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Royals Rumblings - News for November 19, 2021

Did you have Salvy on your MVP ballot?

Kansas City Royals Parade Celebration
Photo by Jason Squires/Getty Images

The big news yesterday was the MVP voting. Max already covered it here. Salvy finished a slightly disappointing 7th as 6 voters didn’t even have him on the ballot.

Here’s your daily Alec Lewis, talking about today’s Rule V draft protection deadline:

This news is maybe more Royals-adjacent, but one of the bigger stories yesterday was Clark Hunt talking about the stadium situation for the Chiefs if the Royals move downtown:

Speaking to the media for his annual in-season news conference, Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt discussed the potential of a Royals move away from the Truman Sports Complex.

“Their decision on their long-term future will have an impact on us,” Hunt said. “We’re going to watch as they go through the process, and at some point here in the next year or so, start thinking about what’s next for the Chiefs from a stadium standpoint.”

Dave Skretta of the Associated Press also talked about this news:

There has been momentum in recent years for the Royals to relocate downtown, where Kansas City has been in the midst of a dramatic urban renewal. Not only would it position their stadium close to restaurants and bars, of which there are none at the Truman Sports Complex, it also would allow more fans to attend games using public transportation.

Those considerations don’t really extend to the Chiefs, where part of the allure of Arrowhead Stadium is the tailgating. And if the Royals were to move, Hunt said the Chiefs could build out the complex to provide additional fan amenities.

At Inside the Crown, David Lesky compares the rebuilds of the Tigers and the Royals:

It feels like the Tigers are a touch ahead in their rebuild, I think, because from the outside looking in, their pitching seems to have taken a step that the Royals pitching hasn’t yet. Casey Mize posted a 3.71 ERA in 2021 and did so with pretty remarkable consistency for a young pitcher. I think it’s fair to say he has some questions with a lower strikeout rate than you want, but that’s a great start. Tarik Skubal has the strikeouts, but gives up too many home runs. Still, he posted a 4.34 ERA in 2021. Even Tyler Alexander, who is unheralded put up solid numbers as a starter.

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains previews a potential free agent target in Steven Matz:

What you see is what you get with Matz at this point. He’s not going to take some giant leap forward with stuff, nor is he going to suddenly dominate hitters like an ace. So in Matz, you’re playing the old school free agent game of paying on what you saw in the past and hoping he can maintain his current levels for the duration of whatever contract he signs, even though he’s on the wrong side of 30. The defense is so important with Matz and his sinker-heavy repitoire. For a club to maximize his value as a starter, it’s imperative they have quality gloves behind him.

A little blog roundup:

The big baseball news yesterday is that MLB has agreed to provide housing for all minor leaguers (with a couple of exceptions like players with MLB contracts and six-figure salaries):

To be compliant with the 2022 Minor League Housing Policy:

Clubs must provide housing accommodation options located at a reasonable, commutable distance from the ballpark. Bedrooms must contain a single bed per player, and there shall be no more than two players per bedroom at all PDL levels.

Accommodations must be furnished, and Clubs will be responsible for basic utility bills at Club-provided living arrangements.

To the extent that apartments, rental homes, or host families are not feasible at a PDL level, Clubs may choose to provide hotel rooms that satisfy standards put in place.

The Housing Policy will only apply to players under a Minor League UPC.

Players shall be entitled to receive housing accommodations any time they are directed to report but will always retain the right to opt out of the Club-provided housing.

Advocates for Minor Leaguers praised this move:

This should be a totally positive development and I know I’m just cynical about MLB’s seemingly endless chase of every last current dollar to the detriment of their future. I’m just hoping this is the positive news it looks like on it’s face. I mean, I’m sure we’ll hear some stories of bad accommodations (maybe not Russian Olympic village bad) just because it covers so many teams and so many players. I’m hoping this isn’t some backwards Grapes of Wrath system where they owe even more of their low wages to the club, but I wouldn’t 100% put it past MLB either. But this should be a cause for praise, even if long overdue.

I’m not sure why I would be cynical when the other major thing Manfred did yesterday was threaten a lockout:

“I think when you look at other sports, the pattern has become to control the timing of the labor dispute and try to minimize the prospect of actual disruption of the season,” Manfred said. “That’s what it’s about. It’s avoiding doing damage to the season.

“I can’t believe there’s a single fan in the world who doesn’t understand that an offseason lockout that moves the process forward is different than a labor dispute that costs games.

“I don’t think there’s anybody who understands better than I do that from the perspective of the fans, they don’t want a labor dispute, and that’s why our number one priority is to make a deal.”

Sorry, Dan - it’s a crap act to follow, but I have to: Szymborski! Szymborksi! Szymborski! ZIPS IS COMING!

The first ZiPS team projections will hit the site this coming Monday, and as I typically do, I’m going to use this space to talk a little bit about my philosophy behind ZiPS, my goals, and the new things I’ve worked on before they go live.

ZiPS is a computer projection system I initially developed in 2002–04 and which officially went live for the ’04 season. The origin of ZiPS is similar to Tom Tango’s Marcel the Monkey, coming from discussions I had with Chris Dial, one of my best friends (my first interaction with Chris involved me being called an expletive!) and a fellow stat nerd, in the late 1990s. ZiPS moved quickly from its original inception as a reasonably simple projection system, and now does a lot more and uses a lot more data than I ever envisioned 20 years ago. At its core, however, it’s still doing two primary tasks: estimating what the baseline expectation for a player is at the moment I hit the button, and then estimating where that player may be going using large cohorts of relatively similar players.

It’s been in the works for a few days now, but the Mets officially announced former Angels GM Billy Eppler as their new GM.

We’ve had a number of weeks of really long Friday Rumblings so we’re going to keep today’s short and sweet. Let’s revisit Final Fantasy VII: