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Weekend Rumblings - News for February 18, 2023

Royals catchers learn to set up.

MLB: APR 21 Twins at Royals

Bench coach Paul Hoover talks about how catcher setups can help pitchers with Anne Rogers.

“It’s something we’ve seen work in Tampa, power arms throwing to the bigger areas instead of moving to the corners and smaller areas,” Hoover said. “When they miss, they’re still missing in the strike zone. We see similar pitchers over here that have power, that have stuff, but maybe not the best accuracy and pinpoint control.

“If we give them the whole plate, instead of corners, they’re more apt to throw strikes. That’s something that we need to help the pitchers do in this organization is fill up the zone and try to get ahead of hitters.”

Bobby Witt Jr. is excited to play in the World Baseball Classic.

“Oh, it’s going to be a blast. I’m really privileged to be a part of the team. I’m just trying to figure out my role,” Witt said. “I’m just going to take it all in and learn from and see their routine. I think that’s the biggest thing, is just learning.”

David Lesky reacts to the Franmil Reyes signing.

This is a heck of a flyer. My question now becomes how he could impact the roster if he does make the team and the guy has hit .315/.372/.649 in the Cactus League over the last four seasons. So he seems like a pretty decent bet to rake in the desert. He’s a DH. I don’t think he’s going to be playing much outfield, though I suppose I could see him maybe standing out there on days that Kyle Isbel and Drew Waters are both playing, maybe in a smaller park. But he’s a righty masher with a .271/.351/.482 career line against lefties. Could he be a platoon partner for Isbel? Or, and this is what I think happens, he gets the job of Edward Olivares. It’s worth noting that the Reyes deal has an opt-out at the end of spring. That’s fairly standard, but also tells me that they think he has a real shot to make the club.

Craig Brown reacts to Ned Yost’s election into the Royals Hall of Fame.

There’s a 75 percent threshold to gain entry to the Royals’ Hall. Yost earned 88 percent. I’m not going to shake my fist and damn the 12 percent who have no clue how to fill out a ballot, but if you’re going to have a Royals Hall of Fame without Yost, you may as well tear down the building. By the standards in place they should also retire his number 3 and probably put up a statue. The man won two American League pennants and a World Series title.

My issue with the Royals Hall of Fame is it feels just a bit too exclusive. Since 2007, there have been two players enshrined. Two! (Kevin Appier in 2011 and Mike Sweeney in 2015.) I understand the decades between World Series appearances were completely barren and there’s also going to be a deluge of deserving candidates in the next few years, but the lack of wider inclusion in a team Hall of Fame is a bit disappointing.

Vahe Gregorian writes about Yost’s path to the Royals Hall of Fame.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at the Brady Singer arbitration case.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report grades the off-season.

The Phillies sign reliever Jose Alvarado to a three-year extension.

Manny Machado plans to opt out of his deal after this season.

Scott Rolen will wear a Cardinals cap in the Hall of Fame, while Fred McGriff won’t have a logo.

Clayton Kershaw won’t pitch in the World Baseball Classic.

Which teams improved the most this off-season?

Umpires are actually getting better, but it may not matter soon.

White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger threatens to sue a radio station after the mother of his daughter levies domestic abuse allegations on air.

Blue Jays radio broadcasters will do road games remotely.

Your primer for the 2023 college baseball season.

Eric Bienemy leaves the Chiefs to become offensive coordinator for the Commanders.

Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki are among the finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Private space flight will bring more countries to the International Space Station.

How Duolingo learns what you need to learn.

The whodunit film is enjoying a comeback.

Your song of the day is Elvis Costello and The Attractions with Radio, Radio.