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Royals Rumblings - News for March 5, 2020

Oh player, Rusty is back!

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

Royals Rumblings - News for March 5, 2020

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam talks wins and losses.

When the Royals talk about being done with the word rebuild, the players genuinely mean it, but professional athletes often become professional athletes with a sort of productive delusion. They think they can do things that are unrealistic, and sometimes they’re right.

But I think when the coaches and executives think about that, they’re well aware they’re still in a rebuild, but they do want more of an emphasis put on wins and losses. Not because they believe 68 wins will be objectively better than 67 but because they believe the only way to win is, well, to win — or, put another way, it’s to care about winning.

They believe — and in some cases have for a few years now — that the atmosphere around the big-league club has been too ... forgiving? Accepting? That’s part of the appeal of Mike Matheny as the new manager.

Vahe Gregorian profiles Royals coach Rusty Kuntz, who is back at first base this year.

This exhaustive approach has led to a fusion of science and gut feeling — “I use it to confirm what I see,” he said, “rather than rely on it to be” — that most visibly informed Eric Hosmer’s seemingly mad dash home in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets .

And it’s an approach, and presence, valued by new manager Mike Matheny, who seems to see him as a confidante.

”I believe he’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around,” said Matheny, adding that Kuntz’s infectious zeal has led him to profound knowledge of the game. “You just kind of watch how he goes about his business; he makes people better.”

Kevin McCarthy is going back to using a splitter, writes Jeffrey Flanagan.

“Craziest splitter I’ve ever seen,” said Matheny, a four-time Gold Glove catcher in his Major League career. “He can control it to either side. I’ve had guys with splitters where they don’t really know where it’s going. I would just play goalie with them.

“But he knows where it’s going. I think with him, it’s that he knew he needed that swing-and-miss pitch, and hopefully this is it for him.”

Josh Staumont is learning a lot from Trevor Rosenthal.

“That guy is a wealth of knowledge,” Staumont said. “You can’t have a guy who has done what he has done for as long as he has done it and not learn something. He is extremely open and likeable. To have him here and be able to bounce ideas off him is incredible.

Flanny also asks players who they think has stood out in camp so far.

The Royals will move a September Thursday night game to a Tuesday doubleheader to accommodate the Chiefs opening the season on Thursday Night Football.

Kiley McDaniel at ESPN ranks Bobby Witt, Jr. (#24) and Daniel Lynch (#59) in his top 100 prospect list.

Alex Duvall, writing at Prospects 1500, previews Royals prospects for fantasy baseball.

Alex also reveals the top Royals prospects at Royals Farm Report.

The Yankees will be without Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton on Opening Day.

Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale will not need Tommy John surgery.

How the two-way player has evolved in baseball.

Jeff Passan thinks Mookie Betts will get $200 million more than Christian Yelich.

Former Astros pitcher Ken Giles is prepared to return his World Series ring.

What’s next in the fight to protect minor league baseball?

A gambler is accused of sending violent threats to baseball players.

Beat writers used to write about players’ wives.

Building a Backyard Baseball roster for 2020.

Sammy Watkins could be among the big NFL names cut this off-season.

How we know the coronavirus was not created in a lab.

Netflix has some good gardening shows.

The Rise of Skywalker novelization reveals more details about Palpatine.

Your song of the day is Go Betty Go with The Pirate Song.