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Royals Rumblings - News for May 28, 2021

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Esky’s back “home”

Adalberto Mondesi #27 of the Kansas City Royals throws Randy Arozarena #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays his helmet after being caught stealing second base during the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Tropicana Field on May 26, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida.
Adalberto Mondesi #27 of the Kansas City Royals throws Randy Arozarena #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays his helmet after being caught stealing second base during the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Tropicana Field on May 26, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida.
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for May 27, 2021

Alcides Escobar, who is on an absolute tear lately at Triple-A Omaha, was happy to come back home.

“I’m just happy to be back to my home,” Escobar told MiLB.com after Triple-A Omaha beat Indianapolis 10-7 on Wednesday. “When my agent told me, before signing, (you) can go back to Kansas City… Yes. I don’t think nothing about it. Just say ‘yes.’”

Major League Baseball’s 2 millionth run scored is going to happen soon, except it’s not that simple, and it has already been scored, but not yet?

Elias Sports Bureau, the “Official Statistician” for Major League Baseball shows that 1,999,804 runs have been scored in the league’s 145-year history. But Baseball Reference, whose catalog of baseball statistics is an indispensable tool for fans (and journalists) shows that number to be 1,999,901.

...Whoever scores the magic 2 millionth run by Elias or Baseball Reference’s count won’t be able to boast about it for long. Major League Baseball will add Negro Leagues stats to the official numbers in the near future, so the 2 millionth run actually already has been scored.

At Kings of Kauffman, Trey Donovan discusses how Danny Duffy has been elite this year.

Duffy has developed his pitches further this year and it shows in his spin rates. For most of his pitches, he has been around 2100-2200 RPMs in his career, which is both average for some pitches and well below average for others.

This year, though, Duffy has shown he can also spin it with the best of them. His fastball spin rate has not differed so far this year, but all of his offspeed pitches have seen a general increase in spin. For one, his slider went from 2391 RPMs last year to 2481 RPMs which is great because sliders are more effective with a higher spin rate.

The biggest increase for Duffy though is in his changeup. Last year his spin rate was 2161 RPMs. This year though his changeup has a spin rate of 2302 RPMs, which adds more deception to the pitch. Even his curve has seen a nice increase, even if he throws it only ten percent of the time.

Welcome to Mock Draft Szn. Keith Law just released The Athletic’s first mock draft of the year, where he has the Royals selecting high school shortstop Brady House or high school starting pitcher Jackson Jobe.

House or Jobe here, most likely, with House as their preference. I’ve heard Jobe with them a few times, although it surprises me because the Royals seemed to have abandoned high school pitching up top after the four prep arms they took in the first two rounds in 2014-15 yielded just 0.1 WAR and, so far, only three big-league appearances.

Meanwhile, Jim Callis at MLB.com mocks a different shortstop to the Royals: Khalil Watson.

Many clubs don’t believe Watson actually will last this long. If he doesn’t, the Royals could turn to Rocker or whichever high school shortstop is left on the board.

As we get closer to draft day, the four top-tier high school shortstops—House and Watson, along with Marcelo Mayer and Jordan Lawler—have shot up the draft boards. Most evaluations now have those four somewhere in the top ten selections. As a result, the famed Vanderbilt due of Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker have fallen down boards. I don’t think we’ll ever have a good idea of who will be available with the seventh overall pick, let alone who the Royals will select, until it happens. But it’s fun trying!

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates are doing a defensive impression of the 2004-2006 Royals with righteous aplomb:

Sad news regarding Jonathan Bowlan, who exited a game this week with an injury that has turned out to be the Big One. Bowlan had a 1.59 ERA and a 8.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio at Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 17 innings.

Shohei Ohtani was scheduled to pitch, but the Angels team bus didn’t make it to Oakland and the superstar had to take public transit via the BART, who denies that there was any issues on their end after Ohtani also claimed there was. Wild.

Big news for Crumble Cookies fans: more Kansas City expansion is happening. Expect additional cookie shops in Ward Parkway Center, Lee’s Summit, and Liberty this year.

Former NBA player Rod Benson discusses his continuous struggles with mental health even after retiring.

Joker 2 is happening, returning with the original director and co-writer.

Lockheed Martin is developing a new lunar rover with...GM?

The Friends reunion was last night, complete with an updated intro. Did you see it?

Rumor is that we’re getting a new, 4K-capable Nintendo Switch as soon as this September.

Amazon buys MGM for $8.45 billion, putting pressure on Netflix and drastically increasing the chances of a new Stargate series in one swoop.

California is giving $116 million away to encourage people to get COVID vaccinations.

Defector laments the ruin of condiment island for baseball hot dogs.

Playstation released 14 minutes of beautiful footage from the upcoming Horizon: Forbidden West in a (successful) attempt to spite those of us who don’t yet have a PS5.

Song of the Day

Coming Back Around by Cory and the Wongnotes (featuring Cody Fry)