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Royals Rumblings - News for March 22, 2021

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Is Kyle Isbel the rookie that could make this roster?

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Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Indians Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for March 22, 2021

Mike Matheny is ready to give the ball to Brad Keller on Opening Day, writes Anne Rogers.

“This is our guy,” Matheny said. “This is a statement. To Brad, this is the kind of pitcher we believe that you are. It’s just reinforced. You hope after that first one that they take it to heart that that’s a huge compliment. And now, [they say], ‘I want to go do what I need to do to continue to build on that.’ When you take on this role, you’re inherently taking on more leadership responsibility … and you take initiative and go outside your comfort zone.”

She also writes that Kyle Isbel has been turning heads in camp.

“We keep track of the quality of at-bats, and Kyle Isbel, percentage-wise, has probably had the highest percentage of quality at-bats all the way through so far,” Matheny said. “Hard hit, deep counts. Grinding at-bats, getting guys over, getting them in. Those sorts of things go into how we have our own metric of quality at-bats. But Kyle’s been as good as anybody we’ve had.

“It’s been impressive, and we really like how he plays defensively. He’s a smart baserunner. The whole package there with the skillset of being able to do just about everything we’d like to see.”

Danny Duffy liked how explosive his fastball was on Sunday, writes Lynn Worthy.

“Pretty explosive stuff today,” Duffy said. “I’m not much of a scoreboard peeker, but I saw a couple fives up there today I was really excited about. The electricity seems to be there. My fastball command was pretty good outside of the third. I was trying to get my footing.”

Lynn also writes about the frustration cord-cutting Royals fans face with the television situation.

Clint Scoles at Royals Academy dismisses notions that Bobby Witt, Jr. was sent to the minors for service time reasons.

People who say that Dayton is manipulating the system ignore what they did with Brady Singer last year. For one week in a pandemic season, the Royals could have and likely should have had him for an extra season. If they weren’t manipulating service time for the 2018 1st round pick, why do it for the 2019 pick?

Ken Rosenthal talks to Bobby Witt, Sr. about his prodigious son.

“I know there a lot of people out there that are talking about maybe him not having enough time in the minor leagues, not getting enough at-bats facing better pitching,” said Senior, an agent at Octagon whose previous clients include Ben Zobrist and Yovani Gallardo. “But really, what he did last year helped him immensely. He was able to face guys who were Double A, Triple A, even big-league guys who were coming down. He got a lot of at-bats there, learned a lot.

“Even if he had started out in Low A and maybe went to High A, I don’t think that would have compared to what he was able to do last year with the competition he was able to go up against. And then they extended that another month with kind of like a more advanced Instructional League. He continued to see some more arms in the same type of setting.”

Royals video coordinator Mark Topping is leaving the organization.

Will Francisco Lindor get a $300 million deal from the Mets?

The Angels demote prospect Jo Adell.

The Cubs almost traded for catcher J.T. Realmuto when he was a rookie.

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is outspoken and proud of it.

Will the Reds manipulate the service time of third base prospect Jonathan India?

The search for the perfect pitching machine.

How will the new baseball affect the home run rate?

Zack Greinke is named the Opening Day starter, but he doesn’t care about the honor.

Vanderbilt’s Jack Leiter tosses a dominant no-hitter with 16 strikeouts against South Carolina.

A Cubs prospect is arrested with 21 pounds of methamphetamine and oxycodone.

The biggest takeaways from the opening round of March Madness.

The Chiefs miss out on receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

The over 70 crowd is vaccinated and ready to party.

How Clubhouse became the trendy app du jour.

The new Super Nintendo World theme park in Japan is sensory overload.

Your song of the day is Ray Charles with What’d I Say.