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Royals Rumblings - News for March 29, 2022

In spring training, the Royals are Murderer’s Row.

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Gabriel Cancel #71 of the Kansas City Royals bats during the seventh inning of an MLB spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Surprise Stadium on March 20, 2022 in Surprise, Arizona.
Photo by David Durochik/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for March 29, 2022

Andrew Benintendi smoked two home runs yesterday in an offensive onslaught by the Royals.

“In my at-bats a few games ago — pretty much every game — I feel like I’ve rolled over a few to second base,” Benintendi said. “More so I’ve just been hitting the ball on the ground, which is not what I’m trying to do. So it was nice to hit a line drive and see it go a little bit.”

Ryan O’Hearn talks to Lynn Worthy about working to get better.

“It has definitely been a process, if you take the different parts,” O’Hearn said. “I had to understand how to use my lower half. I think a year of a toe tap helped me do that. I think it’s kind of trimming off the edges, trimming off the fat. I think my swing is cleaner than it has ever been. I think, physically, I’m in better shape than I ever have been. And I feel really good. I feel confident.

“I’ve just got to keep it rolling. I’m not going to jinx anything. It’s spring training. The ball is flying everywhere. Hopefully, I’ll have some days like this come April when it really counts.”

Lynn also writes about Foster Griffin, who is trying to come back after Tommy John surgery.

“He’s one of the most hard-working human beings I’ve ever been around,” Keller said.

“Knowing what happened to him, where you make your debut, it’s your birthday, then have Tommy John and lose a year of your career out of it — you’d have no idea [being around him].

“He didn’t feel for bad himself at any point. He just put nose to the grindstone and worked really hard his entire time off and then when he came back. Just watching him workout this offseason, me and Singer both were trying to keep up with him all offseason. He was running circles around us most days. It was really impressive to see how he bounced back and continues to grind.”

Michael A. Taylor left yesterday’s game as a precaution.

Anne Rogers writes that infielder Clay Dungan is impressing in camp.

“As highly regarded as Vinnie is in there, Clay’s right there as a leader, as far as how he’s regarded as a teammate,” Matheny said. “I make a big deal about that because the other stuff is pretty obvious, right? When you hit two homers, people start watching. When you have a huge hit out here, make a good play.

“But it’s the intangibles that we believe end up adding and multiplying the overall level of production. The right people with the right heart, have the right desire to win and go about it the right way, day in and day out, and you can just trust them. You can just check the box.”

She also writes infielder Maikel Garcia is drawing attention.

“This guy’s got some hands. He’s got that ‘it’ [factor] at shortstop,” Matheny said. “His movements are really smooth. Different arm angles, but accurate carry on the ball. He doesn’t have that blazing speed, but he’s got quickness. And then [he’s] just fluid, every feed. I see it really coming along. I’ve thrown batting practice a couple of times, and there are some balls he’s gotten into. Really like his approach, where even in BP, he’s working up the middle, staying really inside the ball and driving to right-center. I always say it’s fun to watch a guy play, but it is fun to watch him. He’s got talent.”

And the Royals are stressing throwing first pitch strikes.

For their young staff to improve, it can’t get behind in the count as often as it did last season.

“Keeping their eyes on it, knowing that we’re keeping our eyes on it,” Matheny said. “We’re ready to take that step forward and have the accountability. … We know if we’re going to be the kind of team we’re going to be, this has to be a part of it — working ahead, and in tough counts, being able to get back in the strike zone and not giving up those free bases.”

David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about who is having a good camp so far.

Isbel is probably enough of the future that he may not earn a spot if they want him playing every day, but he’s at least put himself in a position to be the guy if there’s an injury in the outfield. Or maybe if there’s one to an infielder who has had injury issues that force one of the outfielders to move back to the infield. In my opinion, between Isbel and Olivares, the Royals have enough that they should either be looking to move Andrew Benintendi, a pending free agent or look at put Taylor on the bench as a fantastic defensive fourth outfielder. They won’t do either in all likelihood, but I’m not sure that doesn’t make them better.

Frank Mozzicato talks about his first professional spring training.

“I don’t put any pressure on myself,” Mozzicato said. “I just go out there and work hard and have fun. Just like the high school season, I love playing baseball, I love going out on the mound and pitching. I want to enjoy and embrace the process.”

Pete Grathoff writes that the Royals want to begin a new tradition to turn the city blue.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman wonders if the Royals need a blockbuster deal.

Albert Pujols returns to the Cardinals on a one-year deal.

The Twins sign pitcher Chris Archer.

The Padres acquire first baseman Matt Beaty from the Dodgers.

Baseball is going to experiment moving second base back to where it should be on the diamond.

Mike Clevinger is trying to pitch again after a second Tommy John surgery.

How moving back the fences at Camden Yards will affect hitters.

Jakob Junis is one of five under-the-radar free agent signings.

Jim Bowden grades each team’s off-season and gives the Royals a D+.

Dan Szymborski at Fangraphs gives his power rankings of catchers.

The UConn women need two overtimes to defeat North Carolina State and reach the Final Four.

A new $1.4 billion stadium for the Buffalo Bills will be paid with $850 million in public funding.

Scientists find the most boring person in the world is someone in data analysis.

Before he was an Oscar winner, Coda’s Troy Kotsur was Tusken Raider on The Mandalorian.

Why did so many people think the Will Smith slap at the Oscars was staged?

Your song of the day is Joan Jett and The Blackhearts with Bad Reputation.