Kansas City Royals: Location is the Name of the Game for Skoglund
By Chris James
The jury was out on whether Eric Skoglund could prove his worth being in the Kansas City Royals rotation. At least for the early part of the season. On Saturday, the 25-year old lefty proved he had “the stuff” to stick around.
Eric Skoglund stepped up when the Kansas City Royals needed him the most. After losing the first game of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, Skoglund took the mound in Game 2 and put on a pitching clinic.
He threw seven strong innings, allowing only one run on two hits while striking out nine in the 5-2 Royals win. It was the first win of the season for the young lefty and helped Kansas City snap a five-game losing streak.
Needless to say, it has been a slow start to the season for the Royals. The same could be said for Skoglund, who allowed nine earned runs in 10 innings during his first two starts.
So, what was the difference in his last outing? The answer lies in an old real estate term? Location, location, location
Skoglund was able to locate his pitches much more effectively and do so while changing speeds. The fastball averaged around 93 miles-per-hour. Mix in the ability to also spot up his offspeed stuff and the White Sox were unable to ever get a good read on the ball.
Just as important, the location game stayed consistent during all seven innings. That’s a good sign down the road.
As the game went on, you could tell Skoglund started getting “that swag” going. He showed some nice mound presence and poise. Rex Hudler made a great point in the first inning on how important it was for Skoglund to use his 6-foot-7 height to “pound down” on the zone and be aggressive. The lefty did just that in easily the best start of his young major league career.
Now the key will be to build off that and keep the momentum going.
The Royals return home for a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers with Skoglund getting the pill for Game 1 of the series today if it is not rained out. If it is, his next start could be Friday or pushed back further.
So what do you think Royals fans? Are we seeing a potential turn of events with Skoglund? Is he finally showing glimpses of what he could be? Let us know below!