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Royals Rumblings - News for March 19, 2018

Leadoff hitter Jon Jay?

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MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Kansas City Royals Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for March 19, 2018

Ned Yost is leaning towards Jon Jay in the leadoff spot as he formulates his lineup.

The team has also considered using second baseman Whit Merrifield in the leadoff spot. Yet Yost said he may prefer Merrifield batting second or third.

“I like Whit,” Yost said. “Whit is almost perfect [for the leadoff spot]. But Whit stays pretty consistent offensively, so we’ll maybe back him up to the two- or three-spot.”

Former Royals and Cubs reliever Wade Davis helped recruit Justin Grimm to Kansas City.

“He had really nice things to say about the city of Kansas City, the organization, the training staff, the coaches, from the top down,” Grimm said. “That’s one guy that I look up to … It definitely swayed my decision.”

Jorge Soler is drawing rave reviews for his defense this spring.

“The hips work, the knees work, the feet are much quicker and he’s able to get into a better route quicker, which increases the range as he goes after the ball,” Kuntz said.

Royals manager Ned Yost has also noticed Soler’s progress.

Or not noticed.

“He’s gone completely unnoticed to me in the outfield,” Yost said. “He’s making all the plays. His drop-steps, his turns, his routes have all looked very good to me. … It’s been very noticeable for me because I haven’t noticed it.”

Rustin Dodd of The Athletic profiles pitcher Trevor Oaks. Oaks was one of several players assigned to minor league camp.

At Baseball Prospectus Kansas City, David Lesky tries to make sense of Hunter Dozier moving to first base.

With Hunter Dozier having already been optioned to Omaha and the Royals announcing he’d play first and right, some have wondered what that means for O’Hearn and Schwindel. My gut here is that the Royals just don’t think that highly of these two as far as future pieces. It’s not so much that they left them off the 40-man roster because I think that was a calculated risk, but the organization clearly believes Dozier is the better bridge to Pratto. That said, If Dozier is going to be playing first base and outfield (and I assume DH), I don’t think that takes time away from either of yesterday’s stars. Schwindel is limited to first and DH, but O’Hearn can also handle the outfield, so they’re all going to get plenty of chances to prove themselves, so I look for whoever is playing the best to get the call when Lucas Duda either gets hurt or traded later in the season.

In this video, Mitch Maier and Rusty Kuntz talk about what they look for in an outfielder.

Evan Davis at FanRag lists Nate Karns as the most underrated player for the Royals.

Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco is suspended 80 games for PEDs.

New minor league pace of play rules could put minor league pitchers at risk for injury.

Reds infielder Eugenio Suarez signs a $66 million contract extension.

Buster Olney thinks other young players may jump at long-term deals now.

A full list of players around baseball out of options.

The Milwaukee Brewers do a fantastic re-enactment of a scene from The Sandlot.

Congress will consider a spending bill that excludes minor league players from labor laws.

South Carolina coach Frank Martin calls out angry parents who coach their kids from the stands.

ESPN’s head John Skipper says he stepped down due to a cocaine extortion plot.

Behind the bizarre pseudoscience cabbage juice remedy spread on Facebook.

How Amazon and debt-fueled private equity killed Toys ‘R’ Us.

After spending a year in space, astronaut Scott Kelly no longer has the identical DNA as his twin brother. (EDIT: Turns out that story was FAKE NEWS!)

Your song of the day is Bobby Hebb with Got Your On My Mind.