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Royals Rumblings - News for February 9, 2021

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Is baseball getting a deader ball?

2020 World Series Media Day Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for February 9, 2021

The writers at MLB.com have a roundtable discussion on the Central Division.

Footer: Let’s wrap this up with predictions. Rank the AL Central teams, 1-5.

Feinsand: Twins-White Sox-Royals-Indians-Tigers (Hot take alert!)

I like what the Royals have done. I’m not saying they’ll make the playoffs, but I think they’ll surprise some people this season. Salvador Perez, Carlos Santana, Adalberto Mondesi, Whit Merrifield, Michael A. Taylor, Jorge Soler … they’ve got a pretty good lineup.

Anne Rogers writes about the top opening day moments in Royals history.

3. World Series rematch

April 3, 2016

Opening Day in 2016 was one of celebration for the Royals. They ended a three-decade World Series championship drought the previous fall, and tradition held that Opening Day was to be a banner ceremony for the winning team. It just so happened that the opposing team they raised the banner in front of was the same team the Royals had beaten in five games to win that banner — the Mets.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter takes a deeper look into Kyle Zimmer’s breakout.

The fastball on the other hand is a different story. His fastball was a pretty mediocre pitch in 2019. The 22.9 percent CSW (called strike plus whiff rate) and 8.3 percent swinging strike rate on his fastball in 2019 ranked as the third-worst pitches in their respective categories over the past two years. Furthermore, his 31.3 put away rate was only better than his changeup the past two years, which has only been thrown 35 times over the past two years (not exactly a fair sample).

That being said, his fastball suddenly went from a quite hittable pitch in 2019 to one of Zimmer’s most dependable options in 2020. His 34.1 percent CSW on the fastball was the highest mark in this category from his pitch arsenal in 2020, and his put away rate on his 2020 fastball was nearly double the rate on the same pitch in 2019. And again, Zimmer did this despite a dip in velocity from 2019 to 2020.

The Royals officially sign infielder Yosmi Fernández in the international signing period.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman looks at who may get their last chance in Royals camp this year.

MLB and the union agree on protocol this season that will include another year of seven-inning doubleheaders and extra innings starting with a runner at second.

Ken Rosenthal writes that baseball is looking to deaden the ball this year.

Yadier Molina re-signs with the Cardinals on a one-year deal.

The Angels sign Shoehei Ohtani to a two-year extension.

Dee Strange-Gordon signs a minor league deal with the Reds.

Trevor Bauer apologizes to Mets fans for the confusing ending to his free agency.

Should baseball look at ways to speed up free agency?

The Cubs get permission to have limited capacity for spring training games in Arizona.

Which aces have the deepest arsenals?

A look at the ten most likely contract extension candidates.

Jon Bois writes about the time he was owned by Casey Fossum in a baseball video game.

What is the trade market for Carson Wentz?

Kansas basketball falls out of the top 25 rankings for the first time in 12 years.

Are we running out of phosphorous?

Elon Musk and Snoop Dogg push cryptocurrencies to new highs.

The #FreeBritney movement gets a boost from a new documentary on the conservatorship of Britney Spears.

Your song of the day is Public Enemy with Give It Up (NSFW, language).