How long does preseason hype last? For TV ratings, longer than you might think. Because despite a dreadful start to the season, a lot more people are watching Royals games this year than last:
The Royals’ recent turnaround is providing a ratings boost for Fox Sports Kansas City, which reported a season-high 5.9 rating for its telecast of Sunday’s game at Minnesota. It was the highest-rated Royals’ telecast on FSKC since May 17, 2009. FSKC is averaging a 4.3 rating overall this season, which represents a 10 percent increase over last season through the same number of telecasts.
Imagine what’ll happen when all of the promise turns into actual results.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.