Small sample size caveats apply, of course, but since firing their hitting coaches and replacing them with George Brett the Royals have actually scored fewer runs.
Kansas City scored 4.0 runs per game and hit .261 with a .689 OPS in 50 games before firing hitting coach Jack Maloof. And in 23 games since Brett took over the Royals have scored 3.7 runs per game and hit .247 with a .658 OPS.
None of which has stopped the Royals from praising the job Brett has done, as manager Ned Yost told Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star:
I think it’s gone great. I think Georgie has done a great job, I think him and [assistant hitting coach] Pedro [Grifol] both have done a great job. They’re tireless workers, they’re on top of everything, I think we’re making great progress in a lot of areas.
Imagine what Yost would be saying if the hitters had actually shown improvement under Brett.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.
Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.
Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.
The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.