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Royals Rumblings - News for February 24, 2021

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A Maltese (small white dog) wearing a pink winter coat with pink fuzzy trim around the neck.
Is it coat weather where you are today?
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

Anne Rogers provides some notes from Spring Training, including that Royals players are happy to have Carlos Santana on board:

And it’s safe to say the Royals aren’t mad about having him on their team instead of facing him with Cleveland:

Duffy: “He’s a tough out. I feel like I just learned how to get him out last year after nine seasons. And here we are, now he’s on my team. He’s a really good hitter.”

Right-hander Brady Singer: “I faced Santana I don’t know how many times. ... I’m happy he’s on our team. Guy’s been hitting for a long time, and he’s good. To have him in this locker room, it’s exciting.”

Catcher Salvador Perez: “That guy’s good, man. He takes like 120 walks every year. His on-base percentage is high. He’s going to get on base for us, for [Jorge] Soler, for me. That was a great pick.”

Alec Lewis did some scene setting at The Athletic, describing little backfield moments for fans who can’t be there themselves this year:

Another man made the long walk from the clubhouse, arriving just in time for Duffy’s session: Royals chairman and CEO John Sherman. He smiled at the blue sky but said the beauty was in the baseball. And right then, Duffy threw a slider that dove toward the ground beneath the bat of Royals first baseman Ryan O’Hearn.

Duffy followed the pitch up with a fastball, painting a corner. Matheny watched the entirety of the session from the outfield behind the mound, and once Duffy finished, the manager whistled, calling him out to the outfield.

“I was just encouraging him afterwards,” Matheny would later say. “How he’s going about his business right now is a big deal for our club.”

Can someone with coaching or training background tell me what this shoeless, double-pants, sliding drill does?

Brad Keller is basically a unicorn, writes David Lesky at Inside the Crown:

The reality that I’m running into is that Keller is weird. Let’s make that read a little better and kinder. Keller is unique. You don’t find many guys with his velocity and his end results typically with the way he’s gotten there. What I’m extremely curious about is how this changeup we’re hearing about is going to work for him. He threw 17 of them in 2020, all to lefties. And it was effective, but it also just 17 of them.

Now, the talk is that he’s going to throw it more, which is pretty typical of spring training. We hear a lot about new pitches. In fact, we heard about Keller’s changeup last year as well. And then he threw 17 of them. But if he can successfully incorporate his changeup to his repertoire, maybe he can mirror some of the success of a guy the Royals once had in camp, Clay Buchholz. Before you scoff, remember that Buchholz threw 554 innings from his age 25 through 28 seasons with a solid ground ball rate and middling strikeout and walk rates. But he kept the ball in the park exceptionally well and limited runs scored. Of course, he also got hurt.

Craig Brown re-assesses his 26-man roster prediction from earlier this month.

Lorenzo Cain is returning to the Brewers after opting out of the 2020 season. Andy McCullough caught up with Cain, and wrote an excellent piece about what our old friend has been up to lately.

Sometimes It Rains is a Podcast Series that examines the intersection between sports and social justice, told one story, one season at a time.” This is an audio story about Willie Mays Aikens.

RJ McDaniel at FanGraphs, on language.

Francisco Lindor spoke on how analytics will affect negotiations between the Players Union and MLB.

At Beyond the Box Score, Bill Thompson sings high praises of the Negro League Baseball Museum.

Have you thought about Scott Kazmir lately? I hadn’t, until the Giants signed him to a minor league deal.

Here’s a pants swap elsewhere in the AL Central:

The Yankees DFA’d outfielder Grey Gallon Greg Allen.

Draft notes from the first weekend of NCAA baseball.

Nebraska volleyball, the dynasty, is now the only team who’s been ranked in every poll since the poll was established:

What stands out about this week’s poll is a notable absence, however. After a 1-3 start to the season that includes two losses to Arizona and one to California plus six canceled matches, reigning champion Stanford fell from No. 23 to first among others receiving votes with 101 points.

This is the first time since the poll’s creation in 1982 that the Cardinal are unranked. Nebraska is now the only program that has appeared in all 564 polls.

Tiger Woods was injured in a serious rollover crash yesterday.

Mara Wilson wrote an essay for the New York Times about Britney Spears and the narrative surrounding fame at an early age. (Related: Wilson is phenomenal as the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home, in the scifi podcast Welcome To Night Vale.)

Why many men resist going to therapy, and why they shouldn’t.

What’s the worst parenting advice you’ve ever received?

Today’s fun (but also kind of spooky!) Reddit question: what’s the biggest bullet you’ve ever dodged?

Song: Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - Once I Was a Thief