The Royals’ front four of the rotation seem fairly set heading into Spring Training, though the order is anything but set. If Danny Duffy’s offseason work is as promising as he suggests, he likely will claim the top spot and be the Opening Day starter. The emergence of Rule 5 Draft pick Brad Keller last year makes one believe he’ll elevate to the No. 2 spot. Jakob Junis’ strong finish suggests he’ll claim the No. 3 spot. Ian Kennedy also finished well, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if at some point the Royals utilized him as a late-inning guy. The fifth spot will be the fun battle in Spring Training, although the PED suspension of left-hander Eric Skoglund narrows the rotation. That No. 5 spot probably comes down to Jorge Lopez(who nearly threw a perfect game last season), Heath Fillmyer and a host of other candidates, including Glenn Sparkman, Arnaldo Hernandez and Trevor Oaks.
The Kansas City chapter of the BBWAA handed out its 2018 awards to Whit Merrifield, Brad Keller, and Adalberto Mondesí:
Keller, a Rule 5 Draft pick, emerged as the Royals’ best starter in his first Major League season, going 9-6 with a 3.08 ERA.
”It means a lot,” Keller told MLB.com, “but without the guys behind me on defense and the catchers, I wouldn’t have had half the success. Those guys played hard all year long. So it’s a credit to the whole defense. But I’m really happy to receive this award.”
Alex Duvall runs down RFR’s #21-#25 Royals prospects.
RFR’s Drew Osborne checks in on the Royals prospects playing winter ball in Australia:
DJ Burt – .338/.437/.466, 7 doubles, 2 triples, 3 HR, 26 R, 18 RBI, 21 BB, 19 K, 18-25 SBBurt spent most of the season hitting in the three hole and playing second base for the Aces. Burt he did lead off and hit in the two hole a few times over the course of the 39 game season. Burt had a solid season finishing with an 8-game hitting streak before going 0-3 in the wild card game. Burt did a great job getting on base not reaching base in only a handful of games. This is something that the Royals hope he can do in NWA as he has earned his promotion to double-A.
Click through to read his breakdowns on Allan De San Miguel, Rudy Martin, and probable new farmhand Brandon Marklund.
Listen to Max.
Hey ROYALS fans! It’s #WallpaperWednesday courtesy of @TMDesigns44!— Painting Corners Podcast (@PaintCornersPod) January 23, 2019
Check out the episode with @royalsreview @maxrieper
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At FanGraphs, Craig Edwards parses the recent Kevin Acee article from the San Diego Union Tribune on the Padres’ finances.
Wichita unveils plans for a new ballpark.
Geoff Schwartz thinks this is just the beginning for the Chiefs.
Conan O’Brien talks about the new incarnation of his show.
Why does the perfect flu vaccine continue to elude us?
Star Trek: Discovery sets its sights on mansplaining.
Might The Simpsons soon be coming to an end?
Get ready for Nic Cage and H.P. Lovecraft to come together.
The songs of the day both come from Blur’s criminally underrated album Think Tank. First, “Ambulance”:
Second, “Battery in Your Leg”: