Royals Rumblings - News for December 30, 2021
Darragh McDonald at MLB Trade Rumors looks at who may be blocking Bobby Witt, Jr.
Given all of this positional flexibility, the Royals can surely make it work one way or another. If they prefer Witt at third, he can play beside Lopez and Merrifield, with Mondesi becoming a super-utility option that can have his workload managed. If they want Witt at short, they could slide Lopez to the keystone and Merrifield to the outfield. The first base/DH mix might be a little crowded, but only temporarily, as Santana and Benintendi are free agents after 2022. As the season goes on, there will inevitably be injuries that make the game of musical chairs less crowded. But with the imminent arrival of both Witt and Pratto, along with Asa Lacy and many other young pitchers, Royals fans have reasons to be optimistic about the club topping the 74 wins they managed in 2021.
R.J. Anderson at CBS Sports writes that Witt is ready now.
Witt proved why he was picked second in the 2019 MLB Draft last year by hitting .290/.361/.575 with 33 home runs and 35 doubles across Double- and Triple-A in his first full professional season. There used to be fear that Witt would swing-and-miss too frequently to maximize his loud offensive tools; those concerns haven’t materialized, and he struck out in just 22.5 percent of his Triple-A plate appearances. Factor in an above-average glove, and Witt should accomplish something his father never did over the course of his 16-year big-league career as a pitcher: make an All-Star Game.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown looks back at his five favorite Royals games of 2021, kicking it off with their Opening Day win.
But the Royals showed off some of that resiliency that they would display all season long, for better or for worse. They answered with five of their own in the first. The game was back and forth for a bit with the Rangers taking a lead in the second and extending that lead in the third. The Royals, though, scored two in the third and Carlos Hernandez held the Rangers scoreless in the fourth while the Royals scored three more to take a lead they’d never give back. Hernandez picked up his first career win, but it wasn’t without some drama at the end.
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter previews his top prospect list by writing about who didn’t make the cut, like Charlie Neuweiler.
Neuweiler only pitched 62.2 IP between High-A Quad Cities and the Arizona Complex league (the latter for a rehab stint) last season. However, his 4.81 ERA in Quad Cities didn’t stand out, and he doesn’t appear to be a swing-and-miss kind of pitcher either (19.1 percent K rate; 2.17 K/BB ratio). I honestly thought about maybe giving Neuweiler one of the bottom spots in the rankings, but I figured I would just give it to a newer arm in the system since I am not totally optimistic that we will see Neuweiler debut with the Royals anytime soon.
Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman gives three reasons why the Royals might contend next year.
What contenders may be looking for once the lockout is over.
Shohei Ohtani is named AP Male Athlete of the Year.
Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager announces his retirement.
Athletics Nation looks back at the reloading strategy for Oakland over the years.
Did a John Denver song get manager Billy Martin fired from the Rangers?
Teams in Korea and Japan are attracting some notable free agents.
What is the net worth of each MLB owner?
John Madden was America’s football teacher.
North Carolina State football coach Dave Doeren is upset the NCAA won’t give him a win after UCLA pulled out of the Holiday Bowl for COVID-19 reasons.
Retailers will struggle with online returns.
What do moviegoers want from theaters now?
Your song of the day is Motion City Soundtrack with Everything Is Alright.