Twins at Royals: News and Notes

USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are last in the AL Central, but not to worry, because THIS IS THE YEAR!

Probables (all games 7:10pm, FSN)

Royals Notes

  • James Shields, Sunday's starter, is 2-6 this year. I assumed he was going to be the Royals version of Mike Pelfrey, but Shields has a 2.83 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, and has struck out 78 in 86 innings. Shields has ten quality starts; he's 1-5 in those starts. Between May 11 and May 22 he gave up two runs in each of three starts, going eight, eight, and seven innings; he lost all three. Kansas City scored eight runs total during his five May starts. James Shields is not the problem.
  • Here, then, is a list of the problems: Mike Moustakas (batting .186); Alcides Escobar (hitting second all year, has .277 on-base percentage); Eric Hosmer (one home run this year at first base); Jeff Francoeur (53 OPS+, tied with Moustakas for second-worst in the AL).
  • Minnesota has 50 home runs this year, second-worst in the American League. Last is the Royals, who have - this is almost unbelievable - 29. Miguel Cabrera hit 12 home runs in May; the Royals, as a team, hit 14. This is why the Royals fired their hitting coach and brought in George Brett, who has long claimed to not want the job; they are desperate in Kansas City, because THIS IS THE YEAR.
  • At least the Royals are relatively healthy; their only major injury at the moment is Jarrod Dyson, who's nursing a sprained right ankle.
  • It's almost depressing, what's happening in Kansas City. They had the youth movement, they had the sellout to get the #1 starter, just like we're all hoping for here... and it's all in the tank and they're on pace for 69 wins.

Twins Notes

  • Wilkin Ramirez (brain injury) is not on the road trip this week, meaning that Clete Thomas will be here until at least Sunday. Justin Morneau, who missed the weekend games with flu-like symptoms, will likely be available tonight.
  • Over the last week, Brian Dozier is hitting .379 and Chris Parmelee is hitting .381, and have four homers and three doubles between them. In the same span, Pedro Florimon is batting .304, Aaron Hicks has a .989 OPS and two homers, and Ryan Doumit is hitting .300 with three homers, two doubles, and a triple. Either it's all coming together, or the Twins should really play the Brewers and Mariners more often.
  • Every Twins starter except P.J. Walters had an ERA above 5 in May. (Walters was at 4.50, so don't write any ballads about him, either.)
  • By both Fangraphs' and Baseball Reference's reckoning, Joe Mauer has been the most valuable catcher in the major leagues so far this year.
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