Weekend Rumblings - News for July 2, 2022
Vinnie Pasquantino was thrilled about his first MLB home run, despite some confusion as to whether it was a home run.
“I didn’t really imagine anything, but I’m really happy with how it went, and I think I’m a little bit happier that there was some drama involved with it,” Pasquantino said. “I got tagged out by Javy Báez on second base on my first career homer; that’s pretty cool.”
Sam McDowell writes about Vinnie’s fast track to the big leagues.
“You’re going to see why everyone wants to be around him,” Zumwalt said. “They know he’s had to work for this. He’s not been given a golden ticket and a free ride.”
“When you talk to his teammates at Old Dominion, it was clear how they gravitated toward him,” Farr added. “He’s a heck of a competitor, but he’s a big teddy bear, too. He’s going to be a leader in any clubhouse he’s in.”
In Pasquantino’s initial 24 hours, Royals manager Mike Matheny made a point to tell him not to change who he is. He wasn’t simply referring to the approach in the batter’s box that’s fast-tracked him here. Pasquantino’s personality — the wit, the passion — is needed inside a Royals clubhouse that has tended to be on the quiet side of the spectrum.
“I think you need encouragement to let your personality show through,” Matheny said.
Mike Matheny is ready to throw new reliever Wyatt Mills into action.
“He’s pitching,” Matheny said. “They all have to pitch. We’re just put in that spot where he’s probably going to have to pitch more than he’s ever pitched in his life, just like with all our guys. That’s just how it’s going to be.
“Especially when you look at 18 games in 17 days. That’s concerning for me, that many games with a smaller pitching staff and a lot of young guys.”
Robert Orr Baseball Prospectus writes about the progress of rookies like Bobby Witt Jr.
Though it may look like he was pulling fastballs in April and into May, the lower, negative launch angles are indicative of Witt rolling the ball over to the third baseman and shortstop, which often happens when hitters are beaten with a pull-heavy swing. We began to see a shift in May, with a tighter clustering of batted balls and more of his contact being sent the opposite way, before finally watching him evolve into a patient fastball killer this month. Now Witt is peppering the right-center gap with line drives and long flies and not missing very often on fastballs in the zone. This fastball-centric approach has been key to him chasing less, as he’s less keen to chase secondaries that start in before breaking outside the zone.
Witt has hit 13 balls 110 mph or harder, the same number as Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. He’s one of 25 Major League hitters who’ve hit 10 or more balls at that upper tier of exit velocity.
Witt is also one of just 10 rookie hitters since Statcast started tracking in 2015 with 10 or more 110-plus mph batted balls by the end of June of their rookie seasons.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown takes a peek at 40-man roster decisions the Royals will have to make this winter.
This isn’t last season. There aren’t a ton of obvious adds from the system. I think we can safely say that Alec Marsh, Michael Massey and Drew Parrish will be added if they aren’t before the end of the season. While Marsh has struggled this season, a 24-year old in AA with a 32.3 percent strikeout would absolutely get picked in the Rule 5 draft. Additionally, he may have the highest upside of any pitcher in the Royals system, so he’s absolutely getting added.
CBS Sports has the Royals taking prep pitcher Brock Porter in their latest mock draft.
The only thing we know about the Royals’ draft plans right now is they’re the earliest a pitcher will come off the board. That doesn’t mean they will definitely take a pitcher, just that they’re the first team not exclusively in on bats. So many top pitching prospects have gotten hurt this year and Porter is the consensus best healthy pitcher in the draft class. Kansas City is a bit all over the place right now. They’re tough to pin down.
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter writes about the Royals players that will be scrutinized leading up to the trade deadline.
Jared Perkins at Royals Farm Report profiles Maikel Garcia.
Nolan Arenado hits for the cycle for the second time.
Max Scherzer will return to action on Tuesday.
The Yankees are looking to acquire an outfielder and Jon Heyman thinks Andrew Benintendi may be a fit.
Why a reported $425 million extension offer to Juan Soto may not be crazy.
How the Cardinals prepared to play 74 games in 77 days.
The Padres unveil their City Connect uniforms.
The man who is selling beer at every MLB ballpark.
A look at the first half of the KBO in Korea.
Former NFL star Michael Vick is sued for $1.2 million in unpaid loans.
Recent evidence suggests there are 6-20 trillion other galaxies.
An oral history of the 90s space flick Contact.
Your song of the day is Glass Tiger with Someday.