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.