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Royals Rumblings - News for February 20, 2019

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Keller could be stellar.

Kansas City Royals v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for February 20, 2019

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam reflects on Alcides Escobar.

Escobar was so much of the Royals at their best — athletic, a great defender, consumed with playing baseball, unapologetically tough, and resilient. As they built themselves up from the bottom, Escobar’s omnipresence in the lineup became shorthand — “Esky might have to fail some now because we need him to succeed later,” manager Ned Yost would say.

Brett Phillips wants to cut down on his strikeouts.

“It’s just going back to who I was in the beginning,” Phillips said. “The last couple years I’ve struck out way too much. I’ve been looking at film (from) before that when I only struck out 60, 70 times a year as opposed to 120, 130 times a year, which is obviously unacceptable for a guy who is a speedy outfielder who needs to get on base.”

Alex Gordon wants to develop chemistry with Billy Hamilton.

“I haven’t played with Billy yet, but it might be like myself and LoCain,” Gordon said. “Hopefully we can develop a chemistry like I did with LoCain. I know the balls I’m going to get and he knows the balls he’s going to get. And that’s what we had with LoCain. We knew each other that well. Hopefully we get there with Billy, too.”

Michael Augustine at Pitcher List takes a really terrific in-depth analytical look at Brad Keller.

Tunneling prowess, impressive movement, and top-tier velocity? Its clear Keller has the right tools. It’s up to him to bring them all together in the right way. Increasing his strikeout rate would be instrumental in lifting Keller to the next level but his ability to keep hitters off-balance helps him generate the kind of contact that limits, even prevent damage, may be enough anyway. I predict that if Keller can figure out his ideal sequences and remain liquid along with creating the proper pitch ecosystem, and even start elevating his fastball more, he can be a force this season. Of course, its easier said than done, but given his intangibles, it could be easier than we think.

Jeffrey Flanagan looks at how the right-field position battle is shaping up.

Clint Scoles ranks his top Royals pitching prospects.

The Royals will be making subtle changes to their primary logo this year.

Sports photographer John Sleezer is one of several who accepted buyouts from the Kansas City Star.

Why Manny Machado is perfect for the Padres.

Trevor Bauer is both smart at working on his game, and also pretty unlikeable.

The Orioles may be the worst team in PECOTA history.

There will be a pitch clock in spring training games, and some pitchers are concerned.

Reviewing last year’s Fangraphs Top 100 prospect list.

What players talk about with opponents on the bases.

Fomer Dodgers great Don Newcomb dies at age 92.

How former NBA referee Tim Donaghy conspired to fix games.

The AAF needed a $250 million investment this week to stay afloat.

Why this flu season has been pretty quiet.

Payless Shoesource is closing all its stores.

What to expect from the PlayStation 5.

Your song of the day is Morris Day and The Time with Jungle Love.