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Royals Rumblings - News for February 11, 2020

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Is Foster Griffin the fifth starter?

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Kansas City Royals portraits John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for February 11, 2020

Mike Matheny is excited about having some veterans in camp, writes Jeffrey Flanagan.

“The offensive numbers with Salvy, you’d want in any lineup,” Matheny, who was a catcher during his playing days, said recently. “His defensive presence you’d want in any lineup. The leadership in the clubhouse is priceless. Plus, I think the guy just brings an infectious quality throughout the ballpark. I always had great admiration for how he could play that position and smile and have fun. I could never figure that out [in my career].

“He does it so naturally. It endears the fans to him.”

Alec Lewis has a Royals roster projection as spring training begins this week, with Foster Griffin as the fifth starter.

Again, the No. 1 spring training storyline starts here. Barring injury, Keller, Junis, Duffy and Montgomery appear set as starters. The Royals don’t need a fifth until April 8, but who will it be?

While it’s tempting to slot prospects such as Singer or Kowar in this spot, projecting Griffin here made the most sense. He has a year of experience at Triple-A and has loads of innings built up. He pitched 130 2/3 innings at Triple-A Omaha last season and 23 1/3 innings for Licey in the Dominican Winter League, posting a 2.31 ERA with 31 strikeouts and six walks.

Cody Rickman at KC Kingdom gives his rotation predictions for the Royals.

Royals Reporter looks at whether Hunter Dozier will prove he is legit in 2020.

Dozier proved that he grew as a hitter last year and it’s obvious that Dayton Moore and Mike Matheny believe that he will be one the top run producers for the Royals in 2020.

However, the issues with the breaking balls and offspeed pitches should be noted. And Dozier’s growth as a hitter in these two areas will be important areas to pay attention to. Will he make some adjustments to those two pitches, especially as pitchers most likely will throw him more of them in 2020? Or will his swing and whiff issues with them continue to persist next season and turn him into a slightly above average hitter instead of a potentially great one?

Will Leitch at MLB.com looks at the top questions facing each Central Division club.

3. Who’s the first prospect to arrive?When you’re building for the future like the Royals, you’re always keeping an eye on the farm. The Royals have three prospects on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list: No. 10 Bobby Witt Jr., No. 59 Brady Singer and No. 61 Daniel Lynch. Witt is the true jewel, but a few years away. Singer is probably the closest, not by level — he still hasn’t pitched above Double A — but by age; he will turn 24 in August. He should have a chance, perhaps by his birthday, to give a glimpse to Royals fans of what they have to look forward to.

Jordan Foote at Kings of Kauffman has what the Royals can learn from the Chiefs.

A look back at the last decade of Omaha Storm Chasers baseball.

MLB is considering proposing an expanded playoff with top seeds picking their opponents on a selection show.

Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed gets a four-year contract extension.

The Joc Pederson deal with the Angels is off.

The Cubs try out free agent pitcher Taijuan Walker.

Mets reliever Jeurys Familia admits he was overweight last year.

Who are the big losers from the MLB off-season?

Some free agent signings we’d like to see before spring training begins.

Pitcher Mike Bolsinger is suing the Astros for cheating and changing the course of his career.

How the run-scoring environment at Yankee Stadium suddenly changed.

What’s the best fictional baseball team ever?

The Chargers part ways with quarterback Phillip Rivers.

Liverpool made a $38 million overture for Samuel Chukwueze in January, but was rejected by Villareal.

German politics gets a shake up after Angela Merkel’s successor resigns.

Human bodies are getting steadily colder.

What is the future of foreign language films at the Oscars?

Your song of the day is Pavement with Gold Soundz.