Royals Rumblings - News for March 23, 2020
Alec Lewis at The Athletic has a mailbag article, where he compares Bubba Starling and Brett Phillips.
First things first: Both players are elite defensively. Starling posted a minus-0.2 dWAR in 2019, though that number is skewed by a few uncharacteristic errors. He flies around in center field and has a rifle for an arm. Phillips posted a 0.6 dWAR, outlining his defensive capabilities. The dude is called “Maverick” for no reason relating to his defense, but the way he plays defense actually makes the nickname feel right.
Offensively, both have struggled. Starling, a Kansas City-area native who bats right-handed, has only 197 MLB plate appearances. Phillips, who bats left-handed, has 324 plate appearances.
Spring-training statistics can be misleading, but Starling showed some serious production. Not only did he hit three home runs, but he also slapped 11 hits in 30 at-bats, posting a 1.208 OPS. As such, I’d say Starling is ahead of Phillips.
Royals veterans seem to be gelling with the fresh faces in the clubhouse.
As far as accepting those young players, Merrifield pointed to the example set by predecessors such as Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon: They wouldn’t allow hazing and set a tone that even the newcomers were viewed as “one of us.”
Royals veteran pitcher Ian Kennedy didn’t come up through the club’s farm system, but he believes the clubhouse atmosphere and willingness for guys to get along has always been a strength here.
”It doesn’t matter where you go in the clubhouse, winning or losing, our clubhouse has been pretty dang good,” Kennedy said. “Fun guys to be around, go to dinner together. We know how talented the young guys are. Some of them got sent down, but they’re going to be here at some time.”
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter appreciates Jarrod Dyson.
Dyson will mostly be remembered for his base stealing and his swagger, which was unmatched by anyone on the Royals (I thought he had even more than Lorenzo Cain, who was one of the best athletes the Royals had seen since Beltran). But Dyson, while not a spectacular player, was a dependable, solid player, who contributed a lot to the Royals in his seven years in Kansas City. He could make contact. He could play defense. His arm was better than opponents thought. He generated extra runs not just with stolen bases, but just overall with smart baserunning in various situations.
Karl Rasmussen at 12up looks at three Royals who could be All-Stars this year.
A look at what pitchers tend to do with the first pitch of a game.
The Red Sox seem to know what MLB found in its investigation of sign-stealing.
The Athletic comes up with a sign-decoding algorithm.
Aaron Judge reveales he had a collapsed lung.
Mariners prospect Jared Kelenic embraces the art of hitting.
Players you want to follow on social media during the shutdown.
The Pirates team up with a food bank for drive-up meals.
The shutdown creates a disaster situation for minor league teams.
Coronavirus could prevent the Hanshin Tigers from breaking the Curse of the Colonel
Mariano Rivera thinks sign-stealing is no different than Pete Rose betting on baseball.
How one fan keeps the baseball flame alive for the Montreal Expos.
The story behind Tom Brady’s breakup with the Patriots.
The NBA’s complicated financial future after a halted season.
Presidents can’t cancel elections, but what happens if states do?
A toilet paper calculator will let you know how long your stash will last.
Nick Offerman is a creepy tech guru in Alex Garland’s show Devs.
Your song of the day is Kenny Rogers with The Gambler.