Minor League Minutes: 4/16/18

The Royals did something very cool this past Friday, making the signing of Tarik El-Abour official.

The Royals did some shuffling with their bullpen, sending Brandon Maurer down and bringing Kevin McCarthy up.

This feels like the right move. Maurer has struggled mightily ever since he put on a Royals uniform. The Royals have too much invested in Maurer to flat out DFA him, but he can’t keep pitching in the big leagues either. The Royals have plenty of better options, and Maurer needs a serious overhaul if he’s ever going to be effective.

A very interesting piece from Royals Review looks at the best and worst potential weather at Kauffman Stadium.

So with all these data, when’s the best time to head for Kauffman Stadium this year? If you’re a cool-weather person like me, it’s definitely not June through August, but many people love the feeling of a cold beer at the ballpark on a simmering evening as the sun sets and the wind dies sown. It’s worth noting that the current three-month temperature outlook from the National Weather Service has the Kansas City area at a ~40% chance of above-normal temperatures in that period, though all such long-range forecasts should be taken with a popcorn bag’s ration of salt.

Also at Royals Review, I took a look at how the Royals have been using the fastball more and changeup less.

After the season had concluded, there were only four more teams that threw changeups at a higher rate than the Royals. But that same pitching staff had the seventh highest ERA and baseball, which eventually led to a pitching coach change early in the offseason. Dave Eiland had gone to the Mets and the Royals made an internal promotion to fill the open spot on the coaching staff with Cal Eldred. And since this was his first run as a pitching coach, there was little to none information on his philosophies.

But there is a number early in the season that screams change. The Royals are throwing 10.6% more fastballs this year. This rate of increase is far and away leading baseball.
Matt LaMar feels like all of us and wonders what it will take for Hunter Dozier to receive a call up.
But the Royals have both Jon Jay and Paulo Orlando on their roster, and each is plenty capable of playing center field and each have indeed logged hundreds of innings there. If only the Royals had a prospect—maybe a former top-ten pick who hasn’t had a chance to prove himself yet—that could play corner outfield? Bonus points if he could also back up at third base, first base, and maybe prevent the Royals from starting third string catcher Cam Gallagher at designated hitter.
Shaun Kernahan of Minor League Ball profiles new Rangers rookie 1B Ronald Guzman.
Guzman is a long 6’5” and 225 pounds with a very good glove to go with the long reach. He can put up some impressive power at times but will never be a massive home run hitter. The most he has hit in a single season is 16, and that pretty much fits what he should hit, 15-20 in time. The most impressive part of his game from such a long first baseman is his hit tool. He has hit .275 over his minor league career but could easily flirt with being a .300 hitter in the big leagues. He strikes out but not at an incredible rate although he could stand to draw a few more walks.
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