The Royals still aren't winning, but they're more fun because they're hitting and they're doing it with the lineup they should be.
Massey's recent stretch of relative success has me worrying about him less than I was previously where he just looked completely lost. A lot of his batted ball profile is the same as it was last year where he was around a league average hitter (average exit velo is about the same, hard hit rate is up a touch, barrel rate is down about 6 percentage points, ratio of ground balls to line drives to fly balls is about the same), he just needs to keep cutting down on the swing and miss, as you've so aptly pointed out - a lot of these guys' batted ball data is fine, they've just not been getting the bat to the ball often enough.
They were at least interesting the middle part of the week. I’ll take that. Much better to at least be bad and entertaining than just bad and boring. For all my play the best defense talk Melendez and Fermin were not good yesterday…so maybe that’s the best we can hope for. Garcia has made a difference though.
It is interesting to see where the Royals and Orioles stack up. I actually kinda think they are more a .500 team and not a 21-10 team…but who am I to say anything when they are in second place in the toughest division in baseball. Minn leading the central would be 4th in that division. Which is just another kick in the nads for Royals fans seeing how bad this division is. The thing I appreciate about the Orioles….they committed and everyone knew exactly what they were doing. I’ve never got that same vibe from the Royals. I don’t feel like they have ever fully committed to the rebuild. This is one example where it seems to have worked…Tigers are an example of being just as inept as the Royals. But even when they fired the GM….they didn’t really commit to a change. Kinda like how DM was giving JJ the “GM” role a couple years ago. That wasn’t a real change then either. I can appreciate the Orioles for going all in on a plan. They are certainly fun to watch. What would it be like to have Gunnar Henderson, the top prospect coming up, not have to be a savior and playing when he earns it? A lot of different ramblings today. All in all, an entertaining series. Hitting looks better, Cox at least threw strikes (I will say, he was middle/middle with a lot of stuff it seemed like) and looked pretty good.
Different note - Isbel…if he’s out a while. Where does that put in in the pecking order going forward? As with Waters (still time), Bubic (IDK now), and now Isbel (who knows how long)….still alot of time left in the year…but the evaluation period for these guys is now getting squeezed and I wonder if someone like Isbel doesn’t get pushed to a 4th outfield role going forward just because they can’t keep evaluating forever. Or the evaluation time becomes what he’s done plus say he comes back in mid June…the 3 months remaining there. Which I would hope you make a decision by then.
Attention, all MLB competing teams!
Are you in the market for a lefty who throws 98, 99, sometimes as hard as 103 and has a nearly unhittable offspeed pitch (largely because of his insane fastball) but wilts like Iceberg lettuce left out in the sun if you commit the mortal sin of--gasp!--asking him to pitch two days in a row?
Well, have I got the guy for YOU!
I know that all but the most optimistic (insane?) fans know that in the overall scheme of things, wins and losses aren't really that important. That being said, on the micro level it is just disappointing that the game yesterday was lost by pitchers who will not be here in 2025 (Lyles, Chapman, and Garrett). It just hurts the soul a tiny bit.
Trying to win games when it doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter.
Before we completely turn our attention to Royals vs A's, let's do a quick review of the Baltimore series….
(Sorry David, I know you probably thought you had disposed of this topic. But then Thursday happened.)
Tuesday, Yarbrough completely lost the strike zone, thus gets bombed and is allowed to throw 80 pitches. Thursday, Lyles is getting bombed and is allowed to throw 102 pitches. In between, Zack gives up absolutely nothing but is permitted only 44 pitches.
Maybe there's a way to explain that that sounds rational-ish. But to me it sounds like a manager in search of a consistent pitching philosophy, who hasn't found one yet. This series against Baltimore includes the first major foulups I've noticed from Quatraro. During a long season a certain number of foulups are inevitable but what concerns me more than that is the day-to-day inconsistency that was on display.
We'll never know but maybe if he hadn't used so many relievers on Wednesday he could have replaced Lyles when he should have on Thursday. What we do know for certain is that his decision-making in game 2 makes little sense in the context of what he did in games 1 and 3.
I suspect that you're probably right about "zero impact on Thursday." To me that makes the decision to stick with Lyles even more inexplicable. Obviously it's WAY too soon to draw final conclusions about Q, whether pro or con. I just think that this series of incongruous decisions is "of note" as Soren likes to put it. That's all I'm saying, nothing more.
Off topic but hoping you can provide an explanation. Why send Cox back down? Maybe now that there is some tape on him they are worried he will get lit up? And I know there aren't a lot of pitching options, but Heasley? Is there any hope for pitching going forward?