Anne Rogers looks at the storylines for the Royals heading into camp, such as who will win the centerfield job.
Isbel, who will be 26 in March, made his debut in 2021, but he has received just 361 plate appearances over the past two seasons. In that span, he has been a below-average hitter, slashing .226/.281/.361 with a 76 wRC+. The Royals want to find out how those numbers can improve with everyday playing time. They also want to see how he holds up playing center field; metrics like outfielder jump and arm strength, coupled with his speed, tell Kansas City he’s an elite outfielder.
The same goes for Waters, who made his debut last season and impressed in a small sample size. In 109 plate appearances, Waters posted an .803 OPS with five homers and a 125 wRC+. A switch-hitter, Waters might have more of an offensive ceiling than Isbel, and Kansas City wants to see how Waters holds up in center field, too. One important note: The Royals don’t want to sacrifice tons of offensive production with their center fielder. They’re looking for a center fielder who can not only be an elite defender but also perform with the bat when needed.
J.J. Picollo talks about the 2023 roster on MLB Network.
Darin Watson at UL’s Toothpick writes about the ending to the 1977 season.
Of all the playoff disappointments the Royals suffered in their history, this is probably the most crushing. Losing in the 1976 ALCS was bad, but at least the franchise had finally made the postseason, and hey, they lost the decisive Game Five on the road. Likewise, the 1980 and 2014 World Series losses were tempered by the fact the Royals had finally vanquished the Yankees in the former and ended a three-decade long postseason drought with the latter.
But this game…yikes.
Looking good, boys.
Detroit adds reliever Matt Wisler on a minor league deal.
According to a report, MLB will make the ghost runner extra inning rule permanent.
MLB is also considering doing something about position players pitching.
Predicting this year’s main baseball storylines.
How the Rays help their pitchers improve control.
The Cardinals extend president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.
Nationals owner Ted Lerner dies at the age of 97.
New Tigers pitcher Michael Lorenzen wants some at-bats.
Should you believe in hitters who increased their exit velocity?
The Padres have interest in free agent pitcher Michael Wacha.
Here’s video of a young Patrick Mahomes working out in a Phillies uniform.
How Andy Reid’s master game plan won the Super Bowl.
Why earthquakes are deadlier in some places more than others.
This is your last chance to save your Internet Explorer bookmarks.
Rebecca Black was once a meme, but now she’s a serious artist with a debut album.
Your song of the day is Freedy Johnston with Bad Reputation.