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Royals Rumblings - News for March 30, 2022

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At Beyond the Box Score a few days ago, Andrés Chávez described the Royals being on the verge of returning to relevancy:

[Nicky Lopez] is actually quite underrated. Expected to be the starter at the keystone, he led the Royals last year with 4.4 fWAR: he hit .300 and had a solid .365 OBP with very good defense. As for Merrifield, though, perhaps the Royals should have traded him last year while he still had some value, as he is already declining (91 wRC+).

MJ Meléndez and Nick Pratto, like Witt, are heralded hitting prospects who hit more than 30 homers in the minors last year and are expected to contribute in 2022. They are both quite talented.

If the Royals can get something out of Michael A. Taylor, Carlos Santana, and Hunter Dozier offensively, it would be a bonus. Taylor is a defensive ace in center field, though.

The Royals, now that they traded for Amir Garrett, have some good relievers: Josh Staumont, Scott Barlow, and Jake Brentz certainly qualify, but the group isn’t particularly deep.

Craig Brown laid out his predictions for the 28-man roster, including this line: “Let’s just say right here that if Witt isn’t on the Opening Day roster, we riot.”

In a mailbag at The Athletic, Alec Lewis expects that we won’t need to riot:

We’ve written about the Royals’ qualifications for prospect call-ups in this space countless times, but here they are 1. The prospect has to have the talent 2. The prospect has to be performing 3. There has to be an everyday opportunity.

The third is typically the toughest hurdle, but the Royals have made it clear that they plan to play Adalberto Mondesi at shortstop and Nicky Lopez and second base; Hunter Dozier, meanwhile, is aligned to play right field, first base or serve as the designated hitter. That means there is an opportunity at third base, and Witt has spent most of his days playing the position this spring. He’s hit two towering home runs. He’s again fit seamlessly within the clubhouse. The Royals have provided every indication that he will break camp with the club and be walking onto the field at Kauffman Stadium in a No. 7 jersey on April 7 against Cleveland.

This is where it may make sense to mention new collective bargaining guidelines regarding top prospects. But let’s leave that jargon for another day. The Royals continue to telegraph that Witt will make the Opening Day roster. And you should expect nothing less.

Lewis also profiled reliever Collin Snider.

Kyle Isbel has a lot of ways to fit into the Royals’ plans, and other notes on players having a great spring from David Lesky:

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.

Zack Greinke tops the organizational depth charts for starting pitchers at Royals Farm Report.

Omaha friends! The Storm Chasers are hosting an open practice event for fans this Sunday afternoon!

Elsewhere, David Pinto at Baseball Musings (which just turned 20 years old!), David Pinto laid out what kind of production to expect from the Kansas City offense.

Pittsburgh Pirates fans have questions about the decision to start shortstop prospect Oneil Cruz in the minors, though he did only play six games at Triple-A last season.

These Washington City Connect jerseys are wonderful.

Trevor Bauer is suing writer Molly Knight and The Athletic for defamation. More lawsuits means more depositions, and (my non-lawyer understanding is) he will have to prove that the publication acted with malice in an effort to defame his character.

The NFL will see new overtime rules in the postseason.

Apparently the Lakers never use a photo of LeBron James in postgame graphics after a loss.

Regular reminder to change your furnace filter if you haven’t in a while!

The FTC is suing TurboTax over its deceptive “Free!” campaign.

Little Debbie Zebra mini donut form?! YES PLZ.

Some clichés to avoid in your dating app profile.

Sorry to sterlingice for treading on Friday topics, but:

Among the interesting dilemmas in this Ask a Manager roundup is the assistant who quit bringing back change when picking up lunch for the boss.

I just learned there’s a subreddit dedicated to specialized tools, and then learned a lot in the comments on this post about a steno machine. Any court stenographers here?

Speaking of Reddit, today’s question: What’s one mystery you’d like solved before you die? (Following the link MAY result in sinking a lot of time into learning about some mysteries! Proceed with caution!)

SOTD: Miley Cyrus combining her own Wrecking Ball and Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U.