Fun with Arbitrary Endpoints: The Royals in May


Perhaps using the word “fun” to describe the month of May for the Royals isn’t totally accurate, but “Mind-Numbingly Horrible and Depressing Statistics from the Frustrating Month of May” is too long for a title. Plus, now that I’ve started the series under the current name, changing it could affect the brand, or something.

If you’re unfamiliar with how this works, read this post detailing April’s random statistical observations. This post will be like that post, except using numbers from May. Like this:

– Six pitchers made starts for the Royals in May. The lowest ERA among them was 4.00, from Danny Duffy.

Don’t worry, though. I’ll include some positive statistics as well, because despite the team’s 12-17 record, there were a few good things that happened.

– The best-hitting American League center fielder in May was none other than Lorenzo Cain, who had a wRC+ of 143.

Alex Gordon had the 2nd best offensive month on the team, with a wRC+ of 132. He also drew 14 walks, struck out 15 times, scored 14 runs, and had 15 RBI.

– On the other end of the spectrum, Eric Hosmer was the worst first baseman in all of baseball last month. His wRC+ was 66.

– Fourteen Royals hitters amassed at least 20 plate appearances in May, and eight of them had infield fly ball rates above 10%.

– Seven of those fourteen hitters had line drive rates above 20%.

– Over the last 14 days of the month, Billy Butler had a line drive rate of 30.4, but only 3 extra-base hits.

– Over the last 14 days of the month, Royals’ catchers produced a wRC+ of 33. Surprisingly, 3 teams in baseball received even worse production from their catchers during that timeframe.

– The Royals were successful on 28 of 32 stolen base attempts, which comes to a success rate of 87.5%.

– As a team, the Royals had the worst offense in MLB in May, with a wRC+ of 76. They did finish above the Cardinals in home runs for the month, though – 13 to 11.

Wade Davis faced 38 batters last month. He struck out half of them. He also walked zero of them.

– Davis allowed a contact rate of 68.5% on pitches in the strike zone, by far the best mark in the majors during May.

Aaron Crow allowed a contact rate of 97.9% on pitches in the strike zone, which was the worst mark in the majors during May.

– Davis and Greg Holland combined to face 79 batters in May, and they allowed 10 hits total. For comparison, Crow faced 54 batters, and he allowed 11 hits.

– The team’s strikeout leader in May was Jason Vargas (36), just like everyone expected.

– No Royal allowed more home runs than Jeremy Guthrie (7), but only Duffy had a lower ERA, among the starters.

– The Royals’ rotation had an ERA- of 121. No American League team was worse. Luckily, their bullpen’s ERA- was 93, which ranked 11th in the AL.

– And finally, to drive home the point that the offense isn’t the only thing to blame for the poor showing in May: Royals’ pitchers allowed 36 home runs last month, which was the highest total in the league.