Royals Rumblings - News for February 9, 2016
Jon Morosi at Fox Sports looks at upcoming storylines and wonders if the Royals will be a dynasty.
The Royals are one swing away from having won back-to-back World Series titles, but the beauty of winning in 2015 is that they no longer need to lament the previous year's excruciating defeat. Besides, this year they can become the first team since the Yankees in 2000 to win consecutive championships. And who in the American League can stop Kansas City from celebrating a third straight pennant? The Royals' rotation isn't great ... but it wasn't last year, either. The bullpen is elite, and the position-player core is back, thanks to Alex Gordon's decision to re-sign. The Royals are the favorites until someone proves otherwise; the Astros and Blue Jays -- whom Kansas City defeated last year en route to the World Series -- can't match the Royals' balance and depth.
David Lesky at Pine Tar Press addresses whether the Royals will begin the rebuild before everyone hits free agency.
Honestly, the safe money truly is on the Royals not trading anyone for a couple reasons. One, I think they’re a playoff team again and I think they do try to maximize their success with this core of players. The other is that the Royals historically have been very slow to trade from their active roster. I know that historically the Royals were also bad and now they’re good and things have changed, but I just feel like the Dayton Moore regime leans toward keeping their crew together rather than the alternative.
I think it was Jim Bowden who went on 810 WHB a couple weeks ago and was talking about this very concept of making a trade following the 2016 season. It makes a lot of sense, but it really makes sense if two or three of the Royals top four prospects – Mondesi, Kyle Zimmer, Bubba Starling and Miguel Almonte – make an impact in the upcoming season. If, say, Zimmer and Starling debut in 2016 and show all sorts of potential and maybe Almonte comes up and looks like a legitimate bullpen option, all of a sudden, the window to win opens up beyond 2017.
Richard Justice at MLB.com looks at the Royals and other successful clubs to look for a common thread to winning.
When Moore was hired in 2006, he sat down with his bosses and outlined a plan. He said the Royals had no chance of competing without a great farm system, and Moore intended to build one. But it would not happen quickly, and the path would not always be smooth. Young players are like that. Most disappoint. Progress was slow in Kansas City -- but there was progress. Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer and others made their way through the system, signaling better days ahead.
Moore also won the trust of his bosses by making smart trades and reasonable free-agent signings, even with a payroll in the bottom half of baseball's 30 teams. When the Royals finally turned a corner, they turned it with breathtaking results. Since June 22, 2014, the Royals are 158-99, including the postseason. That's 28 more victories than the next-closest American League team (Blue Jays) and 17 more than the next National League club (Cardinals).
Jeffrey Flanagan highlights five Royals poised for a comeback in 2016.
Second baseman Omar Infante: While the Royals believed Infante's defense was as good as ever in 2015 -- and the Royals value defense above all else -- it was no secret they were disappointed with his offense. Infante hit .220 with a .552 OPS. Coaches privately complained that Infante got himself out too many times and became increasingly stubborn when it came to making adjustments. Opponents pitched him hard away and soft inside, and most of Infante's solid contact became harmless pull fouls. Royals general manager Dayton Moore believes Infante never quite got over being hit in the face with a pitch in 2014. "It takes a year or so to overcome that mentally," Moore said. Perhaps, then, Infante is poised for a bounceback season. He'll have to, because the Royals have opened up the competition for the second-base job between Infante and Christian Colon, one of the heroes from Game 5 of the World Series.
The Royals officially announce that championship rings will be handed out on Tuesday, April 5, not on Opening Night.
DaveO at Clubhouse Conversation talks to former Royals coach and one-time manager Bob Schaefer.
Scott Dillon at KC Kingdom proposes walk-up music for each Royals hitter.
Number two hitters had one of the best seasons in history, with the Royals enjoying one of the biggest improvements from that spot in the lineup.
The Mets lose reliever Tyler Clippard to the Diamondbacks.
Everyone is going to be interested in Bryce Harper when he hits free agency.
Delmon Young is arrested after choking and threatening to kill a valet attendant.
Two brothers will look to get a deal in the Majors after defecting from Cuba.
How manager positioning can affect a player's legacy.
WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan announces his retirement.
All of the best and worst Super Bowl ads.
The story behind that Super Bowl ad for Americans constipated by painkillers.
How the Coen brothers recreated old school Hollywood effects for Hail, Caesar!
Your song of the day is The Yardbirds with "For Your Love."