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Royals Rumblings - News for October 7, 2021

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Yankees fans already want to trade for Nicky Lopez.

Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for October 7, 2021

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam talks about the Royals front office changes.

The title changes — Dayton is now president of baseball operations, and J.J. is the GM — are significant.

I think it’s fair to say that generally Moore will focus more on the sort of infrastructure of the organization while Picollo takes on even more with the big league club. But it’s also true that these guys have been around each other forever. They’ve learned the game together. They’ve had virtually every baseball debate possible with each other....

Honestly, I think with personnel you won’t be able to tell a big difference. The Royals will continue to rely on scouting and player development while continuing to become a little more transactional.

The biggest difference, I think, is that Picollo will be charged with taking some of the same strategies that have worked so well in the minor leagues and implementing them with the big league team.

Coach Vance Wilson thinks Salvador Perez may have had the best offensive season by a catcher ever, writes Lynn Worthy.

“That’s the first thing — what it takes just to play every single day, defensively,” Wilson said. “Then you look at the seasons they had. And I will say one thing. I’m not even speculating or nothing, but Salvy is playing in a time when, for the most part, we’ve pushed performance enhancing drugs out. He gets tested just as all players do at times.

“For him to do what he’s doing in our ballpark, it’s the greatest offensive season of a catcher of all time. I really think that.”

Alec Lewis looks at the numbers that defined the Royals this year.

Magic number: 57.3

No team threw fewer first-pitch strikes than the Royals. Manager Mike Matheny is so aware of this issue that, on Sunday morning, he joked about the ceremonial first pitch thrown a night earlier by Royals vice president of communications Mike Swanson.

“Man, it was almost so good,” Matheny said of Swanson’s throw. “You know, here’s the deal. We’ve had a problem with first-pitch strikes.”

The Royals did improve in this regard from the first half (56.9 percent) to the second half (57.7 percent). But Matheny is right to mention the overall concern because, well, here are the three teams that lead in this category: Dodgers (63.6 percent), Giants (63.5) and Rays (63.3).

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report gives his thoughts on the season and the upcoming off-season.

This team lacks any kind of meaningful bat in their lineup outside of Salvador Perez. Andrew Benintendi, Nicky Lopez, Kyle Isbel, and Whit Merrifield are all serviceable. They all do a few things that make them valuable in a big league lineup and they can all start in a lineup that makes the playoffs. But you cannot plan on them hitting one, two, and three/four in a lineup that you want to contend for a playoff spot. Bobby Witt Jr. and company are coming in hot, and I think that trio we saw at Omaha to end the season, along with guys like Vinnie Pasquantino, are going to make a significant impact in this lineup very quickly. I just don’t think it’s fair to expect three or four rookies to be the difference in your team winning 74 and 84 games in 2022. Go out and get a veteran slugger this offseason.

Jordan Foote at Inside the Royals writes that Nicky Lopez was the ultimate redemption story for the Royals this year.

Makenzie Koch at Fox 4 looks at the progress the Royals made this year.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman grades the Royals’ off-season acquisitions.

Bobby Witt, Jr., Nick Pratto, and MJ Melendez all make Baseball America’s Minor League All-Star team.

Joel Sherman thinks the Yankees should trade for Nicky Lopez.

The Padres fire manager Jayce Tingler.

Aaron Boone is uncertain about his future with the Yankees.

Jose Abreu is battling flu-like symptoms but tests negative for COVID-19.

Theo Epstein will not be a candidate for the Mets GM job.

The Padres may target free agent pitcher Marcus Stroman.

The Rockies extend pitcher Antonio Senzatela to a five-year, $50 million contract.

Matt Vasgersian is leaving ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

Cleveland releases former #1 overall pick Brady Aiken.

MLB will reportedly issue a vaccine mandate for minor leaguers in 2022.

The NBA will no longer allow shooters to launch themselves into defenders to draw a foul.

The MLS’s newest Charlotte franchise may decide a roster spot through a reality show.

The “Zodiac Killer” is identified as a man who died in 2018.

“Fantasy equity” allows you to gamble real money on fake shares of real companies.

The legacy of Daniel Craig’s James Bond.

Your song of the day is Hot Chocolate with Everyone’s a Winner.