Royals Rumblings - News for March 1, 2021
David Lesky likes the Hunter Dozier deal for both sides, but does wonder what it means for the future.
It makes me wonder if the Royals have decided Jorge Soler isn’t going to be in their long-term plans, so they have a suitable option as a right-handed slugger if and when Soler does leave as a free agent following the upcoming season. It doesn’t have to mean that, of course, but it would make some sense that they wanted some certainty from at least one of those two, so they got that in locking up Dozier for the next four or five seasons.
The Royals won their first spring training game 3-2 in six innings, and Brad Keller is okay after a comebacker to the mound.
Mike Matheny said Brad Keller got hit in the — and Matheny said this with a smile — gluteus maximus. Keller is all good. Had gotten enough work, so they *rolled it*.— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) February 28, 2021
Lynn Worthy writes that the word is around camp is that the Royals are ready to win.
“We feel like we’ve signed some really good players, guys that are really going to help our team,” Merrifield said. “We feel like some of these young guys are at the point where they’re ready to help us, and we’re ready to see what they got. We saw that with Singer. We saw that with Bubic, last year. It’s time to worry about the development less and worry about winning games more.”
He also talks to Kris Bubic about being more consistent this year.
“Going into the offseason, my focus was just to be more consistent with everything,” Bubic said. “I think that’s the biggest difference anybody will tell you about the big-league level versus any minor-league level is just the consistency of everything, not necessarily the talent level.
“That was the biggest focus for me. I feel like I’ve accomplished that pretty well so far. Obviously, as we get into games I’ll get a better gauge of where I’m at and how I am stacked up against opponents and whatnot.”
Anne Rogers looks at the big questions facing the Royals in camp, including how Mike Matheny will handle bullpen roles.
“The more pitchers that you have available to pitch in high-leverage innings, the better your team’s going to be,” Matheny said. “Does it get to the point where maybe guys own a certain spot? Potentially. I think it’s much more important now — and I’ve heard Holly talk about it. Wade talk about it. I’ve heard Josh talking about it: ‘I just want to get the ball.’ … It gives us the flexibility to do what we believe is right and not have to necessarily spend too much time thinking about having to understand all the emotion that goes along with people who were fighting the system of wanting these roles and titles.”
Ervin Santana talked about a potential role after his outing on Sunday.
“Whatever they want me to be I’ll probably do it,” Santana said of his potential role with the club. “But my whole career I’ve been a starting pitcher, so let’s see what’s going on in the next few outings.”
In his mailbag column, Alec Lewis gives his best guess at what the lineup might look like.
In the meantime, I think it’d make sense to see Benintendi in the No. 2 hole behind Merrifield, which would mean a right-left start. Then you could have Carlos Santana in the No. 3 hole. Imagine how treacherous a first inning that’d be for opposing pitchers: You face Merrifield, who is going to grind through an at-bat, then you face Benintendi and Santana, who will, too.
That type of OBP could pave the way for hitters such as Jorge Soler, Perez, Hunter Dozier and Adalberto Mondesi to do serious damage.
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at who might be next for a long-term contract.
Marcus Meade at Royals Farm Report thinks the conventional wisdom on Jackson Kowar’s pitches is wrong.
MLB.com highlights the fastest prospect in each system, with Nick Heath for the Royals.
Ian Kennedy says the Royals wanted to bring him back, but he chose to go with the Rangers.
Why don’t more teams sign Fernando Tatis, Jr.-type deals?
Tim Anderson declares the White Sox the best team in the American League.
Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini receives a standing ovation in his first at-bat since recovering from cancer.
Albert Pujols clarifies he will decide on his future after the season.
Umpire Angel Hernandez is already in mid-season form.
For ESPN Insiders, Kiley McDaniel ranks the top draft prospects.
What are the best ballcaps in history for each team?
The Looney Tunes movie “Baseball Bugs” turns 75.
North Dakota State’s 39-game win streak in football comes to an end.
How much can a handful of fans affect an NBA game?
Kansas City’s Worlds of Fun was the setting for a sketch on Saturday Night Live this week.
Your song of the day is The Black Keys with Gold on the Ceiling.