Anne Rogers’s latest dispatch from Spring Training focuses on the drills of new infield coach José Alguacil:
Alguacil’s drills aren’t what the Royals are used to; Witt quickly embraced the use of high-velocity machines to take ground balls. Quatraro also brought over a drill that the Royals did before batting practice on Tuesday: A coach flipped a ball to the manager, who hit it hard around the field — harder than the fungoes typically hit during defensive work.
“It’s high pace,” Witt said. “It makes the game kind of slower. Last year, I sped it up too much myself. I was trying to play the game quicker than it needed to be played. My 80% is what I need to be playing at because sometimes I get going too quickly and just need to slow down.”
In a move that reminds me of Joe Posnanski’s old “The Royals will win the division this year” columns, Craig Brown’s latest Into the Fountains newsletter asks “What if everything goes right?”
Brady Singer - 2.73 ERA
In the eyes of PECOTA, Singer’s ceiling elevated greatly following his breakout 2022 season. Just two years ago, he posted a 4.91 ERA. He somehow turned that around so we’re now dreaming on a season where he could trim another half-run off what he did last year.
It’s crazy that Singer made these kinds of strides given his draft class peers have continued to struggle. So imagine Brian Sweeney and Zach Bove going to work on a guy who’s already broken out. This projection feels a lot more aspirational than the ones we saw on the hitting side. Maybe that’s because there’s some skepticism built-in on the pitching side. Still, the fact we are even discussing this ERA for Singer, even in a 99th-percentile projection, is wild.
I’m literally giddy with excitement.
Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman figures Kyle Isbel is the frontrunner for the center field job in the wake of the Drew Waters injury.
J.J. Picollo appeared on MLB Network:
Young talent aplenty on this @Royals squad— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 21, 2023
General Manager J.J. Picollo speaks on the club's 2023 outlook and the addition of veteran LHP Aroldis Chapman.#HighHeat | #SpringTraining pic.twitter.com/WLIRdxqYz0
Tom Tango managed to quantify fun, with a formula that adds and deducts points for various events, relative to their funness. The amount of fun per event was calculated using a series of Twitter polls (linked in Tango’s blog post). There is a former Royal on the MLB top 20 all-time; see if you can guess who before checking the list!
MLB ejections, broken down by inning:
Known historical ejections by inning— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) February 22, 2023
(via @retrosheet data):
1st - 1,270
2nd - 1,126
3rd - 1,508
4th - 1,684
5th - 1,904
6th - 2,273
7th - 2,608
8th - 2,759
9th - 2,092
10th - 352
11th - 177
12th - 92
13th - 43
14th - 39
15th - 12
16th - 4
17th - 4
18th - 1
19th - 2
20th - 4
Mookie Betts openly admitted the Red Sox “occasionally” used live video to steal signs in 2018.
The Twins signed Donovan Solano to a MLB contract.
Guardians manager Terry Francona gets the “weird injury” season kicked off in style, chipping his tooth on pasta that was undercooked because he was too nervous about giving a big speech to the team to focus on cooking it thoroughly. No, I am not making any of that up; you know I’m not that creative!
Luke Voit went to the Brewers on a minor league deal.
A happy little note in yesterday’s MLB Trade Rumors Opener: all position groups of all MLB teams have reported to camp. We are getting sort of close to the season! Maybe!
Former interim pitching coach Phil Regan is suing the Mets for age discrimination, alleging the team told him he was “too old” to perform the job in a permanent role.
Miserable news for the Chicago Bulls: Lonzo Ball is out for the season, with the same injury that originally sidelined him more than a year ago.
A Taiwanese league basketball brawl, featuring Dwight Howard.
On a scale of one to this homage, how much do you love Flaco the Eurasian eagle owl?
The National Weather Service in Omaha answers everyone’s snow inquiries:
One of the most common questions we get on snowfall posts is "how much for [my city]."— NWS Omaha (@NWSOmaha) February 22, 2023
So no one feels left out, we went ahead and included every city on this map.
But for real, check out https://t.co/uYewUJgzE4 to get a forecast for your location. pic.twitter.com/mqEf2bF623
Some tips for helping a teenager build credit. How old were you when you first started learning about credit scores?
Anyone with babies, check to see if your formula is part of this recall.
Fun fact via Reddit: the average lifespan of a pet cat has risen from seven years in the early 1980s to 15 years as of 2021. Comments suggest it’s from improvements in pet food.
Apparently you can now preorder a Little Golden book about Taylor Swift. And by “you can,” I mean “I did.”
SOTD: if you listen to ‘22’ at 2:22 on 2/22 and make a wish, it will definitely come true.