Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Athletic: The Royals’ rebuild was supposed to be built on pitching. What has gone wrong? [$]

In Kansas City, much of the ire has been directed at pitching coach Cal Eldred, who, aside from the shortened 2020 season, has not had a pitching staff finish better than 11th in the American League in ERA since his 2018 hiring. The Royals will make decisions on their major-league staff this winter, but a survey of rival executives, coaches, player development coordinators, scouts and former Royals pitchers reveals a fuller picture of the club’s struggles to develop pitching — particularly homegrown starters. Rival executives wonder about the speed at which prospects reached the majors. Scouts question pitch usage and the implementation of data. Former pitchers lament development methods that felt too rigid.

“If these stud pitchers — Kowar, Lynch, Singer, all these guys — had they been Dodgers or Rays or Guardians, they would be very, very good,” said one rival pro scout, referencing three clubs seen as at the forefront of pitching development. “But unfortunately … they haven’t been taught how to move well. They haven’t been introduced to the metrics that gives them an idea of how they can pitch most effectively.”

“I just think they’ve been insanely aggressive in pushing some of these guys,” added one rival executive. “And I think when you do that with pitchers, you just destroy their development.”

“They’re still further behind than most organizations, just in terms of their implementation of technology and truly understanding data, what it means, and how to implement it into player-specific development plans,” a third scout said, adding, “I just feel like they’re trying to search for what the recipe is.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 11:34 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. The Duke Posted: September 15, 2022 at 01:29 PM (#6096268)
Any article that doesn't blame Mike Marheny in whole or in part can't be correct
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 01:32 PM (#6096270)
I don't think Matheny is great, but the problems are well before these guys even get to him.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2022 at 06:30 PM (#6096335)
Not a pitching development expert here but I'm not seeing any issues with Singer. Drafted out of college in 2018, he was in the majors in 2020 (hardly atypical), he's been healthy, he's got a "career" 108 ERA+ with a 126 this year. That's not to say he wouldn't go Gerrit Cole on us if traded to the Dodgers or Astros but that's very, very far from a development failure. Lynch and Kowar I grant are not looking good and are also 25 now.

Anyway, it was an excuse to open the Royals page. Greinke's doing well enough to get a cheap contract somewhere next year if he wants one, certainly at least a NRI. Witt continues to K too much, walk too little and good lord does DRS hate his defense (is it really that bad?). I think that exhausts my interest in the Royals. (Don't get me wrong, that's more interest than the Cubs should hold for most people.)
   4. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: September 15, 2022 at 08:01 PM (#6096359)
Not a pitching development expert here but I'm not seeing any issues with Singer. Drafted out of college in 2018, he was in the majors in 2020 (hardly atypical), he's been healthy, he's got a "career" 108 ERA+ with a 126 this year. That's not to say he wouldn't go Gerrit Cole on us if traded to the Dodgers or Astros but that's very, very far from a development failure. Lynch and Kowar I grant are not looking good and are also 25 now.

Anyway, it was an excuse to open the Royals page. Greinke's doing well enough to get a cheap contract somewhere next year if he wants one, certainly at least a NRI. Witt continues to K too much, walk too little and good lord does DRS hate his defense (is it really that bad?). I think that exhausts my interest in the Royals. (Don't get me wrong, that's more interest than the Cubs should hold for most people.)


Pasquantino's had a pretty good MLB debut. .251/.340/.417, 114 wRC+. He's shown great contact abilities (87% contact rate, 6.3% SwStr%, 13% K%) and he's underperformed his Statcast metrics (xBA, xSLG, xwOBA).
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 11:45 PM (#6096385)
TINSTAAPP.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 09:12 AM (#6096396)
TINSTAAPP.

The article uses that very phrase, and its origins. The moral of this story is never, ever, base your entire rebuild on pitching prospects. It's like basing your IRA on lottery tickets.
   7. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: September 16, 2022 at 09:46 AM (#6096399)
Witt and Melendez are interesting on the hitter side. Witt is an incredible talent but held back (so far) by poor swing decisions. Melendez oozes talent, has good plate discipline and plenty of power, but his swing looks messy to me. He starts with a very open stance and tries to stride towards the pitcher but his butt is headed towards first base, so he pulls off the ball. He hits the ball hard but it seems like if he squared up properly he could get to a lot more pitches. This may explain his ridiculous reverse platoon split - I think he can get to balls coming from the left side of the mound because that's where his swing is grooved. That's a lot of amateur analysis but it's my 2 cents.

Both are young enough to figure it out but they might have these issues ironed out earlier in a different organization. Pasquantino looks like a development success.



   8. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 09:52 AM (#6096401)
The moral of this story is never, ever, base your entire rebuild on pitching prospects.

Oakland's Four Aces rotation would have to agree with you.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 16, 2022 at 01:44 PM (#6096452)
Oakland's Four Aces rotation would have to agree with you.
Vanzancanpeterpoppeldorfer!
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 01:58 PM (#6096456)
Oakland's Four Aces rotation would have to agree with you.

What was the Mets one called? Generation K? It was Aguilera, Pullsifer, and some others I can't remember.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 16, 2022 at 02:02 PM (#6096457)
Aguilera was way earlier. Isringhausen, Pulsipher, Paul Wilson? Who was the fourth? At least those three made the majors eventually.
   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 02:04 PM (#6096459)
What was the Mets one called? Generation K? It was Aguilera, Pullsifer, and some others I can't remember.

Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen, and Paul Wilson

EDIT: Coke to Billy Ripken. I don't think there was a 4th. OF Jay Payton was their other big young prospect at the time.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 02:42 PM (#6096463)

TINSTAAPP.


The article kinda mentions it in passing, but the Royals won before without developing starting pitching other than Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy (the latter of which wasn't much of a factor in 2014-15). Instead they got guys from outside the org - James Shields famously, but also Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Young, Edinson Volquez, Jason Vargas, and for the pennant push, Johnny Cueto, and developing an amazing shutdown bullpen.

So it kinda feels like they should just admit they're not good at this, and focus on developing hitters and relievers.
   14. geonose Posted: September 16, 2022 at 03:30 PM (#6096476)
So it kinda feels like they should just admit they're not good at this, and focus on developing hitters and relievers.

Ugh. That's a crummy solution. Admit you're not good at it (a step in the right direction), but why not commit to figuring out a path to improvement instead of just giving up?
   15. Zach Posted: September 16, 2022 at 05:10 PM (#6096510)
He starts with a very open stance and tries to stride towards the pitcher but his butt is headed towards first base, so he pulls off the ball.

Melendez had his big breakthrough in the minors after transitioning to the extreme open stance.
   16. DFA Posted: September 16, 2022 at 10:00 PM (#6096554)
Ugh. That's a crummy solution. Admit you're not good at it (a step in the right direction), but why not commit to figuring out a path to improvement instead of just giving up?


is it though? Pitching prospects break all the time, so maybe that means don't use your draft capital on them? Instead, draft pitchers after the 5th round (to be arbitrary), sign cheap International arms (looks at Astros) and spend your money on bats? Then you can trade your bats for pitchers when the time comes. Essentially this is what the Orioles are doing right now. The game is trending towards fungible starters, 5 and dive guys with ruthless efficiency. And if you do get a TOR starter, great. Outside of whatever secret sauce the Guardians, Dodgers and Rays are using, it's easier said than done.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 11:01 PM (#6096572)
Ugh. That's a crummy solution. Admit you're not good at it (a step in the right direction), but why not commit to figuring out a path to improvement instead of just giving up?

Given the poor history of drafting pitchers high, why is it a bad idea just to stop? Unless a pitcher is miles better than the available hitters, he's much more risky, and therefore less valuable.
   18. WilliamOtto Posted: September 20, 2022 at 12:05 AM (#6097017)
It's difficult to discover individuals who share excellent things like you elsewhere, thus we are constantly in need of them. You are a decent person, therefore I really want to tell you about Slope 2, a website with a ton of games that grab your attention straight away.
   19. Cris E Posted: September 20, 2022 at 12:30 AM (#6097018)
Bill? Bill Otto, is that you? I thought you died in March. Didn't you die, or is shilling lame web sites what you do in the afterlife? Tell me you're alive so I don't have to look forward to an afterlife of spam.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Don Malcolm
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogThere's a new longest last name in MLB history
(8 - 3:23am, Oct 03)
Last: vortex of dissipation

Newsblog2022-23 Preseason NBA thread
(343 - 11:03pm, Oct 02)
Last: rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(2538 - 10:47pm, Oct 02)
Last: 57i66135 is a hard word for me.

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the week of September 26 - October 5, 2022
(198 - 10:21pm, Oct 02)
Last: cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE

NewsblogRoger Maris Jr. blasts MLB, says Aaron Judge’s potential 62nd home run should be single-season record
(96 - 7:34pm, Oct 02)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogTony La Russa expected to announce retirement Monday as White Sox manager
(1 - 3:55pm, Oct 02)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - European Leages Return
(288 - 3:29pm, Oct 02)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

NewsblogTo dream the impossible dream - and then decide it's time to let it go
(41 - 3:14pm, Oct 02)
Last: sunday silence (again)

NewsblogShohei Ohtani to make $30 million in 2023, record amount for arbitration-eligible player
(1 - 2:58pm, Oct 02)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT - October 2022 College Football thread
(48 - 1:49pm, Oct 02)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogThree impacts of baseball's new 12-team postseason format
(6 - 1:11pm, Oct 02)
Last: bookbook

Sox TherapyPredictions of Ridiculousness
(143 - 12:59pm, Oct 02)
Last: Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful

NewsblogWhy Major League Baseball needs to do a better job of appreciating regular season greatness
(63 - 11:13am, Oct 02)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogMets to call up No. 1 prospect in baseball
(21 - 10:14am, Oct 02)
Last: KronicFatigue

NewsblogOrioles intend to sign new lease committing team to remaining in Baltimore, document says
(6 - 7:58am, Oct 02)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

Page rendered in 0.2688 seconds
48 querie(s) executed