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Weekend Rumblings - News for June 4, 2022

Give Salvy’s thumb a rest.

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Houston Astros v Kansas City Royals Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for June 4, 2022

Anne Rogers writes that Nicky Lopez is open to a long-term deal.

Lopez has expressed interest in a deal that would buy out some of all of his remaining arbitration years. It would make sense for both sides, with the Royals viewing Lopez as part of their future and Lopez emphasizing his desire to stay in Kansas City long-term.

“This is the only team that I really know,” Lopez said. “Got drafted by this team, got up to the big leagues quickly, which is awesome. And they could have kept me down, manipulated me with service time being a Super Two player, but they didn’t do that. They’ve always been great to me. Always been to their word, whatever Dayton [Moore] and J.J. [Picollo] say is going to happen, it usually happens. I have a lot of trust in them. … They’ve made me feel at home and have taken care of me.”

Jesse Newell writes about one change hitting coach Alec Zumwalt has made with the pitching machines for batting practice.

The device’s precise positioning was intentional. Zumwalt’s setup was meant to mimic exactly what the Royals would see that night against Houston starter José Urquidy; that meant simulating the pitcher’s release point, his starting location on the rubber and his four-seamer’s movement, which Statcast says rises 19% more than the average MLB fastball.

“These machines are pretty accurate,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said later Friday. “But today, it was more about guys that are really working on getting on top of those balls, and to have that vert (vertical break) number that’s a little different from usual.”

Salvy doesn’t want his thumb injury to keep him out of the lineup.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown considers who might be traded this summer from Kansas City.

I’m going to preface this by saying that I don’t think the Royals trade Dozier. But they probably should. He’s now in the second year of the deal they signed him to before last season and the bigger money years are obviously still to come. He’s owed $7.5 million in 2023 and $9.25 million in 2024 with a buyout on the 2025 option for $1 million. If he hits like he has this season, that’s not big money for any team, including the Royals, but he’s limited to first base, DH and right field some. Two of the Royals best remaining prospects in the minors, Nick Pratto and Vinnie Pasquantino, have first base and DH covered. Or maybe they have first base and right field and the MJ Melendez/Salvador Perez split have the DH part. Either way, it’s hard to find room for him.

I think the perfect fit for him is Boston.

The Royals did make some transactions yesterday before the game.

Jeff Passan lists 148 players that could be traded at the deadline.

The Blue Jays need a left-handed bat and some relief help. Benintendi, Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont would be some kind of a coup.

Jim Bowden also looks at trade candidates.

Benintendi, 27, is batting .337 with 16 runs scored and 21 RBIs, and will be a free agent after the season. He would be a perfect fit for the Padres in left field or the Marlins in center field.

Dan Szymborski also writes about trade candidates, including Benintendi.

While the Royals are often hesitant to trade off their well-performing veterans, that approach generally applies more to players who have been part of the franchise for a long time, such as Salvador Perez or Whit Merrifield. Benintendi hasn’t been one of Kansas City’s core contributors for very long, and the franchise’s record is so bleak that I think this could be a case where the Royals are willing to move a veteran.

So does R.J. Anderson at CBS Sports.

Benintendi, then, has essentially blended parts of his past form — the contact-and-walks version that was good enough to start for a World Series champion — with the stereotypical Royals approach to batted balls. It’s working for him, and some team will likely take note and ensure they can plug him into the top of their lineup come August. Possible fits: Cardinals, Blue Jays, Braves.

Mark Feinsand at MLB.com also lists Benintendi as a big trade candidate,

The Royals promoted pitcher Drew Parrish from AA to AAA.

Brady Singer talks about the first time he tried Kansas City BBQ.

Jordan Foote at Inside the Royals writes it is understandable that the Royals have not promoted Nick Pratto.

Jared Perkins at Royals Farm Report names his minor league players of the month.

The Phillies fire manager Joe Girardi.

Who could succeed Girardi in Philadelphia?

Joe Musgrove flirts with his second no-hitter.

The Astros sign slugger Yordan Alvarez to a six-year, $115 million deal.

Cubs prospect Brennen Davis needs back surgery.

Broadcaster Jim Kaat calls Yankees pitcher Cortes “Nestor the Molestor.”

Unvaccinated Twins players are upset they can’t play in Toronto.

Robinson Cano’s Hall of Fame chances could come down to how voters feel about PEDs.

Bill James writes about the relative quality of leagues.

LeBron James becomes the first active NBA player to become a billionaire.

Tyreek Hill’s new podcast teaser suggests a contentious exit from the team.

Scientists discover why male mice are terrified of bananas.

The simple, impactful way to make cars cleaner.

Streams of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill jump 8,000 percent thanks to Stranger Things.

Your song of the day is Kate Bush with Running Up That Hill.