1. Who is Chris "Disco" Hayes?
He's a 26-year-old submarining reliever who wasn't drafted out of Northwestern but signed with an independent team and eventually earned a professional contract with the Royals. Last year in the Double-A Texas League, he went 5-2 with a 1.64 ERA. This year he pitched even better in Double-A, but got cuffed around after a promotion to Triple-A Omaha. This likely explains why he wasn't a September call-up. Another explanation: Hayes doesn't throw nearly as hard as Brad Ziegler (for example), and Dayton Moore is probably too young to remember Daniel Raymond Quisenberry.
2. How could Chris "Disco" Hayes possibly take Brian Bannister's crown?
Because he really, really thinks about the game. From a long, long essay about defensive moves that might be made, we find this:
- Why don't the fielders ever swap positions?
I think it's safe to assume every team in the majors does not employ two corner outfielders with exactly the same defensive abilities. I honestly have not watched a single nine inning MLB game on TV yet this year (that's sad, I know...what kind of baseball fan have I become now that I watch 140 games per year from the bullpen?), but I would have to think some teams employ a set of outfielders with varying defensive abilities. So lets say a team has a better defensive right fielder than left fielder. When a right-handed dead-pull hitter comes up to bat, why would the team merely shade the center fielder over to left field to help out the weaker left fielder, yet keep their better outfielder away from the action?
Why not have him jog over and switch with the left fielder for that batter? I know the ball flight is different in right field than it is in left field, but I don't think it's impossible to think corner outfielders could adapt to being able to play both spots.
And that's just the beginning. It's clear that Hayes really has spent a great deal of time thinking about this stuff, and he's a pretty good writer to boot.
3. How did two players as smart as Hayes and Bannister wind up in such a stupid organization?
I haven't the foggiest idea. The universe is full of mysteries.