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Royals Rumblings - News for April 1, 2019

The hard work pays off for Kyle Zimmer.

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Kyle Zimmer #45 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch in the spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at HoHoKam Stadium on February 24, 2019 in Mesa, Arizona. Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for April 1, 2019

Sam Mellinger thinks the future is bright with the Royals’ young players like Adalberto Mondesi.

He was not a plug-and-play star. He grew into one of the game’s fastest players, with enough power that he hit a 437-foot home run last season, but he was also an easy out. Breaking balls below the strike zone and off the plate were often rewarded with strikeouts.

Pedro Grifol is, officially, the Royals’ quality control and catching coach. In practice, he is also something like Mondesi’s personal hitting coach. Mondesi had never really game-planned a pitcher or plate appearance before. Grifol and the Royals aimed to change that last summer, concentrating primarily on getting Mondesi to stop swinging at so-called back-foot breaking balls.

It may seem like a small thing, but the Royals view this as the difference between Mondesi having a good career and a transformational one. If he succeeds, he will be the intersection of scouting, persistence, priorities and coaching.

Kyle Zimmer talks about getting his first big league appearance.

So as Kyle walked off the field with a feeling he later said was like “floating” and a smile stuck on his face for easily the next hour and immersed in the moment, Eric Zimmer and other family members couldn’t help but reflect on the way here.

“Overcome” was the way Eric Zimmer put it outside the Royals clubhouse after he hugged his beaming son goodbye and started misting up again. Or was it still?

“This was a long journey, a long journey. It’s a story about perseverance and his resolve,” Eric Zimmer said, later adding, “He had to crawl over maybe a little more broken glass than some.”

Ned Yost talks about wanting to get everyone playing time.

“I need to get guys like (Lucas) Duda in,” Yost said. “I need to get maybe Cam (Gallagher) in somewhere. To keep Duda fresh, if he’s going to come off the bench, you need to get him at-bats to keep him fresh. I’ll maybe look to DH him tomorrow, try to figure out ways to get him at-bats and keep him going too. Just trying to get everybody involved right now with the off days so nobody gets too stagnant.”

Ian Kennedy talks about getting his first career save.

“I thought Wily was going to go in today,” Kennedy said. “He was kind of warming up and then they called and wanted me to warm up. That’s when the adrenaline and nerves kicked up. But nerves go away pretty quickly once you got [runners on] first and second. That’s when you know you can’t give up any more singles.”

Alec Lewis at The Athletic talks to Billy Hamilton about their disruptive baserunning.

After Saturday’s game, Chicago pitcher Reynaldo Lopez echoes the sentiment. “When they are on base, they can be a disruption, a distraction for you because you have to keep checking on them just to make sure they don’t take big leads or they don’t take off earlier.”...

“We’re going to drive pitchers crazy,” Hamilton says.

Baseball America gets an anonymous scout to give his opinion on how some young players performed in spring training, like Meibrys Viloria.

Later on this spring he continued to impress at the plate with patience and a knack for hard contact in hitter counts. He doesn’t look overmatched at the plate despite his inexperience at the higher levels of the minors. I’m still a little concerned with his fielding—he receives the ball OK but tends to drag on higher velocity to his arm side. His right leg also has a tendency to collapse, causing there to be too much movement while receiving. I don’t think he’s going to be a plus defender, but with a fringe-average offensive package and fringe-average defense—and given the scarcity of catching at the big league level—Viloria’s bat may end up carrying him into either an everyday or platoon-type role.

Vahe Gregorian makes the case for former Royals GM Cedric Tallis to be in the club Hall of Fame.

Former Royals reliever Eric Stout signs with the independent league Kansas City T-Bones.

The Padres unveil an Anchorman-themed mascot race between innings.

Bryce Harper’s first Philly home run goes 465 feet.

Who are the top 25 players under the age of 25?

Eric Hosmer helped convince Padres ownership to bring Fernando Tatis on the roster to begin the year.

The Brewers seem unlikely to sign free agents Craig Kimbrel or Dallas Keuchel.

Will modern bullpen strategies lead to the demise of the closer?

Ron Darling claims Lenny Dykstra made racist taunts at the Red Sox during the ‘86 World Series.

Scouting in Venezuela has become dangerous with the country’s political turmoil.

Was this the best Elite Eight weekend ever?

How hard is it for an offensive lineman to switch positions?

Do we have too many streaming services?

Why do Garfield phones keep washing up on this beach in France?

There is an Avengers: Endgame theory that Ant-Man kills Thanos by expanding within his butt.

Your song of the day is Cornership with Brimful of Asha.