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Royals Rumblings - News for August 23, 2022

Drew Waters drew water.

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for August 23, 2022

Drew Waters talks about his bases-loaded walk that pushed across the game-winning run.

“I was just looking for a pitch that I could at least get out to the outfield for that run to be able to come in. I got ahead in the count, so I knew that he had to come at me,” Waters said. “I was looking to do damage, and I was able to draw a walk out of it.”

Vahe Gregorian writes about the game-winning debut by Waters.

He even became the focal point of the postgame clubhouse celebration, to which he referred when asked what the coolest thing about the day was.

“Honestly, coming back in here,” he said. “The lights were out, guys were huddled up, just having that special moment with teammates and really feeling like you’re kind of coming into the family.”

He also talked about his road to the big leagues upon his promotion.

Waters credited Royals minor-league hitting coaches Drew Saylor, Brian Buchanan and Ryan Powers for helping his turn-around, calling the move to the organization “a fresh breath.”

“They did a really good job of trying to hear where I was at from an offensive side of things, and then also really helped me adapt to training the Royals way of hitting and what they believed in,” Waters said. “I feel like I kind of grasped the concept pretty quickly, and I started seeing results. Obviously, that’s what we want.”

Anne Rogers writes how he almost missed the game

On Monday morning, Drew Waters was sitting in his hotel bed in downtown Kansas City, scrolling through Instagram. He had just ordered Chick-fil-A through DoorDash and was waiting for it to show up when he got a text from Jeff Davenport, the Royals’ vice president of Major League operations.

“Where are you?” the text read.

Waters was confused; he thought he was supposed to be at Kauffman Stadium around 2 p.m. CT on Monday, not in the morning. That’s when he realized the Royals were playing a day game — the one-game series against the White Sox rescheduled from the beginning of the season due to the MLB lockout.

Vinnie Pasquantino exited the game with an arm injury.

MLB writers share what they got wrong about each team.

Royals: This is a .500 team

The Royals came in with high expectations for 2022, but they hadn’t added much from their ‘21 squad, which finished 74-88, beyond veteran starter Zack Greinke. That put a ton of expectation on rookie Bobby Witt Jr. for the start of the season and even more on the steps that young starters would make, which didn’t happen until around mid-season. By then, the Royals were way under .500 and fighting to stay out of last place in the division. As the season comes to a close, you can start to see the vision the organization has with the young position players now in Kansas City and starters like Brady Singer, Kris Bubic and Daniel Lynch making strides. But the Royals will need to make some changes and additions to their roster this offseason to avoid another losing season.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown shares his frustration with Mike Matheny.

I’ve made it pretty clear that I think Matheny will be gone after the season. I still believe that. I wouldn’t guarantee it, but I still think it’s telling that at the start of the year, they simply picked up his 2023 option to avoid him being a lame-duck manager. They easily could have extended him and they chose not to. That’s telling to me. And now with no clear direction on how to best develop their young talent in the way of playing time, I just think they’ll move on after the season. Here’s a little tidbit that I’ll leave you with before I get to the weekend’s action. Don’t be too surprised if if/when Matheny goes that Alec Zumwalt moves from hitting coach to manager. I could see it happening.

MLB Pipeline updates their farm system rankings, with the Royals at #21.

On the other hand, we might just be ranking the Royals at an advantageous time for them since Pratto, No. 3 Michael Massey, No. 14 Angel Zerpa, No. 16 Nate Eaton and No. 17 Max Castillo could all be graduates by season’s end. No. 9 Drew Waters also just made his MLB debut on Monday. As it stands, that Major League readiness is a point in the system’s favor, but once so many lose prospect status, expect a steep drop.

ESPN ranks the top rookies in baseball with Bobby Witt Jr. at #8.

The defensive struggles are indeed confusing as he has been a projected above-average defender wherever he has played and still turns in highlight-reel plays. Delving deeper into his Baseball Savant defensive splits, his third base difficulties have been lateral (where the angles are new), while on the plays that are similar to shortstop (coming in, going back) he has been above league average. He also has been negative coming in and going left or right at shortstop, which is surprising, but without doing a deep video dive that seems to speak more to polish/technique than headline ability. The offensive concern for Witt entering the year, as with Rodriguez, is that he’d swing too much and get exposed against the best pitchers in the world. That has happened at some level and he hasn’t made the adjustment Rodriguez has just yet, but I’d count on it coming.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman highlights Gavin Cross’ hot start in the minors.

Trey Donovan at Inside the Royals gives his assessment of Adalberto Mondesi.

ESPN inadvertently shares Pitchcom audio during an interview on Sunday Night Baseball.

Eric Lauer calls out the Brewers front office for the Josh Hader trade.

Bryce Harper begins a minor league rehab assignment.

Brian Cashman gives a vote of confidence to manager Aaron Boone.

The Dodgers sign Max Muncy to a one-year, $13.5 million extension.

Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins reveals he will play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

Albert Pujols plans to retire this year, whether or not he reaches 700 home runs.

Who is a better bet to win the World Series - the Yankees or Mets?

Fangraphs has an app!

Former baseball writer Jonah Keri is denied parole for his 21-month sentence for domestic abuse.

The saddest quarterback competitions in recent NFL history.

We may never know how video games affect our well-being.

NASA explains there is sound in space, and it’s really creepy.

Your song of the day is Alice in Chains with Man in the Box.