How the Kansas City weather might be the key to the Royals bats heating up as of late
The Royals can thank the sunny Kansas City weather for helping them score 23 runs in their three-game homestand against the Baltimore Orioles.
Or so, says Royals third baseman Matt Duffy … at least partially.
KC was ranked 29th in MLB with runs scored and dead last in team batting average before their series against the Orioles. After the series, the Royals are 25th in runs (119) and 24th in team batting average (.231).
The average temperature over the three games was about 72 degrees.
“I think approaches have a little bit better against the pitchers,” Duffy said. “I think guys are starting to find what works for them mentally in the box — what I should be looking for, what I should be hunting based on what the pitcher is featuring.
“It seems like the weather heating up might have something to do with it as well. That’s definitely something that hitters probably care more about than pitchers do.”
How exactly does the weather affect the Royals’ offense?
“It does have an affect, though — certainly the way the ball flies,” Duffy said. “If it’s windy, the ball does weird things and can make for challenges. … When you are struggling and you compound that with tougher weather, it can make for an ‘aw man’.”
Duffy appreciates not having to wear three layers for games at this point. Still, the weather isn’t the only reason he thinks the offense has heated up.
“The other team is playing in the same conditions as we are, but the combination of turning over the month and the warm weather kind of gets guys in kind of a new head-space that could help.”
In a 162-game season, the month change means a lot.
“For some reason, it seems like that’s how the psyche of teams works when the new month changes over,” Duffy said. “If you ask any individual guy, ‘Do you know what month it is?’ They are probably not even going to know what month it is.
“Half the time, we don’t know what the day of the week is, but for some reason, there’s something about that. It’s like new month — fresh start. Let’s start from here.”
Royals manager Matt Quatraro had another theory on why the Royals bats have woken up.
“It looks like the timing is better,” Quatraro said. “Guys are syncing up their mechanics a little better.”
Duffy wants to see the offense stay hot, whatever the reason.
“It’s a long way to go,” Duffy said. “We are just looking for week-on-week and month-on-month improvement from the guys.”