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Royals Rumblings - News for August 11, 2020

Mike Matheny steers the Royals back to a winning way.

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MLB: AUG 09 Twins at Royals Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for August 11, 2020

Lynn Worthy writes that this success for the Royals could have some staying power.

Something else stands out from last season, though.

Matheny has been vital in this, particularly in the very ways some had come to believe he was flawed when he was managing in St. Louis: communicating and nurturing young players.

If what we see in his multiple-times-daily media briefings is any indication of his dynamics with KC’s players, Matheny is patient and passionate and eloquent and elaborate in how he gets his thoughts across.

And all word and observations are that the man who spent plenty of his pre-COVID offseason traveling the country to get to know his team has stayed on that same trajectory since — including when he could constantly be seen making his way around every spot of the complex to speak with players at the Royals’ original spring training period in Arizona.

“Super hands-on,” Merrifield called him in Surprise. “Doing all the things you like to see a manager do.”

He also reports that Bubba Starling went on the Injured List as a precaution, but that he did not test positive for COVID-19.

Starling felt ill, the source said, and his IL stint was precautionary due to potential virus concerns and precautions around COVID-19’s known incubation period. The move also gave the team the roster flexibility to add a player while Starling’s situation was sorted out.

Because of COVID situation, players can go on the IL and be re-activated prior to the end of the usual 10-day period if they’ve been cleared by a medical panel as well as officials from MLB and the MLB Players Association .

Starling would not have been able to return to the Royals’ alternate training site without that medical clearance.

Alec Lewis looks at the numbers behind the Royals’ recent success and highlights Salvador Perez.

On a broader level, some of what Perez has accomplished at the plate speaks to progressions indicating more success for the 30-year-old. In 2018, he whiffed at 32.8 percent of breaking balls. This year, he’s whiffing at only 28 percent of them. In 2018, he swung at only 73 percent of pitches in the strike zone. This year, he’s swung at 84.5 percent of them.

Swing work with Royals special assignment hitting coach Mike Tosar paid off. Similarly, the behind-the-plate work Perez put in has impressed. Singer and Bubic have raved about how easy Perez’s presence has made their transition into professional baseball. His framing appears to have improved. He’s allowed only one stolen base. Both of those numbers will be important to watch, given Perez is still in his first year back from Tommy John surgery.

Dayn Perry at CBS Sports grades each team one-quarter through the season.

Grade: C The Royals were not expected to be good in 2020. Lo and also behold: The Royals are not good in 2020. Barely satisfying expectations is normally the stuff of a B- student, but KC gets dinged for being behind the Tigers in the AL Central standings.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report talks to pitching prospect Alec Marsh.

Marcus Stroman opts out of playing this season.

Mike Clevinger will miss a start after violating safety protocols and going out.

MLB salaries took a dive this year.

The Reds apply to government officials to have fans attend games this year.

Fernando Tatis, Jr. is bringing joy back to baseball.

Why are MLB base hits disappearing?

Are pitchers using fastballs less?

Who are the most irreplaceable players in baseball?

Could a player win Rookie of the Year this year, then again in 2021?

The New York Rangers are the big winners of the NHL draft lottery.

ESPN may be interested in broadcasting MAC football games in the spring.

Disney drops the “Fox” in “20th Century Fox”.

HBO will make a two-part documentary on George Carlin.

Tron 3 is back on with Jared Leto and a new director.

Your song of the day is Professor Murder with Free Stress Test.