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Royals Rumblings - News for December 28, 2021

Can Nicky Lopez keep it up in 2022?

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Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for December 28, 2021

Writing at Inside the Crown, David Lesky examines whether Nicky Lopez’s success is sustainable.

So I think there’s definitely some nuance in how to rate Lopez’s chances of repeating. He’s putting himself in the best possible position to succeed, which is what you want from a player and while I don’t think you can count on another 2021 season from him without continuing to change his profile some, it’s certainly possible that he can continue to be an offensive asset. And what’s nice about what he did in 2021 was he showed he can not only be a capable shortstop but a good one. So even in a year where he might drop to a .275/.330/.350 line, there’s room for that on the roster in some role.

At Royals Academy, Clint Scoles considers who might be the next prospect to emerge.

The 2021 draft signings are all exciting players to watch. How they decide to handle Eric Cerantola should be interesting to watch. He meshes with the other power pitchers the Royals have added in the past few seasons. All six pitchers were throwing mid-90s+ in college with a secondary piece to lean on. That’s the case for Cerantola and Beethe if either one of them can land in the strikezone well enough. A talented group of relievers that can all approach 100 mph with their fastball and have a plus offspeed pitch are the type of relievers the Royals need to move quickly and push to the backend of the pen.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at what Kris Bubic can do in 2022.

The big priority going forward for Bubic will be limiting those walks and home runs and finding a way to do so with his current pitch mix.

Bubic gained more confidence and velocity in his four-seamer during the past two months of play, and it will be interesting to see if that velocity can be maintained in Spring Training and the beginning of 2022, or if it was simply a product of the warm weather of those last two months. I am not sure how effective Bubic can be as a 90-91 MPH fastball pitcher long-term, especially if his walk rates don’t dramatically improve.

However, if he can average a four-seamer at 92-94 MPH, as he showed down the stretch? Well, it’s possible that Bubic could solidify himself as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter in the Royals rotation as soon as next season.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman thinks time is running out on Seuly Matias.

Alec Lewis of The Athletic has a fan survey he wants you to fill out with your thoughts on Dayton Moore, Mike Matheny, and a downtown stadium.

The Giants sign former Royals pitching prospect Bryan Brickhouse to a minor league deal.

Jay Jaffe at Fangraphs looks at the Hall of Fame case for Torii Hunter.

What if Ken Griffey, Jr. had accepted a trade to the Mets?

Which MLB free agents may have played their last game?

Could MLB play a game at former Negro League ballpark Hinchliffe Stadium in New Jersey?

Why are some free agents signing in Asia?

The Blue Jays will opt for $250 million in stadium renovations rather than a new stadium.

The seven questions that will determine the NFL playoff race.

The CDC shortened the recommended times that people should isolate when they’ve tested positive for Covid-19 if they don’t have symptoms and are masked.

China will impose restrictions on foreign IPOs by firms in sectors that are off-limits to foreign investment.

Hades becomes the first video game to win a Hugo Award for sci-fi and fantasy fiction.

Your song of the day is The Wood Brothers with Postcards from Hell.