Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Happy Yordano Ventura Day, you guys! I don’t know about you, but watching Ventura’s start tonight is probably the best way for me to completely recover from the horrible weekend in Minnesota. One might also expect Minute Maid Park to help the Royals’ bats start to break out as well, but then again, we thought the same thing about facing the Twins’ pitching staff, so I’m not going to set the bar too high. Let’s take a look at some articles from around the Royals universe in recent days.
– During Saturday’s radio broadcast, Steve Physioc made a comment about Royals fans when talking about the team’s struggles. Physioc said, “it doesn’t help in today’s world of social media where everyone has an opinion.” I considered writing a full article on this ridiculous quote, but this piece by Pine Tar Press’ Jason Tarwater hits the nail right on the head.
I, too, don’t like being around a ton of negativity this early in the season, but I’m not going to tell people how to be fans, and broadcasters should never blame fans for caring about their favorite teams. There is no upside to making a statement like that.
– On FOX Sports Kansas City, Jeffrey Flanagan discusses Danny Duffy‘s first career relief appearance, in which he retired all 7 batters he faced. While he still allowed far too many foul balls, it was great to see no one reach base.
Flanagan mentions Duffy’s recall being a curious one, and a quote from Ned Yost indicates the team wanted a lefty in the bullpen. That certainly makes sense, but it makes one question why Donnie Joseph was demoted just days earlier instead of a right-handed reliever. Also, does this relief appearance mean Duffy will no longer be a starter for the organization? If so, I think the Royals would be making a big mistake.
– Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star says that Pedro Grifol has been working with Billy Butler on his stance, attempting to back off of the plate a bit so he can get to inside pitches more easily. Butler says he started to crowd the plate more during spring training in an effort to hit more balls to right field, so this adjustment is basically just getting him back to where he was before.
Butler also recognizes his timing and mechanics are off, which is resulting in so many ground balls. It’s absolutely frustrating to see a talented hitter in this kind of funk, but Butler has proven to be a hard worker, so he and Grifol should be able to figure out the solution to this current problem.
– Over at SB Nation, Bryan Grosnick wrote a very good piece on the emergence of so many terrific, young starting pitchers, including the Royals’ own Ventura. Grosnick attributes their success to a couple of main factors: the current run-scoring environment, and the theory that pitchers’ peak years are now earlier than they had been previously. There’s some interesting numbers presented, and overall, an extremely informative article.
– Former Royal Jeff Francoeur is a nice guy. Because he’s such a nice guy, he can be too trusting at times, like, in this video posted by his teammate of the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, Cody Decker. Decker and the rest of the team had convinced Frenchy that pitcher Jorge Reyes was deaf. The prank was quite elaborate, and Francoeur didn’t discover the truth until he watched this video himself. It’s fairly entertaining.