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Royals Rumblings - News for February 18, 2022

Can Nicky Lopez outperform his PECOTA projection?

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Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for February 18, 2022

Anne Rogers talks to Asa Lacy about the posterior shoulder injury that prematurely ended his 2021 season.

“[The injury] was just nagging enough that it was prohibiting me from being myself,” Lacy said. “So it was an organizational decision to shut me down from there and build back up, and I just can’t thank the training staff enough, the strength coaches here, for getting me back. They all deserve credit. And I was very blessed to do the Fall League. It went really well.”

Alec Lewis talks to Keith Law about the Royals farm system.

Most of all, I’m always impressed when a front office realizes something isn’t working and is willing to say, “The way we were doing it was wrong, and we need to try a different approach.” It’s hard to admit you’re wrong, and harder when you’ve invested money and time into something that isn’t panning out. Good for the Royals for doing it, and I hope the results they saw in the minors in 2021 result in gains in the majors in 2022 and beyond.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown looks at potential trade candidates for the Royals, like Whit Merrifield.

The strength of the system is what makes this even a question of if he finally does get moved, even without the crazy offer. The infield has been a big topic all off-season and will continue to be because beyond what they already have with Bobby Witt Jr., Nicky Lopez and Adalberto Mondesi, there’s also some talent on the way. Nick Loftin and Michael Massey will be in the upper levels this season. Peyton Wilson is a guy they really like and he’s a second baseman. Can Merrifield shift to a corner spot? Maybe he’s the guy who plays left if and when Benintendi goes. But I just don’t love that bat in a corner outfield. Either way, that’s the chance he’s moved, but the Royals have shown their hand consistently with him, so I just don’t see it.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter reacts to PECOTA projections, particularly for Andrew Benintendi.

PECOTA projects a .260/.331/.413 line with 14 home runs and 67 RBI in 597 plate appearances in 2022. He is also expected to put up a DRC+ of 98 and a WARP of 1.7.

While those predicted numbers are still solid compared to other Royals hitters, they are not exactly the kind of numbers one would expect for a player who is probably looking for a four-to-five year extension that could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars total.

What helps the “Long Term Extension for Benny” argument is that the projections aren’t great for the other Royals’ outfield options.

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains also looks at PECOTA projections for Royals hitters.

Lopez’s offensive performance was buoyed by a .365 on base percentage in 2021 in 565 plate appearances.

This is where I am left to wonder about these projection systems. Not to pick on PECOTA because it’s certainly not an outlier when it comes to Lopez and his projected on base percentage for 2021. It’s that when a young player sets an early baseline and then blows past it, the tubes and switches aren’t quite sure what to make of it.

In Lopez’s case, his rise in OBP comes via a .347 BABIP.

He looks at projections for pitchers here.

Your daily Bobby Witt Jr. spring training video.

The Royals led baseball in plate appearances from below replacement level players.

Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Poison and Joan Jett will perform at Kauffman Stadium this summer.

The union drops its proposal to allow all third-year players to become eligible for arbitration.

Owners and players will hold multiple meetings next week.

Will there be a 162-game schedule this year?

Lefty Kwang-Hyun Kim could be an under-the-radar free agent pitching option.

Aaron Judge hints a contract extension would have to take place before Opening Day.

Former Angels employee Eric Kay is found guilty in the trial relating to the death of Tyler Skaggs.

How prevalent is the use of opioids in baseball?

C.C. Sabathia’s son Carsten, one of the top baseball recruits in the country, commits to Georgia Tech.

What are the birthdays with the most WAR?

Kamila Valieva’s heartbreak is a symptom of Russia’s Olympic disease.

Have the Rams charted a new path to the Super Bowl?

Why Hollywood still uses guns in movies.

The allure of open-world video games.

Stranger Things season four will be split into two volumes.

Your song of the day is Diana Ross & The Supremes with Love Don’t Come Easy.