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Weekend Rumblings - News for March 11, 2023

Spring training stats don’t matter...or do they?

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

David Lesky at Inside the Crown reacts to the Royals playing well in Arizona.

We also know that strikeout and walk rates tend to normalize quicker than many other stats. Royals pitchers who matter (those on the 40-man and NRIs with a real shot to contribute) have a 26.4 percent strikeout rate and 7.7 percent walk rate through 13 games. Royals pitchers who I project to make the Opening Day roster have a 26.7 percent strikeout rate and 7.3 percent walk rate. They’re not facing exclusively big leaguers and there isn’t enough data to know whiff rates against big leaguers compared to minor leaguers, but that works. I can also tell you that they’re shining comparatively.

Anne Rogers writes that George Brett is a fan of first baseman CJ Alexander.

“This guy can rake,” Brett said as the third inning ended Wednesday. “Wait until you see this guy’s swing. It is impressive.”

Four innings later, Alexander was getting ready to bat after coming into the game to replace Nick Pratto. Brett walked up to Alexander in the Royals’ dugout.

“He said, ‘I just talked you up to everyone on TV. If you strike out, I’m not talking to you again,’ or something like that,” Alexander said. “I was like, ‘Wow, thanks for putting the pressure on me.’”

Pete Grathoff writes about Ned Yost’s comments about this year’s squad.

“I felt a little bit last year that this group should have taken a little bit of a step forward,” Yost said Wednesday on Bally Sports Kansas City’s broadcast. “Not a big step, because it’s always been my experience that it takes a group of guys two and a half years to get to a point where they can really compete. What they’re trying to do is to get to the point where they can play .500 baseball and then here we go, we run with it, and, you know, I think that they’re gonna make big strides this year.”

Mark Polishuk at MLB Trade Rumors has his Off-season in Review for the Royals.

With a few weeks to go before Opening Day, K.C. might not be done making lower-level moves, or maybe even more significant trades involving in-house veterans. For instance, Lopez drew some attention from the White Sox in January, though that particular avenue might be closed since the Sox have since signed Elvis Andus to fill their need for second base help. If the Royals are confident in Massey as the starting second baseman and feel that the likes of Garcia or Duffy can provide middle infield backup, Lopez might still get shopped — the Dodgers stand out as an obvious possibility, since Gavin Lux will miss the season after tearing his ACL.

The Royals assigned a few players to minor league camp.

The Marlins sign first baseman Yuli Gurriel and shortstop Jose Iglesias.

Diamond Sports made rights payments to all MLB teams it has RSNs with except the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Nationals sign catcher Keibert Ruiz to an eight-year extension.

Jeff Passan at ESPN Insider writes about how baseball survived its labor negotiations with a better game.

Fangraphs has two new pitching metrics - PitchBot and Stuff+.

What are the most improved and least improved rotations?

Which prospects could make Opening Day rosters?

The Astros will talk extensions with Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman next off-season.

Chinese Taipei defeats Italy for its first WBC win.

Longtime MLB outfielder Jesus Alou dies at the age of 80.

The Chicago Bears trade the #1 pick in the draft to the Carolina Panthers.

St. John’s fires coach Mike Anderson and is targeting Rick Pitino.

Silicon Valley Bank has failed and is under government control, which could impact tech companies.

Why Daylight Savings is so hard on your body.

The first Academy Awards lasted just 15 minutes.

Your song of the day is The Sweet with The Ballroom Blitz.