Angel Zerpa was impressive in yesterday’s start, writes Anne Rogers:
Angel Zerpa shoved over two perfect innings in his spring debut against the A’s on Tuesday afternoon, an eventual 5-3 Royals win at Surprise Stadium. The 22-year-old lefty struck out one and limited hard contact against him, showing deceptive stuff, a creative way to pitch and a calm demeanor through it all.
“We walk over and check him for a heartbeat every once and awhile,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “He’s just really calm. There’s a toughness in there. We’re still learning him, but everything we’ve seen so far is pointing in the direction of this guy really knows what he’s doing. It’s going to be fun to continue to watch him.”
Rogers also provided details about the Royals avoiding arbitration with six of eight eligible players. There is still time to negotiate with Andrew Benintendi and Nicky Lopez before their hearing dates.
A little more on Zerpa, because Alec Lewis included a Spanish word that’s new to me:
[Carlos] Martínez nicknamed Zerpa “malandro,” a Spanish term for “bad man” that Martinez used in the most positive manner. And that year, he knew that if they could enhance Zerpa’s breaking ball, he’d be poised to climb through the system.
Zerpa’s curveball, at the time, looped toward the plate. Royals coaches helped him alter its shape to fit more of a slurve profile, rather than moving directly to a slider. Zerpa gained a feel for the pitch; it has only continued to sharpen. Had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no telling which level Zerpa could have reached. He began 2021 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, operating with a four-pitch repertoire. The Royals tabbed him for a start in The Show in September.
Let’s admire Bobby Witt, Jr.’s home run from yesterday, along with a nice King of the Hill reference:
Dang it, Bobby!— MLB (@MLB) March 22, 2022
MLB's No. 1 prospect @BwittJr just crushed this ball. pic.twitter.com/YUlNK6cKCN
BUT THEN ALSO LOOK AT THIS, sorry for yelling:
bobby witt/mike trout home run swing synchronized https://t.co/Zv6bfBI9Py pic.twitter.com/2gWj74csRk— Big Game Bengal (@BengalYouTube) March 22, 2022
Among the last-minute details MLB and the union are hammering out are 28-man rosters until May 1, and a ‘Shohei Ohtani rule:’
In addition, the deal also essentially has a Shohei Ohtani rule with the designated hitter becoming universal in the new collective bargaining agreement. The new rule stipulates that if the starting pitcher is also hitting in the lineup, then that player remains as the DH even if he is pulled from the start. Thus, if Ohtani, say, pitched five innings, he would still hit through the entire game. This rule is for the life of the new CBA, not just for 2022 and the hope is to promote more two-way players.
Additionally, the placed runner in extra inning games (or “ghost runner,” but to me that’s a totally different thing!) will return.
Well, this is adorable:
Absolutely obsessed with this story of Rowdy Tellez officiating Danny Jansen’s wedding!!! pic.twitter.com/X9Xl6Rif50— Cut4 (@Cut4) March 22, 2022
[Content note for description of a suicide attempt] How collecting Ken Griffey, Jr. cards saved a fan’s life.
What parents need to know about setting up Instagram’s new ‘Supervision’ feature.
What are the best cheeses for a grilled cheese sandwich?
Two ways to protect yourself when renting a car.
Today’s Reddit question: Why don’t adults play more? Why don’t I ever see people over 40 climbing trees or mucking around on children’s playgrounds?
Another question: Anyone reading any good books these days? In the Midwest, today is going to be another good ‘curl up with a book’ day.
SOTD: Taking Back Sunday - You Know How I Do