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Weekend Rumblings - News for February 22, 2020

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99 mph heaters. Dongs. Baseball is back.

Minnesota Twinsv Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for February 22, 2020

Trevor Rosenthal was firing 99 mph fastballs in Friday’s Cactus League opener.

“Not bad, first time out there,” Rosenthal said, smiling. “I was happy with everything. I wouldn’t change anything today.”

The ball appeared to come out of Rosenthal’s hand free and easy.

“I’ve put in a lot of work in the offseason, just trying to get my confidence up,”

JORGE SOLER DONG.

Mike Montgomery is glad to get a chance to start in Kansas City, writes Lynn Worthy.

After spending parts of the past four seasons with the Cubs and making 81 of his 119 appearances in relief, Montgomery believes he’s working towards the ideal middle ground between spin rates and the tried and true principles of getting batters out.

”I’ve had front office people tell me I shouldn’t throw certain pitches because the analytics, when no one is in there and I’m in a bullpen, it doesn’t grade out well,” Montgomery said. “I kind of laugh at that because those people who are truly doing that have never really understood what it takes to get people out.

Lynn also writes about the first base competition between Ryan O’Hearn and Ryan McBroom.

“I love Broomie,” O’Hearn said. “Broomie and I have become close. We hang out and do our workouts together every day. We’re in the same groups. We take ground balls together. I hang out with him outside of the field. He’s one of my good friends. That’s just what it is.

”As far as rosters go, I don’t make the decisions on who makes the team, who doesn’t, who plays, who doesn’t. But I’m guessing that I can see a scenario where we’re both on the team. My point is it’s out of my hands. All I’ve got to do is show up and do what I do, play hard everyday, work hard every day, be a good teammate and a good friend.”

In his mailbag column, Jeffrey Flanagan talks about the difference in having Mike Matheny run camp.

It’s only been two weeks, and this shouldn’t be perceived as any type of criticism of Ned, but the intensity level seems higher this camp. And part of that just could be that the players are trying to impress a new boss. Our private beat writer sessions have a different tone than those we had with Ned. Matheny has a sense of humor, and it comes out in our sessions, but there’s just no hint of sarcasm, which was kind of Ned’s endearing trait. And no, Matheny hasn’t once made fun of my attire. Yet.

Alex Weiner writes about the Royals that got to experience winter ball in the Dominican, like Nick Heath.

“I got to go down there for two months and enjoy the culture and figure out how they play baseball down there versus up here,” said Heath, 26. “And I had the time of my life. I always have good things to say about it when I come back. I played with a few of these guys and against a few of them so coming back and talking trash is a good time.”

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Reports ranks Royals prospects 16-20.

Brady McConnell had a pretty rough first go at professional baseball last year, but Royals fans should be extremely hesitant to write him off. The Royals didn’t give him over $2M as a draft-eligible sophomore last June for nothing. McConnell hit 15 HR in 59 games at the University of Florida last spring after missing most of the entire 2018 spring due to an injury. If he’d have gone back to school this year, he could potentially hit his way into a top 15 pick this coming June. The Royals gambled on him in the second round last year, and I think McConnell will reward them for that this summer.

Michael Huckins at Kings of Kauffman checks in on the 2017 draft class.

ZIPS has early projected standings with the Royals winning 70 games.

David Schoenfield at ESPN writes about the most interesting non-roster player for each team.

The Oakland Athletics told MLB about Houston’s cheating years ago, but MLB did nothing.

Astros outfielder Josh Reddick says he and his teammates have gotten death threats.

The Yankees shut down pitcher Luis Severino with forearm soreness.

Rays two-way player Brendan McKay has shoulder stiffness.

David Price is ready for a new start in Los Angeles.

A look at the dead money on MLB payrolls this year.

Are there better ways to change MLB’s playoff structure?

The history behind some of the best nicknames in the Negro Leagues.

Is this the golden age for brazen cheating in sports?

How the proposed CBA for NFL players comes up short.

Over 500 Chrome extensions secretly upload private data.

Masks to protect from airborne diseases become fashion statements.

Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy will star in a new AMC comedy, but I don’t approve of the title.

Your song of the day is Chet Baker with Almost Blue.