Anne Rogers has a mailbox column and writes about what next year’s rotation might look like.
Brad Keller, Jonathan Heasley, Kris Bubic, Jackson Kowar, Max Castillo, Angel Zerpa and Carlos Hernández will all be competing for a spot. Keller and Hernández finished out the season in the bullpen, and the Royals liked what they saw out of Hernández in relief. But teams can never have too much starting depth, so the pair will likely both come to spring as starters. So will Alec Marsh and Jonathan Bowlan, who are on the 40-man roster but will likely need more time in the Minors before their debuts.
Jared Perkins at Prospects Live looks at how new pitching coaches could help Daniel Lynch.
What stuck out to me the most is Lynch is in the first percentile in HardHit% and his fastball was hit hard 52.2% of the time. 43.2% might not seem like he was throwing his fastball a ton, but with the way it was getting hit and the inability to induce whiffs, it might be time for Lynch to cut his fastball usage down. His average fastball velocity was around 94mph which is right in the median, but he was constantly catching too many barrels.
Increasing his slider usage seems like an area that would be a good start for Lynch. His slider has some nice late bite to it and it’s above league average in terms of its velocity. Increasing the use of his change-up might also help as it is a pitch that has good tumble and fade to it. It is a borderline plus pitch as he lacks consistency with his command of it and doesn’t always seem confident in throwing the pitch.
MLB.com has one breakout candidate for each team.
Royals: 1B/DH Vinnie Pasquantino
Pasquantino had an excellent rookie year, posting an .832 OPS, 137 wRC+ and a 1.5 Baseball Reference WAR across 298 plate appearances. He established himself as the Royals’ No. 4 hitter and a core piece of the future. That has him poised for a breakout 2023 in which he plays a full season in the big leagues and truly lives up to his nickname as the “Italian Nightmare” for opposing pitchers._ — Anne Rogers_
Earl Santee of Populous, the sports architecture firm working with the Royals, talks about the downtown baseball timeline.
Santee said each of those site has a minimum of 14 acres for the stadium itself, and the site selection will have a big influence on the architectural design. But he promises it will have Kansas City features in line with Kauffman Stadium’s fountains and Crown.
“We love what the opportunity may lay in front of us. The city informs what we may do with the ballpark. It tells us what it wants to be, where it wants to be, how it fits in neatly, how it integrates with the community, how it makes it feel like its more than a ballpark.”
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter wonders if Jose Cuas or Collin Snider can improve under the new coaching staff.
Jordan Foote at Inside the Royals argues why the Royals shouldn’t reunite with Mike Moustakas.
Eric Cross at Fantrax lists his top Royals prospects.
Boston will listen to trade offers for Chris Sale.
What will the Yankees do about left field?
The Carlos Correa deal with the Mets is in limbo.
The best baseball bloopers from 2022.
A look at the largest contracts in baseball history.
Nick Groke at The Athletic writes about the top performances in international baseball leagues this year.
David Laurila at Fangraphs explains his Hall of Fame ballot.
Will Scott Rolen finally make it into the Hall of Fame?
The Broncos fire coach Nathaniel Hackett.
How Kirby Smart built Georgia into the next Alabama.
The fall of Kmart could be a cautionary tale for internet companies that seem permanent today.
The best animated TV and movies from 2022.
This was the year of the prequel.
Your song of the day is The Band with The Weight.