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Royals Rumblings - News for November 16, 2021

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How do you feel about next year’s coaching staff?

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for November 16, 2021

Ken Rosenthal writes about the lack of diversity in baseball front offices, and Dayton Moore says more needs to be done.

“It’s like I’ve said to (deputy commissioner) Dan Halem and everyone who wants to listen, when you round, reduce and contract minor-league teams, then you’re not drafting and signing African-American players, how are you ever going to get African-American scouts, coaches and executives? You need more opportunities for players to play. And then they naturally progress into getting jobs.”

Moore said 32 Royals employees working as scouts, coaches or front-office executives signed as players with the team or his previous club, the Braves. Three of the Royals’ assistant GMs are from underrepresented groups, and Moore said since 2008 the team has identified African-American players on its draft board with the intention of selecting a minimum of two each year. Over time, the signing bonuses for those players increased from $50,000 to $125,000, and the Royals also include the cost of a full college scholarship. Outfielder Terrance Gore, a 20th-round pick in 2011 out of Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla., was part of the team’s initiative, and went on to win three World Series rings.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at the return of the coaching staff in 2022.

Since Eldred took over as pitching coach in 2018, the Royals, according to Fangraphs, rank 28th in pitching fWAR as well as 27th in staff ERa over that four-year time span. Safe to say, it’s not a surprise that the Royals have failed to finish higher than fourth in the American League Central since 2018 as well.

That being said, it’s probably a sure bet to think that manager Mike Matheny vouched for Eldred, as both of them go way back to their playing days together in Milwaukee in the mid-90s. It is possible that Matheny may want to give Eldred one more year, as Eldred didn’t have a full season in 2020, and the pitching was slightly better in the second half in 2021, especially once the pitching prospects made their way to Kansas City over the last couple months of the season. Matheny, as a friend and coach, probably thinks that Eldred is slowly making progress, and 2022 is when the young pitchers finally gel together under Eldred’s tutelage.

Brendan Gawlowski at Fangraphs bids adieu to Joakim Soria.

“Our hopes were that he would turn into a No. 2 or No. 3 starting pitcher,” Moore said. “But he was just so dominant as a closer.”

In his five year heyday with Kansas City, few were better. He was sixth among relievers in WAR over that stretch, which perhaps undersells his production, as he substantially over-performed his FIP. Among pitchers who threw more than 300 innings during those years, only Mariano Rivera had a lower ERA than Soria’s 2.40 mark.

“There are two things you need to do to be a great reliever,” Moore said. “You have to throw strikes and you can’t pitch with any fear. Joakim checked both boxes.”

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman explores bringing back Sean Manaea.

Jerry Edwards at Inside the Royals looks at acquiring a young Rockies pitcher.

Jonathan India and Randy Arozarena win Rookie of the Year honors.

The Tigers sign pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million deal.

The Braves sign catcher Manny Pina to a two-year, $8 million deal.

A breakdown of the big free agent shortstop class.

What’s on the Yankees’ off-season wishlist?

Max Scherzer could earn the highest annual salary in baseball history.

Can reforming the draft be a way to prevent teams from tanking?

The Mets may be close to hiring Billy Eppler as their GM.

MLB makes changes to the “Selig Rule” on diversity to focus on internal promotions.

The Phillies settle a lawsuit on a redesign of their mascot, the Phantic.

What happens if the Sinclair subsidiary that owns Bally Sports Kansas City goes bankrupt?

Former Red Sox and Rays shortstop Julio Lugo dies of a heart attack at age 45.

The 20 players that will define college basketball this season.

The NHL postpones three games amid a COVID-19 outbreak.

Why YouTube is hiding dislikes on its videos.

Einstein’s theory of special relativity could create unhackable ATMs.

Sesame Street gets its first Asian-American muppet.

Your song of the day is Dave Matthews Band with So Much to Say.