27 Comments
May 24, 2023Liked by David Lesky

You're absolutely right that Mayers looked fantastic Tuesday night. (That slider was borderline illegal!) Who knows, he could turn out to be one of those highly unexpected valuable pieces of a rebuilding team. Although it occurred to me that it's kind of a sad commentary on the state of the pitching staff that we have to turn to a journeyman like Mayers for our pitching highlights.

10 walks in the series opener against a losing team? YIKES! One could perhaps be forgiven for wondering if "raid the zone" had morphed into "raid the beer cooler."

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May 24, 2023·edited May 24, 2023

Jake Eisenberg went a little more old-school than Austin Powers last night. After one of his strikeouts, he noted that the Tigers' player whom he struck out (can't remember which one) was "not worthy." I'm not even sure how old Jake is, but surely he wasn't born before 1989 when Wayne's World debuted on SNL. I wish that I weren't; alas, I was in high school already.

There are now 69 qualified major-league starting pitchers. Of those 69, Jordan Lyles is 68th in ERA and Brady Singer is 69th. Ouchie. So right now, they have two bullpen-opener spots and LITERALLY the two worst pitchers in MLB in the rotation. And then there's Thornton Melon (a/k/a Zack Greinke). I think (or is "hope" the correct word?) that Daniel Lynch is standing on the bump in St. Louis on Monday or Tuesday. I also wouldn't mind giving Mayers another go, so maybe he can show those dirty birds what they lost!

Is it weird that it doesn't even bother me that Pasquatch is in a 4-for-42 or whatever it is? He's just too hitterish for that to last very much longer.

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Man, I love me some Wayne's World. My friends quote the gun rack line constantly!

The starting is...woof right now. I actually think there's more hope than is easy to see and I assume at some point that Singer will at least get back to the 2021 version, which was not good but also not horrific. I can't imagine that Lynch isn't the guy next week, but I also was pretty sure Drew Waters would be back on Monday, so what do I know? I'd like to see Mayers get another look, especially with their big righty bats. Let's see if the slider is a real weapon or a one-time blip.

As for Vinnie, I have a theory and it's about a contract negotiation and distractions, but that's all I'll say.

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May 24, 2023·edited May 24, 2023

Whenever we want to gnash our teeth about how bad KC's pitching has been, we only need to look to the Eastbay area.

On 580 WIBW yesterday, Brendan Dzwierzynski (god I hope that's right) brought up an interest factoid: the A's team ERA at 30th is so far behind the Royals' ERA at 29th that there is a bigger gap between them than there is between the Royals and the Twins, who are THIRD.

And right now, it's only the starters. The bullpen has, for the most part, been just nails, and you provided the statistical backup for that in your article today.

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The A's are must-watch television. It's historic!

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they're currently on a 33-129 pace. I'm not sure that they can't maintain it!

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They are truly kind of fun to watch though, most nights.

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I suspect that it's probably cheaper to attend a little league game. And you'll probably see a better brand of baseball to boot!

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Mayer pitched even better than the numbers. Many of his misses were either actually Ks or just barely off the plate and could have been called Ks by an ump with a more generous zone. I think he got a little tired in the fifth. If he gets those balls called strikes earlier, perhaps he goes 5 and gets the win. Not that it matters a great deal, but was definitely a great outing.

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You're right. It wasn't a great zone and there were a couple times he could have had a much quicker out. He definitely did wear down. I think the 84 pitchers were his fourth most in a big league game in his career. It was impressive either way.

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I know you don't generally listen to the tv announcers but I did like Jeremy Guthrie in the booth.

I also feel the success of this organization isn't based on the pitching at the major league level right now but the coaching staff's success in the minors with pitching. If they can get something out of the major league level pitching now, it is a bonus but I'm not feeling warm and fuzzy about this group.

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I agree. Guthrie is surprisingly good at this. I figured he might be okay but I really like him. He was GREAT on the spring training webcasts.

And also agree on the minor league pitching. They clearly have a different program now and the results are quite good. We’ll see if it works, but I’m more optimistic today than I was two months ago and that was before a 15-35 start at the big league level.

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I'm with you, I've definitely enjoyed Jeremy's work as well! Although I wonder what's going to happen when he runs out of his very best stories.

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Ditto on thinking Guthrie's been really solid. Much better than Sweeney, who has a little too much GMDM-style "isn't everything SWELL?" vibe for my liking.

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May 24, 2023Liked by David Lesky

I, too, am somewhat intrigued by Mayers. He's found himself in the league for a long time with that stuff — who knows if he's a Springs or gets sprung back to Omaha. But, at the rate the Royals' SPs are going, he deserves a shot at the Yarborough spot at a minimum.

Oh, and BTW, you guys subscribe here. David churns out great content, so show some appreciation! :)

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May 24, 2023Liked by David Lesky

With the Dozier DFA Mr. Sherman has officially finished cleaning house. I was a very big Dozier supporter, but he played his best baseball long ago. The money left on the contract is meaningless because it was already spent the day they signed the contract. Move over, youth is served. No more looking back! Gi Royals!

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May 24, 2023Liked by David Lesky

Usually, I have something to say that has some depth. But I’ve been super busy this week and haven’t been as tuned in as I have been earlier but I am intrigued by what I’ve seen with the roster management lately. It seems like JJ made the decision to let the first 26 ride for April and see what they had for better or for worse. Q did his thing to try and make things work but he just didn’t have the horses. And since the calendar flipped JJ has been making moves and using the Omaha express to get some arms back and forth which, frankly, is a good thing because no one on this staff outside of Greinke has earned any sort of benefit of the doubt. I like the way that they used Mayers and Hernandez and the willingness to move players in the lineup.

I just don’t know what to do/think about Witt and Melendez. In a weird way, I think the Royals feel intimidated by both in a way that they didn’t with Hosmer and Moose, who seem like their closest analogues. I’m sure the Royals would love to sign Witt to a long term extension but ... why? And MJ has been worth -0.9 bWAR. So yikes.

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I would actually argue they were way more intimidated by Hos and Moose. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because they hadn’t had ANY success and needed something to work. But you have to trust your people and if you can get Witt for a better deal and believe he’ll figure it out. Go for it. As for Melendez, his WAR numbers are out of whack because of how bad he was defensively behind the plate so I’d take them with a small grain of salt.

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Weird. Obviously Moose and Hoz came up before social media had truly rounded into form and I may not have had the best pulse of the team but they sent Moose down when he was struggling similar to MJ. Same is true with Gordo. And I agree with Witt if you can get him on the cheap but the question is raised why would HE sign that deal if he thinks he can figure it out. And I guess I don’t even know who his comp would be when trying to figure something like that out. That being said, I like the idea of him hitting 4 because his ISO is still rock solid.

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They didn’t send Moose down until 2014! It took a long time.

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Ok ok. Sorry. *backs away slowly*

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Didn’t watch the game last night but glad you had some positive things to write about!

I was 99% sure Singer would figure it out….but even with the better results under the hood wasn’t great and now Detroit lights you up? That confidence is down to 70% or so now. I still think it happens but every outing pushes more doubt it seems like right now.

Are you a little surprised by the walks from the relievers lately? Overall, I still think they are doing better….but it seems just as bad as last year right now with the reliever group anyway. Garrett…I hope he has a trade market. I think he does…..but he better start an inning with nobody on base because it is almost a guaranteed walk right now.

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I mean, they won with a nice pitching performance. Hard not to have something positive.

I’m not especially surprised by the walks. These guys don’t have great control. But if you’re going to walk guys, you better strike them out and they’re doing that so it works okay.

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Poetically speaking:

"Rotation's been anything but warm

Getting rocked has become an art form;

When we see a rare gem

We get excited 'bout them

It always reverts back to the norm."

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On your Hunter Dozier point. I’ve heard a little bit of fear on the internet about the Dozier deal. The thing is, a 4 year 25 million deal is nothing. If you are scared to do that you shouldn’t the GM of any team. The majority of the time, assuming you can evaluate talent, you are going to come out ahead. It’s just the only “extension” the royals seem to have done in the last 4 years….so it gets so much scrutiny.

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That’s exactly it. It’s cheap. I don’t remember the exact number but I wrote it before the season. He was owed less in two years than more than 100 players are paid this year. I don’t think it’ll stop anything, but I want to note too that it shouldn’t.

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It seems like Dozier was someone that most everyone (fans, management, pundits) had reached a consensus on...by all accounts a great dude and teammate, but 2019 was the anomaly and he was given about as long a leash as possible to prove it wasn't. I get that even modest long-term deals like his sting more when you are a small market team, but my thought over the past few weeks is that keeping him was just making the contract worse. By that I mean, you are already paying too much for a below average player (with no trade value), don't compound that mistake by taking playing time away from someone who could be a cheaper and better replacement. Hopefully that makes sense. And great stuff as always, David. Even at 15-35, there are a lot of us out here that look forward to your content throughout the week!

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