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Royals Rumblings - News for February 17, 2022

No Major League pitchers and catchers reporting. Yet.

Texas Rangers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for February 17, 2022

Pete Grathoff writes about when Bobby Witt Jr. knew he belonged in the majors.

“It was almost like a ‘this-is-where I-belong’ type moment. And I just got excited. I just got happy,” Witt recalled on the “Unfinished With Anderson Miller” podcast. “It was just like, ‘Wow, I feel like we’re here, this is awesome,’” Witt told Miller, a fellow Royals minor-leaguer.

“And so the first pitch, I took a hack, fouled it straight back and I was like, ‘All right, here we go. Let’s go, this is what it’s all about.’ And then I just start smiling up there and just having a blast and so yeah, that was definitely I think like an aha moment for me.”

Mike Axisa at CBS Sports writes about some change-of-scenery trade candidates.

Injuries have really hampered Adalberto Mondesi the last few seasons. When healthy though, he passes both the eye (premium athleticism) and analytical (great exit velocity and sprint speed) tests, and he can play the middle infield. The Royals are set now with Nicky Lopez at short and Whit Merrifield at second, plus top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. is coming to either fill third base himself, or push Lopez or Merrifield to the hot corner (plus Hunter Dozier is still around). Mondesi is a man without a position in Kansas City, unless you count DH, which might be the best way to keep him healthy. It’s still very easy to dream on Mondesi’s tools.

Possible suitors: Braves, Diamondbacks, Mariners (teams that wouldn’t need Mondesi to play the infield every single game)

Michael Clair at MLB.com writes about the versatile career of Royals infielder Bill Pecota.

“So, they signed me and I went to winter rookie league and they threw catcher’s gear at me,” Pecota said. “And that was my sole position, but it was only a half a season. I butchered it up so bad. After the rookie league season I went back for instructional league and the equipment guy goes, ‘Give me your catcher’s gear back. You’re not catching anymore.’ I go, ‘That’s the best news I’ve ever heard.’ I was bad, it was an ugly deal. So, theoretically I did sign as a catcher and I did learn a lot, enough to be the third catcher on the big league team.”

Sure enough, at some point that third catcher was needed: On Aug. 6, 1988, Pecota came on to replace Jamie Quirk in the bottom of the ninth with the Royals leading the Blue Jays 11-1.

Jared Perkins at Royals Farm Report writes about standouts for Northwest Arkansas.

If the Kansas City Royals weren’t loaded enough at the middle infield, enter Clay Dungan. He seems to fly under the radar for Kansas City, but his numbers at the plate were nearly as impressive as some of his more well-known teammates in 2021. In 108 games, he slashed .288/.357/.405 with eight home runs, 56 RBI, 40 walks, and 28 stolen bases. He has a remarkable ability to pick up pitches and make solid contact, shown by his 14.6% strikeout rate. You would ideally like to see his 8% walk rate go up a bit, but he just flat-out hits.

The Royals did open minicamp for minor leaguers.

Vahe Gregorian writes that owners are alienating players and fans.

Dave Brown at MLB.com writes about the Play Ball event the Royals hosted for Kansas City kids.

The Mariners sign former Royals infielder Erick Mejia to a minor league deal.

Owners and players will resume negotiations on Thursday.

How MLB’s luxury tax proposal is trying to squeeze a salary cap into the game.

Owners are trying to trade draft pick compensation for greater luxury tax penalties.

There’s no way to force owners to choose wins over dollars.

Could a universal DH rule put J.D. Martinez on the trade block?

The Orioles sign infielder Shed Long to a minor league deal.

Dan Szymborski projects Japanese free agent outfielder Seiya Suzuki’s statistics with ZIPS.

Juan Soto reportedly turned down a $350 million offer from the Nationals before the lockout.

Matt Harvey could be suspended after admitting to opioid distribution in the Eric Kay trial.

Remembering the time Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente patrolled the same outfield.

Is Matthew Stafford a Hall of Famer?

Who is the Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA?

Coastal workers are starting to relocate to the Midwest.

Disney is developing planned communities.

Were Sam and Diane on Cheers the best TV romance?

Your song of the day is The Replacements with I Will Dare.