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June 9, 2015 11:54 am

What You Need to Know: June 9, 2015

2

Steven Jacobson

A meaningful Royals-Twins matchup, the Blue Jays are on a tear, and more, plus what to watch for tonight.

The Monday Takeaway
The Royals entered Monday just a game back of the Twins after dropping two of three to the Rangers over the weekend. As the Minnesota and Kansas City last played each other in late April when the Twins were 6–9 and the Royals were 11–4, this was likely the most important Twins-Royals game in twelve years.

The Royals got on the board early with former Twin Kendrys Morales' two-run home run. A year after being god-awful for the Twins and the Mariners, with minus-0.9 WARP, Morales has been surprisingly excellent for the Royals, turning in a .297 TAv and 1.2 WARP. His resurgence doesn't appear to be a BABIP-fueled surge, as his mark is a bit high at .325 but not overwhelmingly so. He's limited the amount of soft contact this year to about 12 percent of his batted balls—much lower than last year's 17 percent—and his line-drive rate has returned to levels seen in some of his more successful years in Anaheim. Although he's not hitting an insane number of homers relative to his pre-2014 norms, his fly-ball rate is the highest it's been since his 34–home run season in 2009.


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June 3, 2015 6:00 am

What You Need to Know: June 3, 2015

1

Daniel Rathman

A lot of history is made, some dubious, and Joey Gallo debuts, plus what to watch for today.

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Eduardo Rodriguez makes his debut, Corey Kluber racks up more strikeouts, and the rest of yesterday's action, plus what to watch this weekend.

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Do rookie starters struggle to find the strike zone in their first career starts?

Zack Wheeler’s big-league debut on Tuesday night went well. He held the Braves scoreless over six innings, allowing four hits, striking out seven batters, and showing impressive stuff. The only cause for complaint was that he walked five.

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