Opinion

Dayton Moore discusses why Royals have gotten hit by so many pitches

The Royals' Lorenzo Cain dived to the dirt after being hit by a pitch from Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana in the first inning on April 8 at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals' Lorenzo Cain dived to the dirt after being hit by a pitch from Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana in the first inning on April 8 at Kauffman Stadium. The Kansas City Star

Save for frustration about the situation, it is unclear how the Royals will react to the news about Alex Rios’ broken pinky on Wednesday evening. The injury resulted from Rios getting hit by a pitch, which made him the 12th Royal this season to get plunked. After the game, manager Ned Yost sounded perturbed about the trend, and mentioned that “we’re getting tired of it.”

But what, exactly, is the club’s recourse? Should Edinson Volquez target Joe Mauer or Torii Hunter as retaliation? A survey of the factors involved causes one to wonder what, exactly, that would accomplish.

J.R. Graham hit Rios with a 93-mph fastball. Minnesota selected him in the Rule 5 draft during the winter. It is hard to imagine him throwing at Rios intentionally.

When asked about the proliferation of plunkings, general manager Dayton Moore put forth a rational response.

“I think teams are trying to pitch us inside,” Moore said. “There’s a lot of slide-stepping going on. A lot of guys are using the slide-step to try to control the running game. When that happens, pitchers tend to miss arm side.

“I don’t think anybody is necessarily throwing at us intentionally. They’re just trying to make pitches. It’s just one of those deals right now.”

What’s it feel like to get hit by a big-league pitch? The Star’s Lee Judge found out in 2011.

FROM THE STAR

1. When Rios got injured, the Royals suffered their first loss of the season.

2. Before Lorenzo Cain could star in the majors, he needed to learn how to run.

3. The Royals are close to securing renovations to the complex in Surprise, Ariz.

THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)

26.7 percent.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

“Sad-Eyed Lady of The Lowlands” by Bob Dylan.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4730 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar. Download True Blue, The Star’s free Royals app, here.

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