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Royals Rumblings - News for February 17, 2023

Matt Quatraro is bringing optimism to the Royals.

Spring Training Cactus League Media Day Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Matt Quatraro is bringing optimism to his first camp with the Royals.

“It’s a massive undertaking to organize all of this, and they have been incredible with how they’ve done that,” Quatraro said.

The staff will have to find improvement in the team’s pitching after a 2022 season when the Royals had MLB’s fourth-highest ERA and gave up the second-highest opposing batting average.

“Pitching wins, that’s the history of the game,” Quatraro said. “These guys are going to take a step forward. There’s no doubt in my mind.”

Nicky Lopez likes the youth in camp.

“When I made my debut we had a lot of guys who knew they weren’t going to be here long term, a lot of guys who were maybe trade-baiters,” Lopez said. “But these guys that are here are going to be staying. These core guys are going to be for a while. It’s exciting knowing this going to be our team moving forward.”

Hunter Dozier is happy to be back at third, writes Blair Kerkhoff.

“It feels good to be back over there, and I have a chance to stay there all year,” Dozier said. “I’m happy about it.”

This doesn’t mean Dozier won’t pull an occasional shift at another position. Even in the year he played the majority of games at third base, Dozer also played 20 games in right field and 15 as a designated hitter.

New Royals manager Matt Quatraro said Dozier won’t be “entrenched” at third and wants to mix and match lineups to maximize matchups. But...

“Hunter is going to predominantly play third,” Quatraro said. “Like most guys, when they know what’s expected of them, it takes a little of the mental burden off.”

Ned Yost is honored to be inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame, writes Anne Rogers.

“You sit back and look at everything we accomplished, and to be part of it was tremendous,” Yost said. “Even though I was a small part of it, I’m the one that reaps the benefits of it. I’m very honored for this to happen. It’s a great honor. One that I truly appreciate.”

David Lesky at Inside the Crown projects the pitching staff.

And Keller might be the guy I’m least excited about, but not because I don’t think the new coaching staff can’t help him. It’s just that there isn’t a ton to be gained from him getting better or even just getting back to what he was from 2018 to 2020. He’s in the last year of team control and if they do get him back on track, he’ll likely want to become a free agent. If they don’t, well, he’s gone either way. But there is some value in a guy who has started and thrown a good number of innings before and could be nice trade bait come July. That’s why I think he starts in the rotation. Does he stay there? Meh, I don’t know.

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains grades the off-season and reacts to the Franmil Reyes signing.

The power looks fine no matter what. If anything, he gives the Royals options as a pinch hitter in games he doesn’t start. Last year, Reyes didn’t feature any kind of platoon split. He was poor against lefties and right-handed pitching. According to Statcast, his hard hit numbers were down. Given the Royals success in revamping their hitting program, Reyes is exactly the type of player the team should be targeting: A young hitter who has found success in the majors but has just stumbled for whatever reason. It’s easy to have confidence that Drew Saylor and staff can unlock whatever held Reyes back in 2022.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter projects the Royals’ Opening Day roster.

The Angels sign lefty Matt Moore to a one-year deal.

San Diego signs pitcher Cole Hamels to a minor league deal.

Rob Manfred says the A’s are focused on a potential move to Las Vegas.

He also says that baseball is ready if Diamond Sports declares bankruptcy.

The Padres have gone from small market to revenue sharing contributor.

Shohei Ohtani will start on Opening Day.

Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes says arbitration hurt his relationship with the Brewers.

Hey, Gary Sanchez is still available!

Five players who could rise up the baseball draft board this spring.

Former catcher and broadcaster Tim McCarver dies at age 81.

ESPN announces an eight-part series on the Yankees.

The XFL is back! Here’s what you need to know.

The Chiefs are favorites to win the Super Bowl next year.

The family of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda believe he was poisoned.

Microsoft’s Bing is an emotionally manipulative liar.

The couple behind the Wikipedia high-five photos ended up getting married with kids.

Your song of the day is Q-Tip with Vivrant Thing.