on the insecurity of writing, what the Royals did for his career, and Twitter schtick

Interesting candid thoughts from the Dodgers (and former Royals, Mets, and Yankees) beat writer.

This past spring, I stopped by the Royals clubhouse. “We got you promoted!” Eric Hosmer said. In that moment, your insecurity creeps in, and you want to say “Fuck you, I did this on my own!” But that’s not totally true. So I wear it. I’m sure I’ll be connected with Kansas City for a while, and I’ll stomach the occasional dweeb on the Internet telling me I owe my career to the Royals. Only Billy Zane makes his own luck…..

As for good teams and bad teams: Either one can be interesting. The 2010 Mets were a delightful trainwreck: Jose Reyes pulled an oblique muscle, and instead of putting him on the disabled list, the team told him to stop switch-hitting. Francisco Rodriguez fought his spouse’s father at the ballpark and spent the night in a cell at Citi Field; the team put K-Rod on the restricted list, and when a reporter asked Jerry Manuel how the team would welcome K-Rod back next year, Manuel replied, “I’m here next year?” There was the embarrassing Walter Reed incident. Manuel suggested John Maine could make his comeback with the team by pitching on off-days. The team played with, essentially, a 24-man roster for months, because Oliver Perez refused a minor-league assignment, and Manuel refused to use him.

I’m sure I’m forgetting like 15 other ridiculous things. I just assumed all teams were that dysfunctional. As for good teams: You have a clarity of purpose that allows you to put events into context, and it is nice being around players who give a ####. You get a lot more eyeballs on your work when the team is good. My career arc is a testament to that. So, thank you, Dave Eiland, for convincing Ned to run his bullpen better, which got people to read my stories from the playoffs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 19, 2016 at 01:58 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: andy mccullough, dodgers, journalism, mets, royals, writing, yankees

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Billy Bob of the Baseball Movies

But Thornton was more than a fan. At Malvern (about 20 miles from Hot Springs) High School, he had some success as a pitcher. He was good enough to get invited to a Kansas City Royals tryout camp in 1973. And it was there that fate intervened.

On his first day at camp, he was hit by an errant throw during an infield drill. An anonymous but strong-armed third baseman broke his collarbone. Thornton was not participating in the drill but was just a bystander. And so his professional career ended before it even started.

Of course, the odds against any participant in a tryout camp getting a contract, much less making it to the major leagues, are overwhelming. In Thornton’s case, that was particularly true. But baseball’s loss was Hollywood’s gain.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 18, 2016 at 11:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball movies, billy bob thornton, hollywood, royals

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The agony of Alex: It’s been a painful season for Royals star Gordon | The Kansas City Star

It’s not a good year for Alexes.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 11, 2016 at 08:52 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, royals

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Ranking all 30 MLB teams by likability

This guy must be a Royals fan.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 03, 2016 at 10:10 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Friday, July 22, 2016

Kansas City Royals add ultrasound system MuscleSound

Looking for an edge.

Kenney says the players remain divided on the new technology, with some fearing that any information—the technology does read the quality of a muscle—will get used against them in future contract talks, but others stay “very, very interested to see where their body is taking them.”

“We are trying to get guys to optimal levels and increase performance levels,” Kenney says. “That is our intended use.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2016 at 10:22 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, science

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bird was nearly obliterated by a pitch and a bat at Royals game

While Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright was pitching to Cheslor Cuthbert, a bird flew near home plate at Kauffman Stadium.

Not only did the bird narrowly miss the ball, but also the bat as Cuthbert swung.

Zach Posted: June 28, 2016 at 11:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bird, near miss, royals

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Edinson Volquez may have just thrown the worst start of the modern era

Royals starter Edinson Volquez entered Friday night’s appearance against the Astros with a 106 ERA+—meaning, in the simplest terms, he’d been an above-average pitcher on the season when things like his ballpark and the league as a whole were taken under consideration. Volquez then had one of the worst starts in big-league history, thus ensuring that was no longer the case.
Not only was Volquez lifted after recording just three outs—he failed to get anyone out in the second inning—but he yielded 12 runs (11 earned).

It’s worth noting that Volquez’s negative-18 Game Score ranks as the 15th-worst of all-time. All but one of the starts worse than Volquez’s came before World War II, however, with Mike Oquist being the lone contemporary pitcher to perform so horribly—he threw five innings, allowed 14 runs, and gave up four home runs. As such, it would be fair to argue that Volquez’s effort is the worst of modern times.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2016 at 08:27 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: edinson volquez, royals

Sunday, June 19, 2016

George Brett has never stopped trying to please his old man, in spite of it all | The Kansas City Star

We only have one.

George Brett is thinking about his father again, the man who punched him and kicked him and at least once threatened to kill him. George loved the old man. Sometimes people have a hard time understanding that.

George has read stories that say he hated his father, and, sure, there were moments back when he was a kid in Southern California when that was true. But isn’t that how most of us are with our parents?

No, George never hated the man. Not in a real, lasting way, at least. He was scared of him. Scared to death. But that’s different than hate. Jack Brett demanded the best from his kids. There’s something to be said for that.

Father’s Day is this weekend. This summer is 25 years since George’s dad died of cancer. But George would be thinking of him anyway.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2016 at 09:57 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: george brett, royals


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Royals move on from struggling second baseman Omar Infante, designate him for assignment

Would he still wear a Royals uniform when he starts the All-Star Game?

The Royals officially cut their losses with second baseman Omar Infante on Wednesday, designating him for assignment to clear room on the roster for left-handed pitcher Brian Flynn.

The move results in a significant amount of dead money for the Royals. Infante is still owed roughly 60 percent of his $7.75 million contract this season, which comes out to about $4.7 million. The Royals also are on the hook for $8 million next season and a $2 million buyout in 2018, meaning they still owe him about $14.7 million — an amount that is nearly half of the original four-year, $30.25 million free-agent deal signed in the 2013 offseason.

“It’s a mistake you don’t like to make,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “You don’t like to spend money unnecessarily. You make these types of commitments, and sometimes they don’t work out. You are paid and evaluated so they will work out.”

Infante’s struggles were well documented. In 39 games this season, he batted .239 with a .279 on-base percentage while offering little power and diminished defensive abilities.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 16, 2016 at 04:53 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: omar infante, royals

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The reason why the Royals have considered trading Yordano Ventura - Yahoo Sports

Another stupid skirmish.

Yordano Ventura, petulant child, roared back to life Tuesday night, when after missing Manny Machado twice with brushback pitches during his second at-bat he planted a 99-mph fastball in Machado’s ribs in the third. Were this some other pitcher, maybe any other, Machado would’ve shaken off the pain and hobbled to first base. That it happened to be someone who in three consecutive starts last season incited benches to clear provided the tinder, kindling and logs for a Machado spark that otherwise would’ve idly died.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 08, 2016 at 09:07 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, royals, yordano ventura

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