Royals Rumblings - News for June 24, 2022
With Salvador Perez’s injury, there’s some uncertainty in how the Royals will handle their catching squad, but Matheny praises his leadership injury or no injury.
Salvador Perez was out of the lineup on Wednesday after aggravating a left thumb injury on a swing the day before. He underwent an MRI and is considered day to day as the club works to determine what the next steps for him should be.
Rookie MJ Melendez would take over as the Royals’ primary catcher in the event that Perez needs to miss more time, with Cam Gallagher, recalled on Monday, around for backup duties. Matheny added that Carlos Santana is available as a “stopgap,” though he hasn’t caught since 2014.
...“As they come back in here … as the club music’s pumping, [the] first guy in line to high-five everybody is Salvy,” Matheny said after the Royals’ extra-innings win on Tuesday. “Just such a unique leadership style, how much he cares about these guys, how much he wants to win.”
In his latest Mock Draft at The Athletic, Keith Law predicts the Royals to select Gavin Cross, an outfielder out of Virginia Tech, with the ninth overall selection, though he notes that the Royals have discussed a lot of players at the spot.
I hear the Royals on a motley collection of players – and note that last year, they went off the board for a high school pitcher, Frank Mozzicato, which allowed them to go over slot with multiple later picks, so they could very easily do so again. Other names I’ve heard here include Green, Justin Crawford, Brock Porter and Neto. They’re the team in the top 10 most likely to take a pitcher, at least for now.
Cross is an advanced hitter with above-average power and the potential for more with some swing adjustments, rising thanks to a thin crop of advanced college hitters in this year’s class. He should be a solid regular in an outfield corner, thanks to his hitting and on-base skills, but I’d like to see some swing changes that might unlock more power.
Also at The Athletic, Jim Bowden thinks that Andrew Benintendi will be a hot commodity on the trade market.
Benintendi won the American League Gold Glove for left fielders last year and should challenge for the award again this year. He ranks in the 65th percentile in Outs Above Average for all outfielders. His batting average dipped below .300 this week, but he’s reaching base at a 36 percent clip. He has figured out his best role: to create traffic at the top of the lineup and prevent runs with his leather. Benintendi is eligible for free agency after the season, and if the Royals aren’t going to be able to re-sign him, they should trade him before the deadline.
Best team fits: Padres, Marlins, Yankees, Rays, Brewers, Braves
Craig Brown weighs in on the Dayton Moore Attitudegate kerfluffle recently on Into the Fountains.
Wait…did Moore just move the goalposts on contention again? Is he saying the Royals are three to four years out from challenging for a division title?
Let’s do some math. If 2018 was the first year of the rebuild, we’re currently in the fifth year of the latest process. Add four years to that and we’re looking at a rebuild that will take…nine years?!? Are you serious? Nine years to rebuild in the AL Central?
To say it’s a “necessary phase” is just insulting. It’s necessary because of the stumbles and lack of foresight of the front office. They should’ve moved quicker once it was obvious after the 2016 season that the current championship core wasn’t able to bring that back. Instead the strategy was to bank the draft picks and bet on development. And now we’re here. Five years into a rebuild and on pace for 102 losses.
Are you angry about the cost of parking? The Royals seem to have heard you, with a $10 ticket and $10 parking at 10 upcoming games, with tickets available at royals.com/flashsale. It’s a rare parking discount, which is nice.
Today’s pop culture discussion: Pixar. Ranking their movies was a little easier when they only had a dozen of them, but Pixar just released Lightyear, a film whose audience I’m not sure exists. In any case, the Polygon staff ranked every Pixar movie. They place Lightyear 15th out of 26 movies, with The Incredibles winning the top spot.
Amid the stellar action sequences and the cool gadgetry, Lightyear is remarkably restrained. There are moments where it feels like the movie could really dig into its emotional beats, but for whatever reason, it holds back, never quite revealing its full hand, even when all the cards are right there. The plot its pretty standard sci-fi fare, but for kids watching, it may be the very first taste they get of the genre. And hey, since this is supposed to be the 1990s movie that became Andy’s first exposure to science fiction, that’s a feature, not a bug.
Song of the Day
Overtime by The Strike