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Royals Rumblings - News for March 14, 2023

Will you get a Royals Fountain Pass?

Tampa Bay Rays v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

David Lesky writes about the new hitting approach for the Royals this spring.

The scout I spoke with specifically pointed out four players who he thought had made huge strides since last season. One he didn’t see much of this weekend because he didn’t return from the bruise until yesterday, but Michael Massey was mentioned along with Kyle Isbel and Nick Pratto and then Bobby Witt Jr. as a bit of an afterthought just because he isn’t there right now. He also said that he really liked CJ Alexander’s approach, so put him in the camp with George Brett of enjoying him. But those three in particular are very interesting because they sort of run the gauntlet of approaches in previous years.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter wonders if Matt Beaty is playing his way onto the roster.

While first base could be a position that Beaty can be serviceable at, it is likely that Vinnie Pasquantino will see a majority of innings there in 2023. Additionally, the Royals also have current 40-man options such as Hunter Dozier and Nick Pratto who could play the position, though Dozier is expected to play a majority of his innings at third, and Pratto will probably begin in Triple-A, though he’s had a better-than-expected Spring (.333 average; .991 OPS in 18 at-bats).

Therefore, a corner outfield position may be Beaty’s best bet to get playing time in 2023, should he make the Opening Day roster. Unfortunately, he may not be a better defensive option than Edward Olivares or Nate Eaton, two outfielders expected to get time in left and right field, respectively, according to Roster Resource projections.

Dan Szymborski at Fangraphs writes about hitters he thinks will bust this year, with Salvador Perez on his list.

He’s always been an ultra-aggressive swinger, but he makes contact less and less often; most players who have success swinging at a million out-of-zone pitches are actually pretty good at making contact with them, but he has declined to being below-average at that, too. His profile reminds me of an inflation death spiral, as he has to hit the ball harder and harder yet makes contact less and less often against worse pitches. Suffice it to say, I’m not on board with the ZiPS projection below, which I think is crazy optimistic; I’d pick something around the 20th percentile offensively. We’ll see if ZiPS gets the last laugh.

Anne Rogers catches up with Royals legend George Brett. I know it’s just spring, but there have been some pretty good performances so far.

Brett: People say it doesn’t matter if you win in Spring Training. Bull [crap]. A couple days ago, I went up to Matt all excited because of our record, and he said, “George, it’s only Spring Training.” I said, “I just hate to lose in anything. I don’t give a [crap] if we go in there and play chess. I’m going to try to win.

Darin Watson at UL’s Toothpick writes about George’s performance in Game 3 of the 1985 ALCS.

The Fountain Pass is back!

Trevor Bauer signs with the Yokohama DeNA Baystars in Japan.

The Mets will shut down pitcher Jose Quintana for three months.

The Braves could have a historic trio at the plate this year.

Michael Conforto is trying to make up for lost time.

Puerto Rico fires a combined no-hitter with no baserunners in a mercy-rule win over Israel.

Great Britain pulls off a huge upset of Colombia.

Nicaraguan pitcher Duque Hebbert gets offered a minor league deal immediately after striking out three hitters in the WBC.

Pitcher Jordan Yamamoto announces his retirement.

Orioles minor league pitcher Luis Ortiz dies of cancer at the age of 20.

Former Yankees first baseman Joe Pepitone dies at age 82.

New Chiefs tackle Jawaan Taylor brings elite pass protection ability.

The teams to stay away from in your NCAA bracket.

Citizen scientists report a rapid reduction in the visibility of stars.

What social media is doing to finance.

Ten times the Oscars got it wrong.

Your song of the day is Melanie with Brand New Key.