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Dale Sveum offers his theory on the Royals’ hitting woes

May 30, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

Dale Sveum AP

Yesterday, the Royals fired hitting coach Pedro Grifol and hired former Cubs manager Dale Sveum to replace him. Despite some promising bats in their lineup, the Royals enter play tonight with the league’s second-worst on-base percentage at .308 and the worst slugging percentage at .352. The league averages are .322 and .394, respectively.

Entering Friday’s action, only three Royals have slugged three or more home runs: Salvador Perez (5), Mike Moustakas (4), and Alex Gordon (3). Moustakas, with a .543 OPS, was demoted to Triple-A last week. As a team, the Royals only barely outpace Nelson Cruz in home runs, 22 to 19. It’s been bad.

Sveum has a theory on why the Royals have been so bad offensively. Via MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel:

Sveum’s immediate take on the Royals is they’re not feasting enough on high pitches, instead going after too many low in the zone.

“It’s not rocket science,” Sveum said. “If you don’t get a good pitch up in the zone, you’re not going to be very successful. That’s basically the bottom line. We have very talented hitters that have done it in the big leagues and have had good years in the big leagues so sometimes it’s as simple as pitch selection, sometimes it’s as simple as maybe a mechanical flaw.”

It will be interesting to see if Sveum makes a noticeable difference on the team, or if the Royals are simply rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  1. yahmule - May 30, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    Remarkably, the Royals hit two home runs today. It wasn’t a doubleheader, either.

  2. kcroyal - May 30, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Of course the Royals will regress to the mean. They have been hitting well below their TTL. They were bound to improve at some point. I think the hitting coach matters very little. I mean he’s been coaching the team the whole season, the real secret to hitting comes out now that he’s the hitting coach?

    • tonyc920 - May 31, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      You say ” I think the hitting coach matters very little”.

      You obviously know very little about baseball other than operating the remote control to tune the game in. A hitting coach watches more film than anyone on the team. They look at everything a player does while hitting. And then they go back and look at film from previous games, maybe even previous years. Then he works with each individual in the film room and on the field. You do that with all position players and in the NL with pitchers too. Naw, the hitting coach doesn’t do anything.

    • yahmule - May 31, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Hitting coaches are so lightly regarded the White Sox unofficially retired number 6 in honor of Charlie Lau.

  3. vallewho - May 31, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    I’ll start the timer for this guy to get the ax…

  4. dan1111 - May 31, 2014 at 2:40 AM

    What should we expect from this offense based on career norms? They have:

    Two guys with long track records of being downright terrible hitters.

    Two guys who are significantly below average.

    Two guys who are a bit above average based on a track record of less than two seasons in the majors.

    Two above average but not great hitters.

    One very good hitter.

    Basically, this is an average offense at best. They are under-performing, but they are only so horrible because they have no margin for error. Incidentally, the pitching staff is over-performing career norms. Their record is probably right where it should be. But because they have more talent than usual, a lot of people seem to have bought the hype that this is a play-off team.

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