SEATTLE -- Last season, the Royals' pitching staff led the American League in bases on balls and it's happening again. Prior to Sunday's game, Kansas City was first in the AL, and tied with the Padres for the Major League lead, with 358 walks.
What's a pitching coach to do?
"It's getting guys to trust their stuff in the zone and getting good counts," pitching coach Dave Eiland said. "That's the thing -- guys have to pitch to contact, and it's just getting them to believe and trust it and stay on the attack, rather than nibble, nibble, nibble."
As Eiland says, there's "no magic answer," it comes down to the old adage of "trust your stuff" on the mound.
"Pitch to contact. Once you start pitching away from contact and trying to miss bats, you fall into bad counts and walks are going to happen," Eiland said.
There are certain mechanical changes that can be done to help some pitchers. A prime example is left-hander Tim Collins, who underwent some delivery changes with Eiland in Spring Training and has cut down on walks and upped his strikeouts. But for most it's a matter of being confident and being aggressive and on the attack, not being overly cautious.
"All these guys can throw strikes or they never would've gotten to this level," Eiland said. "Now it's believing in it and trusting it at this level."