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Royals Rumblings - News for March 7, 2022

We could have a pitch clock coming to MLB.

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Royals Rumblings - News for March 7, 2022

Anne Rogers writes that Nick Loftin may be a versatile player for the Royals.

Center field has been a hole in the Royals’ farm system for some time, although officials believe Kyle Isbel, the organization’s No. 5 prospect, can man the position at Kauffman Stadium. He’s on the 40-man roster and will compete for a spot in the outfield when camp opens, but he’s also blocked in center field by Michael A. Taylor, who signed a two-year extension in September.

Where Loftin fits a few years down the road remains to be seen. He’s still getting reps in the infield; he’ll take ground balls with infield coordinator Eddie Rodriguez after workouts at least three times a week. And that versatility is certainly an asset the Royals plan on utilizing.

“I’ll be one of those people bouncing all around everywhere,” Loftin said. “And that’s fine with me.”

David Laurila at Fangraphs wondered which rebuilding club will be a champion first.

Which of the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, and Seattle Mariners will be next to reach the World Series? I asked that question in a Twitter poll a few days ago, and there was a clear separation. Voters were bullish on the Tigers (49.2%) and Mariners (37.7%), while the Marlins (8.5%) and Royals (4.5%) received scant support.

My own vote would have gone to the Mariners, but it’s not Seattle polling below Detroit that stands out to me. What does stand out is the Tigers getting ten times as many votes as Kansas City. Not only do the Royals play in the same division, they have an equally-good farm system. Given their promising young pitching and high-ceiling position-player prospects such as Bobby Witt Jr., the Dayton Moore-led club appears to have a bright future. Moreover, that success could come sooner than a lot of people might think.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter writes about the Royals players that will be most hurt by the lockout.

It was going to be tough for Pratto and Melendez to make the Opening Day roster in the first place without a major shakeup happening this Spring in the first place.

After all, Carlos Santana is still entrenched at first base as he enters the last year of the deal he signed last offseason. While Santana was underwhelming in his first season with the Royals, he didn’t command a whole lot of trade interest from other clubs this offseason prior to the lockout, and it doesn’t seem likely that the Royals will be able to pull off a deal before the season actually begins.

Thus, Santana’s presence, along with Ryan O’Hearn’s, who made the non-tender cut, will limit Pratto’s opportunities at first base this Spring.

At Royals Academy, Clint Scoles considers potential roster battles for the Royals.

I wonder what the plan is for Olivares this season? Michael A. Taylor and Andrew Benintendi are back, leaving Kyle isbel and Olivares to battle it out for a spot. One would think Isbel’s finish would position him ahead of Olivares, but I think some of that finish for Isbel is a bit overstated. It was just 16 games/11 starts that featured just two multi-hit games. Is it better than his previous struggles? Yes, but it’s still too small of a sample to put much weight. If the Royals stand pat then playing Olivares and Mondesi off the bench in the outfield wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. They could find at-bats for both players in a platoon with Benintendi and Isbel while also finding Mondesi some ABs in the infield when Whit or Nicky could use a day.

Jared Perkins at Royals Farm Report has a profile of prospect Michael Massey.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman looks at infielder Maikel Garcia.

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