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Royals Rumblings - News for March 31, 2022

Where should Witt hit?

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Kansas City Royals Photo Day Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for March 31, 2022

It was a rough start for Carlos Hernández on Wednesday, but he’s ready to move on.

“He had a rough second,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “A couple things could’ve gotten him out of that. We had a sun ball in left. It was interesting, the wind all off a sudden (kicked up). That home run that carried to center, he hit it OK but not what I thought was good enough to get out. But that’s pitching in Arizona.

“Then I thought he found the middle of the plate too much. He got himself in trouble.”

Lynn Worthy considers how Bobby Witt Jr. best fits in the Royals lineup.

“We’ll see what happens and what kind of lineup they roll out there on Opening Day, but (it should be) fast, can spray the ball all over the field,” Benintendi said of the offensive identity of this year’s club.

“Obviously, we’ve got guys in the middle of the lineup like Salvy and Santana and guys that can run a lot out there. So with Whit leading off and if Bobby Witt is hitting second, Nicky hitting ninth, it’s just a bunch of speed. It’s going to be fun.”

Alec Lewis looks at whether we can glean anything from the early Royals hitting performance.

Two more factors surrounding the Royals’ spring training success at the plate are likely (1) the health of players such as Adalberto Mondesi, Andrew Benintendi and Carlos Santana and (2) the production from the prospects Nick Pratto, Vinnie Pasquantino, Kyle Isbel and MJ Melendez, who all have an OPS of at least 1.000.

All of this is to say: These positives can’t possibly be mere flukes.

He also profiles pitching prospect Collin Snider.

“I don’t know how you get it in the air,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said of Snider’s sinker.

He continued.

“I’m sitting in the dugout, not that far away. His first warmup pitch, I’m like, where’d it go? That, plus, he’s putting it where he wanted to put it. He was the only guy who came out and pounded the first-pitch strike. Then he’s got movement and velocity.

“That’s … good. I like.”

David Lesky at Inside the Crown sees promise for Kris Bubic’s slider.

Two things stand out to me and I’m going to get to the second in a minute, but the first is that there is nothing coming down and in on Bubic’s glove side. Sure there’s the occasional curve getting there, but it’s slow enough that hitters can identify that. His changeup sits armside (and too much middle for my taste). His fastball goes glove side, but sits more in the middle of the zone than down. And the curve is generally pretty much 12-6 where it splits the plate (again, too much for my taste).

So what a slider can do for him is give him a pitch that changes a hitter’s eye level a bit and be presented with a different shape than anything else he throws.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter wonders if Carlos Hernández should return to the bullpen.

There are some positive things to be had from his stint as a starter, especially when looking at the splits data from Fangraphs as well as Savant. He did lower the hard-hit rate by 13 percent from his second bullpen stint, and the average exit velocity also went slightly down as well (in addition to the launch angle on batted balls).

However, the strikeout rate dropped by a considerable margin, 15 percent to be specific.

For a pitcher who relies on such high velocity, having a sub-20 percent K rate as a starter is not a recipe for success at the Major League level.

Kevin and I both talked to Cards Conclave about the upcoming Royals season.

The Royals option catcher Sebastian Rivero to Triple-A Omaha.

Salvador Perez wins the Lou Gehrig Award.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report looks at the organizational depth at starting pitcher.

Former Royals minor leaguer Rocky Craig died at the age of 72.

Anthony Castrovince lists Nicky Lopez on his All-Underrated Team.

MLB announces plans for a “Home Run Derby X” competition in foreign countries with former players.

The Pirates send shortstop prospect Oneil Cruz to the minors.

Top Reds prospect Hunter Greene has made the club and will pitch in the rotation.

Rays reliever Peter Fairbanks will miss several months with a lat injury.

Giants third baseman Evan Longoria will miss six weeks after finger surgery.

The Blue Jays sign outfielder Dexter Fowler to a minor league deal.

Seven players chasing milestones this season.

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The NFL will allow both teams to have possession in overtime in the post-season.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians retires.

Waymo says fully driverless rides are coming to San Francisco and Phoenix.

Why a company wants to release 2.4 billion genetically-modified mosquitos.

Ranking every Ben Affleck performance.

Your song of the day is N.E.R.D. with She Wants To Move.