Royals Roundtable: Do you believe in (Esky) Magic?

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Ned Yost took a trip down Memory Lane last Monday, desperate for the Royals and their league-worst offense by almost any and every metric to turn it around, inserted Alcides Escobar into the leadoff, hoping there was still Esky Magic leftover from 2014 and 2015 – if it was ever real to begin with. Since, the Royals have won six of seven – including a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles and their then-second best record in the AL – winning consecutive series for the first time this season and are in midst of their second four-game winning streak of 2017. In the process they’re scoring 5.3 runs a game – nearly doubling what they were scoring through the first 30 games (2.7). Meanwhile, Escobar has gone 7-31 (.226) with the same number as his OBP. Currently, he is hitting just .193, and getting on base at a .221 rate. Not good. Protoypical leadoff hitter, right? A real table-setter? This is nothing new for the Royals when Alcides Escobar is penciled in to the top spot of the batting order. [Read more...]

Royals Roundtable: Is it time to lock up Danny Duffy?

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Danny Duffy started the 2016 season in the bullpen – the second time in six years this was the case for Duffy – and this time it looked like it was going to be permanent. Despite posting a 3.80 ERA and a 24-30 record in his first five years as a starting pitcher (2015 was his “worst” year as a starter, posting a 4.35 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 51 walks in 24 starts), Duffy’s inconsistency with the strike zone led to high pitch counts and was one of the main factors in landing in the bullpen. In the spring Duffy made insinuated that he preferred to pitch out of the pen, because of the mentality it takes to come into the game and let it fly. In the ‘pen, Duffy finally figured out how to throw strikes. He pounded the zone at a better rate in any year of his career (70%, 6% higher than career mark), striking out 10.4 batters per nine innings (7.6 career) with a 4.20 strikeout to walk ratio. His ERA was at 3.00 with a 1.222 WHIP and opposing batters were slashing .250/.297/.371. Then, the [Read more...]