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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Rebuilding Royals embark on The Process 2.0: ‘We’re going to change the game again’

The Process 2.0 is similar in leadership, and also in philosophy. The Royals got away from this for a few years, most notably when they chased power with Brandon Moss. But here they are, back to speed and athleticism, with a few important updates.

Primarily: The baseball operations department believes it can, will and must do a better job of developing starting pitchers. They covered that with a rocket-ship bullpen the last time, but now the rest of baseball has copied that part of the plan. The specifics change, but the broader charge remains: Do what others aren’t.

“Dayton changed the game four or five years ago when he decided spending money on starting pitching was not going to be productive for our situation,” Yost said. “So he built the greatest back of the bullpen he could and it shortened games. Nobody was doing it at that time. It changed the game.

“I believe we’re going to change the game again, and guys are going to start looking for speed and athletic guys and play a more pressure-packed offensive game than standing back and waiting for home runs.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2019 at 07:47 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals

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   1. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 13, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5822474)
I didn't RTFA, obviously, but don't your sorta have to caveat 'Primarily: The baseball operations department believes it can, will and must do a better job of developing starting pitchers' by acknowledging Yordano Ventura's absence?

start looking for speed and athletic guys and play a more pressure-packed offensive game than standing back and waiting for home runs.

I wish we lived in a world where this approach was more viable than I suspect it is in today's MLB, because it sounds super fun.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: March 13, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5822478)
shortened games
I loathe this idiom.
   3. Stevey Posted: March 13, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5822497)
The Royals got away from this for a few years, most notably when they chased power with Brandon Moss.


This actually makes me a lot less confident of the Royals plan. Thinking "we need a guy who can hit 20+ home runs", and going with the guy ZiPS projected to a sub .300 OBP, 89 wRC+, and 0.1 WAR is missing the forest for the trees. The problem wasn't a bad overall strategy, it was terrible talent-identification.

And while spending money on starting pitching may not have been productive for the Royals, they still spent a few bucks for their market-size on Guthrie and Volquez and traded for Cueto in their World Series season. Moore, most certainly, did not go, "meh, dont worry about the starting pitching".
   4. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 13, 2019 at 03:06 PM (#5822513)
I think the idea is less about 'focus on SP' and more 'develop our own SPs'.
   5. Stevey Posted: March 13, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5822516)
'develop our own SPs'


This is supposed to have "changed the game"? It only makes sense if the plan is to live with the SPs you developed (which the Royals didn't actually do) for better or worse, and putting more resources into building the pen than everyone else (which the Royals may have done). But has there ever been a team in the history of the game that hasn't thought "you know, we should develop our own SPs instead of spending huge bucks on 30+ year olds who might not have any ligaments left in their elbow"?
   6. Mike Webber Posted: March 13, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5822550)
There are two things going on here. The thing that they think they are doing differently is using speed and athleticism,
“I believe we’re going to change the game again, and guys are going to start looking for speed and athletic guys and play a more pressure-packed offensive game than standing back and waiting for home runs.”


The second thing, is not really the "new" process. It is an admission that other than Ventura they have done a poor job of developing starting pitching - or keeping the ones they did develop healthy.
   7. manchestermets Posted: March 13, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5822552)
I believe we’re going to change the game again, and guys are going to start looking for speed and athletic guys and play a more pressure-packed offensive game than standing back and waiting for home runs.


Why would you publically announce your planned team building strategy? Seems odd.
   8. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 13, 2019 at 05:19 PM (#5822565)
I am excited by a speed and athleticism strategy. I hope it works.
   9. villageidiom Posted: March 13, 2019 at 05:22 PM (#5822566)
Why would you publically announce your planned team building strategy? Seems odd.
Because they feel they've (mostly) built that team already. It's pretty easy to look at their roster moves and tell what their strategy was. They're just saying "we meant to do that".
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2019 at 05:39 PM (#5822573)

The Royals got away from this for a few years, most notably when they chased power with Brandon Moss.


Moss was replacing their speedy DH from the 2015 championship club, Kendrys Morales.

Because they feel they've (mostly) built that team already. It's pretty easy to look at their roster moves and tell what their strategy was. They're just saying "we meant to do that".


This is totally what they did when they claimed their bullpen strategy after the fact. In the years before, Dayton was stressing starting pitching, saying he wanted 1,000 innings from his rotation, talking up the great starting pitching development they had with the Braves. But the Royals lucked into Holland, Herrera, and failed starter Wade Davis and said "we totally meant to do that!"
   11. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5822580)
putting more resources into building the pen than everyone else (which the Royals may have done)

If by "resources" you mean "money", they certainly didn't. Their "revolutionary" bullpen strategy was just Herrera, Holland and Davis. The first two were cheap home-grown pitchers, Davis was acquired as a starter but flopped again so they did the same thing Tampa had already done with him once. He was expensive (by reliever standards at the time, around $8-10) because he'd signed a long-term buyout in Tampa when he was expected to be a starter.

The vaunted Royal's bullpen strategy was just the same one many teams had followed in the past -- lookie, we've got three really good relievers, let's use them. :-) You want a great bullpen that baled out a mediocre rotation on a great team, look at the 75 Reds -- Clay Carroll, Pedro Borbon, Rawly Eastwick, Will McEnany. All at 90+ innings, all ERAs under 3. People noticed ... not as much as they noticed the Reds offense but ... teams (and even sportswriters) also noted Gossage/Lyle, Sutter/Hernandez, the Nasty Boys, Wetteland/Rivera, etc. Each of those was supposed to set off a bullpen revolution too -- Wetteleand/Rivera kinda did because it established "the set-up man" as a thing every team needed to have.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: March 13, 2019 at 05:50 PM (#5822583)
what's old is new again!

NY Times, 1982

"In planning this year's strategy, Steinbrenner emphasized that the Yankees would become a team of speed. He did such a good job of emphasizing that, he gave credence to the contention that the Yankees lack the power they will need to fight off such challengers as Milwaukee, Baltimore and Detroit.....

Steinbrenner gave Dave Collins $825,000 a year for three years. That, more than anything, punctuated the move from power to speed.

Speed, Lemon says, is more than stealing bases. It is going from first to third on a single; it is scoring from first on a double. It also is cutting off a line drive in an outfield gap, holding a potential double to a single.

How far it gets the Yankees will be seen in the next six months. Earl Weaver, manager of the challenging Baltimore Orioles, maintains that home runs take a team farther than speed. But if speed can take a team to a pennant, the Yankees have it. They have it in Collins and Ken Griffey and Willie Randolph and Jerry Mumphrey and Dave Winfield."

[spoiler alert: this plan carried the Yankees to a 79-83 record with a breathtaking 69 steals! meanwhile they hit 161 homers. The Orioles, who were second at 94-68, went 49/179.]
   13. DJS Thinks Apples and Oranges are Similar Posted: March 13, 2019 at 08:29 PM (#5822620)
Nosense, we all know that the Royals revolutionized bullpens by having the 22nd-best bullpen WAR in 2013 since 2000. And when they finished 67th since 2000 in 2014, the league was totally hooked!
   14. Lars6788 Posted: March 13, 2019 at 08:37 PM (#5822621)

Nosense, we all know that the Royals revolutionized bullpens by having the 22nd-best bullpen WAR in 2013 since 2000. And when they finished 67th since 2000 in 2014, the league was totally hooked!


Obviously that's what people were looking at - not the two postseason runs in 2014 and 2015.
   15. Stevey Posted: March 14, 2019 at 07:54 AM (#5822677)
Well, I used “resources” instead of “money” for a reason. Because, as you show, it wasnt money. But it may have been time and effort. The Royals scouting and coaching relievers more than ofher teams did would be devoting more resources to that aspect of the game.
   16. McCoy Posted: March 14, 2019 at 08:41 AM (#5822679)
How do you scout and coach relievers more than anyone and what would that look like?

It would be one thing if they jumped on spin rates first and institutionalized it before anyone else. Did they do that?

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