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Royals Rumblings - News for September 9, 2022

Congrats to 2022 Roberto Clemente Award nominee Nicky Lopez!

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

Lynn Worthy writes how Salvador Perez influenced MJ Melendez’s ninth-inning single on Wednesday.

Uncertain how to approach his at-bat, Melendez turned to bench coach Pedro Grifol and Perez in the dugout for advice.

“I was like, ‘Hey, what do you guys think? Should I take the first pitch? He has been a little wild. Or should I go up there ready to swing,” Melendez said of his exchange. “They were like, ‘No. Go up there ready to swing.’ For them to have that confidence in me, helped me be confident going into that at-bat.”

Melendez took a slider way out of the strike zone on the first pitch, but then fouled off a pair of pitches — a 100-mph cutter and a 93-mph slider — in the zone to get to the slider he hit back up the middle for a single.

He also writes about Drew Waters and his journey in becoming a professional baseball player.

“I really didn’t know if I was good at baseball or not until really my 15-year-old year,” Waters said. “Things started to kind of pick up. I started to have college coaches come out to some of my summer games. I was like, ‘They’re here to watch me?’

“Even then, I committed to the University of Georgia. I wasn’t really on the national scale at all. Then I went to Perfect Game national when I was 17 going into my senior year, and I went from a kid going to college to all of a sudden I had agents calling my phone at home. I didn’t even know what an agent was. … So things happened quick for me in terms of realizing I could potentially go pro out of high school.”

The Royals are parting ways with minor league pitching coordinator Jason Simontacci.

Simontacchi posted the news via the social media site LinkedIn, writing, “My days with the KC Royals are finished. I was Blessed to work alongside great people for 5 years and very thankful for that opportunity. God is great, and I’m excited to see what He has in store for me in the future.”

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains writes that Mike Matheny is still playing veterans too much.

I bring this up not to press the topic I’ve clogged plenty of bandwidth about over the last couple of months, but to point out that despite the roster chock full of youth, Mike Matheny still is playing his veterans far too much. In some cases, like Taylor, it’s merely preventing a younger player from getting valuable reps. In the case of Dozier, it’s at the expense of actually competing.

And that’s what the last five seasons have been about. The Royals remain committed to players because they value their veteran-ness, but they’re robbing time from the younger players. And…this is the important part…they’re not good enough to be everyday players. Dozier should remain firmly planted on the bench next to Ryan O’Hearn for the remainder of the season. O’Hearn, incidentally, has received 31 plate appearances over the last 30 days. (He’s hitting .300/.323/.367, good for a 95 wRC+.)

Baseball Prospectus offers some positive notes on Royals pitching prospect Frank Mozzicato.

Mozzicato’s particular set of attributes is one not often seen in Low-A, and is especially rare for someone of his age and pedigree. The curve and change can both be projected as at least above-average, and he shows a precocious feel for pitching and comfort with interesting sequencing—more than once he opened an AB with the cambio, and the heater was a frequent finisher. Mozzicato throws from a slightly high three-quarters slot and the curve comes in between 11/5 and 10/4, high-70s or low-80s with sharp downward action. This is a legitimate out-pitch when located glove-side and down, and he is comfortable back-footing righties with it. The change is another real weapon against opposite-handed hitters, low-mid 80s and diving sharply with fade.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report writes about the positives for the Royals this year.

I know the Brandon Maurer trade will scar Royals fans forever, but this front office has genuinely done a great job on the trade market. I would say their biggest negative on that front is that they don’t trade enough! That’s a separate conversation, but I’m usually a big fan of what they’re doing on the trade market (outside of that Emmanuel Rivera trade…which is kind of weird). They did a great job of adding legitimate pitching depth to their system through trades this summer.

Nicky Lopez is the Royals’ 2022 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for philanthropy.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman thinks its time to let Adalberto Mondesi go.

Baseball will vote today on some rule changes such as a pitch clock, limited pick-offs, larger bases, and a ban on shifts.

Mike Petriello writes that the path for Aaron Judge may be tougher than anyone else that has hit 60 home runs.

Baseball has developed a new version of WAR to be used to distribute money to pre-arbitration players.

Jerry Seinfeld blames Timmy Trumpet for blowing the NL East lead.

Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright tie the record for most games as batterymates.

The Rangers call up top third baseman prospect Josh Jung.

Why the Padres won’t collapse this year.

How the Dodgers built an injury-proof rotation.

Two international prospects sue the Angels for pulling back on their agreements.

The Connecticut Sun go on an 18-0 run to end their game against the Chicago Sky to reach the WNBA Finals.

Coaches reveal who has the biggest home court advantage in college basketball.

A creepy-looking woman keeps showing up in AI-generated images.

A prosthesis could restore memory in people with damaged brains.

Cobra Kai could spawn its own Karate Kid cinematic universe.

Your song of the day is Eric B. & Rakim with Don’t Sweat The Technique.