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Thursday, July 13, 2017

KC Royals don’t exactly follow MLB Spanish translator rule | The Kansas City Star

Do they really need a dedicated translator if they have other multilingual staff?

Taking advantage of a loophole in the rule, the Royals have a translator in coach Pedro Grifol who is not professionally trained to interpret responses verbatim. While pieces of their interviews have been lost in translation, players still endorse Grifol’s approach.

“Sometimes in the heat of the moment you say things,” former Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales told The Star in Spanish. “But it’s usually better to not express everything you think because it could be misinterpreted.

“It’s better for everyone (when a coach protects you) because the weight of your words only reflects on you.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 13, 2017 at 06:58 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Friday, June 23, 2017

Royals sign former Brewers closer Neftalí Feliz and drop Chris Young

“Neftali has a power arm, and he’s healthy,” Moore said. “He also had a lot of success last year. It was pretty easy for us to move forward with this.”

Feliz’s struggles have stemmed from giving up the long ball. In just 27 innings for the Brewers, he allowed eight home runs, which is tied for second most in the MLB by a reliever in 2017. In 2016 with the Pirates, Feliz gave up 10 home runs in 53 2/3 innings.

In contrast, during Feliz’s two best seasons (2010 and 2011) in Texas, he allowed just nine home runs over 131 2/3 innings.

Royals manager Ned Yost said for now he plans to use Feliz out of the bullpen in low-leverage situations.

“It’s a low-risk, high-reward move,” Yost said. “We know that he still has the good arm. It’s fluid, and it’s effortless. (Pitching coach) Dave (Eiland) has seen a couple of things that are small, minor things that he thinks will help (Neftalí) quite a bit.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2017 at 11:09 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: chris young, neftali feliz, royals

Mets are open for a selloff: Here’s how it can work

So the Mets not only should be open-minded now, they should be open for business. In Bruce, Granderson, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed and Neil Walker (currently on the DL), they have five walk-year players unlikely to return or receive the qualifying offer, which would guarantee a contract of more than $18 million next season if accepted and – as part of the new CBA – return only a draft pick following the second round if the free agent signs elsewhere.

Since they still control all of their best starting pitchers through at least next year, the Mets would not be trading to rebuild. Instead, the goals would be 1) to save money to reinvest for the near future, and 2) to obtain pieces that either help the 2018 team or restock a farm system heavily depleted in the past few years in go-for-it trades. The Mets should emphasize big arms that, at worse, could give them better bullpen options for the future.

The key is to be proactive. For example, if the Yankees get further bad news on first baseman Greg Bird, the Mets should initiate talks about Duda before the Yankees turn to the A’s (Yonder Alonso) or before the Royals (Eric Hosmer) or Rays (Logan Morrison) potentially fall out of the race.

They should definitely be proactive with Bruce and Granderson because it is hard to find contenders clamoring for corner outfielders. Two teams that might need them now – the Blue Jays and Royals – are dabbling with .500. Wait and they can fall out of the race, or they can stay in as other sellers join the conversation. The best the Mets are going to get for Bruce or Granderson are helpful pieces, so if they can push for that now, why risk it disappearing later? Better 75 cents on the dollar now then nothing later.

Here are my suggestions: Make both available to the Royals and Blue Jays and ask the key piece in return be Nathan Karns (from Kansas City) and Ezequiel Carrera (from Toronto). That both of those players are currently on the DL shows how difficult the Mets’ path is.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2017 at 04:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, curtis granderson, jay bruce, mets, royals

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Royals’ Ned Yost struggles to find playing time for Jorge Soler | The Kansas City Star

On Wednesday, it was more apparent than ever. The Royals were facing a left-handed starter in Detroit’s Matthew Boyd. Yost opted for the right-handed hitting Bonifacio in right field and Salvador Perez at designated hitter, offering a start to backup catcher Drew Butera. Yost said he wanted to give Perez a half-day off. Alex Gordon, a struggling left-handed hitter, started in left field.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 10:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jorge bonifacio, jorge soler, royals

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Royals manager Ned Yost on retaliatory pitches and unwritten rules: ‘Let boys be boys’

As he sat inside his office on Tuesday, Yost was asked if he ever got nervous about a standout player such as Eric Hosmer potentially getting hurt because of an arbitrarily applied written rule — whether it be an errant pitch in the hands or arm or an injury during a brawl. Yost shrugged off the inquiry.

“I’m nervous every time Eric Hosmer crosses the street,” Yost said. “He could get hit by a car. A bird could poop in his eye, and we’d lose him for a week. C’mon, you can get hurt in a bunch of different ways. I’m not going to sit here and worry about a guy getting hurt in a fight.

 

Zach Posted: May 31, 2017 at 11:51 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: bird law, eric hosmer, fights, royals, unwritten rules

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dayton Moore says Royals are focused on 2017 | MLB.com

He is just trying to increase the ask, right? Right?

And right now, any talk of fire sales or giving up on the postseason chase is simply false, Moore said.

“Our process when we left Spring Training was to compete for a division title and the World Series,” Moore said. “That thought process isn’t going to change after 10 games or 20 games or 37 games or whenever. It’s not going to change.

“We’re going to continue to expect our team to play better. We’re going to focus on winning our division. We had a plan in the very beginning and we’re not going to abandon that plan. We’re playing very good baseball right now.”

The Royals, entering Tuesday night, had won six of seven.

“It is what it is,” Moore said of the rumors. “They’re just not accurate. I believe in this team.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:55 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dayton moore, royals

Monday, May 01, 2017

The Worst Offensive Month in Royals Team History

By OPS compared to the average, the Royals just finished April at 68%. That’s their worst-ever mark by five percentage points, beating out August 2005. The Royals had never hit so poorly. Don’t get me wrong, the Royals had hit very poorly, but this was probably their worst calendar month. And this is not a ballclub with a short history. It took some effort to come out this bad.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was one of the worst months of all time. Shifting to the more familiar wRC+, the Royals finished April at 65. That’s quite bad, but since 2002 — which is as far back as our splits leaderboard goes — there have been 23 worse offensive months. In April 2004, the Expos somehow posted a 37 wRC+, and they scored runs at just 39% of the league-average rate. In April 2003, the Tigers posted a 39 wRC+. As recently as June 2014, the Padres achieved a 40 wRC+. They scored runs at 55% of the league-average rate. The Royals have made team history, but I don’t want to exaggerate.

Now, there is one thing, though, I can’t just let go by. How have the Royals scored so few of their baserunners? With the bases empty, they’re 25th in wRC+, at 78. But with runners in scoring position, they’re in last, with a wRC+ of — wait for it — 16. 16! Tha

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 01, 2017 at 06:30 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: poop, royals

Monday, March 27, 2017

Raul Mondesi wins starting second base job for the Royals

On Monday morning, seven days before Opening Day, Royals manager Ned Yost announced that Mondesi would be the club’s starting second baseman when the season begins next week in Minnesota. Once viewed as an afterthought in a four-man competition and likely headed for Class AAA Omaha, Mondesi, 21, delivered a sterling performance all spring, beating out Whit Merrifield, Christian Colon and Cheslor Cuthbert.

“He went from, in our mind, day one of spring training, going back to Class AAA, to outright winning the job,” Yost said….

After making his major-league debut in the 2015 World Series, Mondesi, a former top prospect, made his regular season debut last July, batting .185 with 48 strikeouts and six walks in 149 plate appearances. He often looked overmatched at the plate. His pitch recognition and selection appeared raw. He appeared headed for Omaha in 2017, another assignment to refine his approach at the plate.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2017 at 01:38 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: raul mondesi, royals

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Royals focused on winning now, not free agency | MLB.com

Inside the Kansas City Royals’ clubhouse, no goodbye speeches are being prepared.

“We’re not finished,” left fielder Alex Gordon said. “We’re not satisfied with winning one World Series.”

Indeed, that could be the mantra for a season that could be the last waltz for a group of players that has done what once looked to be impossible.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2017 at 08:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How to Rationalize an Eric Hosmer Mega-Contract | FanGraphs Baseball

Ten-year contracts are pretty crazy. Sure, individual teams have thrown out crazy contracts on whim before but, with smarter front-offices being the norm now, pulling a great contract with a flim-flam maneuver seems harder in today’s market. (See Matt Wieters for reference.)

Eric Hosmer, right now, is not a 10-year-contract kind of player. WAR is our best measure of value, and it’s no fan of Hosmer’s. Teams know that, and their own systems would mostly agree. At the same time, you can see how Hosmer could be close to being one of those cornerstones. He could definitely be a better defender than he’s given statistical credit for. It’s hard to ignore the offensive timing he’s had. And the offensive upside is also a selling point, even if Hosmer has been hitting ground balls for six years. There’s more power in there, and some hitters have managed to set theirs free. It could be a matter of making one tweak.

No team in baseball would give Hosmer a mega-contract today, even if they believe him to be a little underrated. What Boras might be taking for granted, publicly, is that Hosmer can consistently be his best self. Deep down, Boras knows there’s work to be done, but there is a legitimate chance here. Eric Hosmer’s best self is a star first baseman. Several months from now, that mega-contract idea might not seem so far-fetched.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 03:29 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: eric hosmer, royals

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hosmer talking extension, but prepared for breakup of Royals’ core

Hosmer said Sunday that he, his agent Scott Boras and the Royals are discussing a contract extension, but indicated that he will test free agency if the sides do not strike a deal by Opening Day.

“I don’t know if it’s going to heat up now in spring training,” Hosmer said. “But during the season, I don’t like being bothered with that stuff. If something doesn’t happen here, I don’t see anything during the season really happening.”

Hosmer added, “It’s hard to make it to free agency. It’s a right that every player earns if they make it that far. We are talking about certain extensions, stuff like that. But the way I see it right now, I just want to make it that far. And if I do make it that far without signing anything, I feel like I deserve that right to see what’s out on the market.

“It’s not cutting this place out completely. It’s earning the right to see what else is out there, seeing my options, seeing what would be the best possible situation for me.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2017 at 08:03 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: eric hosmer, lorenzo cain, mike moustakas, royals


Yordano Ventura’s final year filled with family turmoil, emotional distress

In March 2016, Ventura was taken to a hospital in Arizona after overdosing on medication. Sangiovanni said he had attempted suicide, though some close to him are skeptical of that conclusion.

Whatever happened that day, Ventura’s personal life had become complicated for the young man from a remote Dominican resort town.

“I don’t think it was easy for him to get out of Las Terrenas and come into everything he accomplished,” said longtime friend Abel Padilla. “Not everyone can manage that type of pressure.”

Ventura expressed that burden soon after signing his breakout deal.

When he was home for the All-Star Break in 2015, Orlando Sarante remembers hearing his longtime friend — known to fellow Las Terrenas residents as Yafelín, not Yordano — yearn for the days when he was a poor teenager working for his grandfather’s hardware store and doing construction.

“‘I sometimes wish I was still driving around town in my grandpa’s truck,’” Sarante recently recalled him saying, “‘and that I wasn’t Yordano Ventura.’”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2017 at 01:00 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, yordano ventura

Thursday, February 16, 2017

DONNIE DEWEES ONE OF MANY PROSPECTS REAPING THE BENEFITS OF NEUROSCIENCE

Dewees credits this climb, at least in part, to his work with the software, which he refers to as “neuro”. It was created by NeuroScouting, LLC, which was cofounded by Brian Miller and Wesley Clapp and is based in Cambridge, Mass. “NeuroScouting was started in 2007 with a mission focused on translating the latest brain research into real-world applications,” Miller and Clapp said.

To players like Dewees, it is a seemingly simple program that helps with pitch recognition and reflexes.

“It’s just a standard computer and you use the space bar. It’s very similar to what you would see in a game,” Dewees said in a recent phone interview. In a separate interview last July, Dewees talked about the program, comparing it then to a video game that recreates in-game situations and tests the way hitters react to pitches.

The 23-year-old said the process of using the program each time takes just about eight minutes to complete the day’s work. That work is focused on building his pitch recognition skills, and developing better plate discipline to lay off of bad pitches.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 11:39 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: neuroscience, plate discipline, royals


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Royals pitcher Brian Flynn fell through the roof of his barn; he’s out eight weeks

Days before he departed for camp, reliever Brian Flynn crashed through the roof of a barn at his home in McAlester, Okla., breaking a rib and sustaining three non-displaced fractures in his vertebrae, Royals manager Ned Yost said on Tuesday. Flynn, a 26-year-old left-hander, is slated to miss close to eight weeks. He entered camp hoping to compete for a spot in a revamped Royals’ bullpen, but the injury stands as a significant setback.

“He was working on his barn and fell through the roof,” Yost said. “So he took a pretty good tumble, knocked himself out. So he’s going to be about eight weeks behind everybody else.”

I guess you can’t say “he can’t hit the broadside of a barn!”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 05:06 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: brian flynn, injuries, royals

Monday, February 13, 2017

Report: Royals sign Travis Wood to a two-year contract

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Royals are expected to sign pitcher Travis Wood. It will be a two-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Wood, 30, pitched out of the Cubs’ bullpen last season, posting a 2.95 ERA and a 47/24 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. Right-handed hitters hit him pretty hard, compiling an .865 OPS, but Wood held lefties to a .447 OPS.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 05:26 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, travis wood

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Royals forecast to finish last in AL Central in 2017 by PECOTA projections

Baseball Prospectus forecasts a 69-win season for the Royals in 2017 and a last-place finish in the American League Central. And it’s a distant fifth-place finish, six games behind the rebuilding Chicago White Sox.

A year ago, the PECOTA projection was right about one thing in the American League Central: The Indians were picked to win the division and that they did. However, the Royals exceeded their projection of a 76-86 record and a last-place finish in the Central.

Instead, the Royals were 81-81 and third in the division. That continued a trend of (depending on your view) overachieving Royals seasons or wrong predictions.

Complete PECOTA standings.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 11:20 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: pecota, royals

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Source: Jason Hammel agrees to 2-year deal to pitch for Royals

Charlie Morton-type money!

Free-agent pitcher Jason Hammel and the Kansas City Royals reached agreement on a $16 million, two-year contract Sunday, a source told ESPN’s Jim Bowden, confirming multiple reports.

The deal, pending a physical, includes a mutual option for a third year.

Hammel, 34, went 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 30 starts with the Chicago Cubs last season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2017 at 11:30 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: jason hammel, royals

Friday, February 03, 2017

Royals believe Brandon Moss’ power will translate to Kauffman Stadium | The Kansas City Star

“I love this ballpark,” Moss said Wednesday afternoon, while donning a Royals jersey at his introductory news conference. “I think it’s one of the most unheralded ballparks in baseball. It’s beautiful. And as far as hitting goes, some hitters like hitting in small parks; some hitters like hitting in parks where you see the ball well. And this ballpark has always been a ballpark where I’ve seen the ballpark really well.

“I don’t know why that is. It’s just one of those special ballparks. I feel like, for a power hitter, if you can see it and you can barrel it, it shouldn’t matter the size of the ballpark.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon moss, royals

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Royals, Brandon Moss Agree To Two-Year Deal

The Royals have agreed to a two-year, $12MM contract with free agent first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The deal is pending a physical. ESPN’s Jim Bowden first reported earlier Sunday that Kansas City was nearing an agreement with Moss, an ACES client.

Signing with the Royals will keep the 33-year-old Moss in Missouri, where he played the past season-plus as a member of the Cardinals. In 2016, his only full campaign in St. Louis, the powerful Moss slugged 28 home runs in 464 plate appearances and posted a .259 ISO.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 29, 2017 at 01:30 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon moss, royals

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

FanGraphs: No ordinary Joe

For those not keeping up with Fat Joe’s career post-Terror Squad, he has reinvented himself as the master of the slider and death to all RHB.

Blanton was effective in the Royals’ bullpen, and when he was traded to the Pirates at the trade deadline, he was again successful in a relief role. During the following offseason, he signed a modest one-year, $4 million deal with the Dodgers and was, again, successful pitching out of the bullpen.

Since 2015, Blanton has appeared in 107 games, all as a reliever. In that time he ranks 11th in ERA (2.29) among all relievers, 24th in FIP (3.02) and 26th in K-BB% (19.1 points).

So what’s strange — in an era during which we hear more interest and talk about teams relying more heavily on their bullpens, when we saw inspired bullpen usage by the Cleveland Indians and other clubs in the postseason — what’s strange is Blanton remains available in free agency.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

$20M owed to Yordano Ventura likely hinges on his toxicology report

I know this is news but…

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, yordano ventura

Looters left Ventura to die, according to unconfirmed reports - Royals Review

Initial reports aren’t always accurate but if Pedro’s comments are true, the story of Ventura’s horrible death just got even worse.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 06:58 AM | 169 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, yordano ventura

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Becoming Yordano

The odds of a young Yordano Ventura ever pitching in the major leagues were astronomically long.  But thanks to ability that Royals officials call a gift, not to mention more than a little good fortune, the fire-throwing young man who starred in game six of the 2014 World Series could be poised to follow in the footsteps of Dominican Republic countryman Pedro Martinez.

Zach Posted: January 22, 2017 at 11:22 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rip, royals, yordano ventura

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