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Royals Rumblings - News for April 22, 2021

The Royals again?

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Tampa Bay Rays v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for April 22, 2021

Whit Merriifeld wants to put his defensive miscues behind him, writes Anne Rogers.

“Bluntly, it’s been pretty embarrassing,” Merrifield said before Wednesday’s series finale against the Rays. “It’s just been a pretty poor performance, individually, defensively the last couple nights. Last night, I can’t think of a worse defensive game I’ve had in my life, not just my professional career, but my life. … Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of games and innings at second base in my career. I know that I’m a better player than that. It’s just been tough. Last night was a tough game, and hopefully nothing like that will happen again.”

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam writes the pieces are in place for this to be a special team.

But I do think all the pieces are there. Whit Merrifield and Salvador Perez are the two best players, and each well-regarded and respected. Danny Duffy is as good of a teammate as there is.

It’s a nice mix of unselfish veterans and younger players who appear both hungry to establish careers and humble enough to work for it.

But if you look at it in the macro, it’s all there. The manager is inclusive and prioritizes communication. The front office has a well-earned reputation for making sure players feel supported. The most influential voices in the clubhouse are conscientious and respected.

Lynn Worthy writes about the progress made by reliever Tyler Zuber.

Zuber worked with Triple-A pitching coach Dane Johnson on the minor-league side of camp in Arizona to rebuild his confidence and get out of the passive approach he showed last season. He has continued to build on the progress he made there.

“I just kind of went back to if I give up a home run, I give up a home run,” Zuber said. “I just have to learn to be better in the next situation so that doesn’t continuously happen.”

Alec Lewis looks at the offensive numbers so far.

“There’s been a lot of times this year, almost every at-bat, where I’m fouling off a pitch I should be driving,” Benintendi said. “Then I’m down 0-2 or 1-2, and you have to battle.”

Why has that been the case?

“I feel like I’m so close,” he said. “It’s so frustrating. Even compared from now to spring training, I feel like it may not look different, but I’m a lot closer to where I want to be. Those pitches where I should be driving, it is frustrating. But sometimes you have to slow it down and say, ‘we still have 150 games left.’ It’s going to come eventually.”

Pete Grathoff takes note of Michael Taylor’s defense to start the year.

“I told this to Dayton (on Tuesday) after the game: He has patrolled this outfield as well as, you know, I can’t say that I was here to watch some of the legendary guys at The K, but as good as I could ever expect,” Matheny said. “Going back and finding the track, having a feel for the wall, but understanding he’s got a lot of room. His first steps have been very accurate. He’s got really natural instincts, he’s got aggressive instincts.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown likes what he sees from Nicky Lopez.

Again, there’s still plenty of time for this to change, but while the Royals are never going to get serious power out of Lopez, he’s doing what I thought he could when he was called up in 2019. He’s making contact and he’s actually been hitting the ball a bit harder of late as well. It might very well be that the original plan they had in place when spring training started is the one that makes the most sense. Of course, that’s something they don’t need to worry about just yet, but it’s coming relatively soon and good for Lopez for making the Royals have to make a decision.

MLB Pipeline has a mock draft with the first 20 picks.

7) Royals (Callis): Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.) — High school right-handers come with risk, but this one might have the best combination of pure stuff and command in the entire Draft.

Craig Brown looks at Brad Keller’s struggles.

The Royals have a big fan on the PGA Tour.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter is pleading for patience for Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier (written before both homered last night).

David Scharff at Kings of Kauffman pleads for patience with the defense.

A look at Rule 5 pick Akil Baddoo, an early sensation this season.

The strike zone is imperfect, but mostly unchanged from last year.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone talks to Gleyber Torres after he fails to hustle.

With a position player on the mound, Javier Báez decides to hit left-handed.

The A’s follow up a six-game losing streak with an 11-game win streak.

Will Max Scherzer be a popular trade candidate this summer?

Padres starter Dinelson Lamet leaves his start with forearm tightness.

MLB talks to the union for their first collective bargaining agreement talks.

Sports Illustrated takes a look at the number of players stepping away from the game for mental health reasons.

NFL owners approve replay changes among several rule changes.

Why the European Super League never stood a chance.

Can an app help change your personality?

The scientists working on an experiment that has lasted 142 years.

Hilary Duff will star in a How I Met Your Mother sequel series for Hulu.

Your song of the day is Queens of the Stone Age with No One Knows.