Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Links: Bullpen Depth, Raising Ticket Prices, Media Predictions, & More

Now that we’ve gotten over the first loss – and subsequent meltdown – of the year, the Royals get to take the field again this afternoon as….wait. They’re not playing today? What are you even doing, Major League Baseball??? You can’t give us 1 day of baseball and then take it away from us like that. Not cool, Bud. Not cool at all. Let’s just get to some links.

- After yesterday’s loss, FOX Sports Kansas City’s Jeffrey Flanagan wrote that the bullpen’s struggles may show how important Luke Hochevar was in his setup role. While I do think it would help to have Hochevar on the staff (something I never expected to type), the Royals have enough bullpen depth that if anyone continues to flounder, they can simply try someone else. Louis Coleman will be off the disabled list next week. Michael Mariot and Donnie Joseph are waiting in Omaha, and on the 40-man roster. The team also has an open spot on the 40-man, and could add someone like Buddy Baumann or Spencer Patton if things get too dicey. I’m not overly concerned about the bullpen, partly because it was just one game, but also because there are so many arms to plug-in when needed.

- As this story from the Kansas City Star notes, the Royals’ average ticket prices rose 24.7% this year, which was the highest average increase in all of baseball. Overall, the average ticket prices are $24.73, which is the 19th highest price in the big leagues, but I’m sure there are quite a few fans wondering how a team that didn’t make the playoffs could justify such a significant bump in prices.

- ESPN’s panel of baseball experts all gave their predictions for the season, and several of them have the Royals not only making the playoffs, but winning the AL Central. This comes on the heels of CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman picking the boys in blue to win the American League pennant. As a lifelong Royals fan, having national media members touting the Royals feels weird. It’s uncomfortable.

- Meanwhile, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs thinks the Royals are being overrated by the media, and says he doesn’t think the team has enough to match up with the Tigers. That’s a feeling I’m more familiar with. I do think Cameron goes a bit far in calling the non-James Shields part of the rotation as “kind of terrible,” even if there is some bust potential there, but the rest of his points are certainly valid.

- At The Hardball Times, David Kagan goes into detail on the physics of a cutoff throw, comparing the launch angle and throw times of a direct throw from the outfield to home, to a throw made with a cutoff man in between. For a nerd such as myself, I found this piece very fascinating, even though it doesn’t take into account all of the potential factors.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals

  • jimfetterolf

    19th highest ticket prices, 19th highest payroll.

    As for the ‘pen, Perez didn’t block a pitch he usually gets and Escobar was a touch short. Ned Yost should be fired for having those guys on the field.

  • Brad Hewitt

    What happened to the article on fansided that broke the news of the Royals were being sold for 450 million? As soon as I did a repost it disappeared and I’m not able to locate this anywhere. Was this a hoax or April Fool’s joke? I’m not laughing as I was quite excited to read this news and Glass getting out of dodge instead of continuing to line his pockets at the expense of a less than could be had…

    • Dave Hill

      It posted earlier today. unfortunately, it was an April Fools joke.

      • Travis Majors

        Not cool at all!!!! You dont mess with Royals fans emotions like that, April fools or not!!!

  • moretrouble

    I am worried about the effectiveness of the pen without Hoch in there as the set-up guy. Regarding ticket prices, who can afford single ticket prices these days? You can throw all those predictions out with the garbage — the season is on! And, Hunter, you’d be better served to take a Theory and Practice of Baseball course at your local community college than reading what some of these guys say on the Internet.

    • Eric Akers

      I am less worried about the effectiveness because of Hoch being gone, but because Crow and Collins have to play a large part in it. If Crow cannot be trusted to come in with runners on at any point, then he needs to be traded for some single A flyer. I have a bit more faith in Collins as I think it is merely a control issue, and not an issue of just not being very good.

      I would love to see Coleman back, and I think we have a couple other guys that can step in. But it is looking to me like the pen is going to be merely average this year. I am not basing that off the first game, but more of a heavier reliance on Davis and Crow, the losses of Smith and Hooch, and a likely regression from Holland (not regressing to average, just not as good as last year). I have hope that Herrera improves dramatically though.

      • moretrouble

        Crow, Collins, Davis and Herrera don’t have enough command to spot up pitches yet. They’ll probably find it later in their careers, but the reason I like Coleman and Bueno is because they do. Yeah, they don’t have the pure “stuff” the others have, but they pitch to the corners, keep the ball low and get hitters swinging. I hope Yost takes full advantage of those two.

  • Brian J.

    Did anyone ever believe we would be “missing” Hochevar this much?