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Weekend Rumblings - News for March 16, 2019

March comes in like a lion.

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Kansas City Royals right fielder Jorge Soler (12) dodges a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the third inning at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend Rumblings - News for March 16, 2019

Ned Yost gushes over pitcher Kyle Zimmer.

“So then we see him on the mound, and each time out, he’s gotten better. He’s thrown himself legitimately into the mix. You root for someone like that, who has worked so hard to get here. But you don’t expect it to happen. But you hope it works out for him, and it is working out.

“His fastball is up to 96 and his curveball has been really good. It’s a legit breaking ball. You go up and down our bullpen roster, and everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but no one else has that [curveball]. He’s got that bottom-falling-out breaking ball. Boom.”

Yost also praises infielder Nicky Lopez.

Lopez can usually be found at the top step of the dugout during Cactus League games observing an opponent, whether it’s Trout or another team’s minor-leaguer. While starters head for the clubhouse after they leave a spring-training game, Lopez usually sticks around all nine innings.

“He knows that if he stays,” Yost said, “there may be one little thing that he can pick up that will make him better.”

Jeffrey Flanagan profiles infielder Humberto Arteaga, who leads all players in spring training batting average.

Last year it was arguable that Arteaga had the best spring of anyone in camp,” Yost said. “And this year you can make the case he is having the best camp of anyone.

“There’s a lot of similarities with Arteaga to Whit. Solid, solid defender anywhere. Great situational hitter. I don’t think there’s been a time this spring where Arty hasn’t come through in situational hitting. Arty is a very interesting case.”

Rustin Dodd has a mailbag piece and opines on when we’ll see Bubba Starling.

The road to the majors, however, could still be difficult. Starling was taken off the 40-man roster this winter. And the Royals will likely want to see him produce at Triple-A. The club also has a crowded outfield picture.

A more realistic window to debut could materialize in the second half, especially if center fielder Billy Hamilton, a pending free agent, is moved before the deadline. For now, Starling will have the opportunity to prove himself (and his health) at Omaha. But there’s also this: The Royals are in position to give opportunity to unproven young players and evaluate them at the major-league level. It’s a luxury for teams that might not be contending.

If Starling performs well in the first half, why not finally see what he can do in Kansas City.

Rany Jazayerli continues his series looking at the best trades in Royals history.

Clint Scoles looks at what the Royals defense might look like in the future.

David Schonfield predicts Adalberto Mondesi will be the next top 100 player for the Royals.

Local rapper Mac Lethal is featured in an ad for MLB Network.

There was a Rob Riggle sighting at a Royals game this week.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report compares the Royals’ farm system to Cleveland’s.

Former Royals minor leaguer David McKay may be jump-starting his career with the Mariners.

The Astros have a crazy amount of pitching depth.

Jose Berrios turned down a long-term deal with the Twins.

The union is watching how the Mets use Peter Alonso in regards to service time.

The Red Sox/Yankees game in London is a hot ticket.

Baseball is caught between science and aesthetics, says baseball historian John Thorn.

What will the NCAA tournament committee value from basketball teams?

The Raiders are staying in Oakland - at least for this year.

How the strange economics of the airline industry raise the stakes of the Boeing fallout.

The future of streaming is cable bundling.

Do shows like Billions and Succession amount to “wealth porn”?

Your song of the day is Charlier Parker with All the Things You Are.