Always fun to see league-wide sites cover the Royals, and this is how Anthony Franco of MLB Trade Rumors sees the Royals infield coming together:
Massey and Dozier look like the likeliest second and third base duo to start the season. Neither seems a lock to hold the job all year, though, raising the possibility for the club to go in a few different directions. Lopez offers a glove-first alternative off the bench, while younger players like García, Eaton and Taylor could play their way into opportunities if players above them on the depth chart struggle. García, in particular, seems like a potential long-term regular based on his defense and strike zone awareness.
In a league-wide compilation at The Athletic, Rustin Dodd tabs Drew Waters as the rookie who will have the most impact on their team in 2023:
Rookie: Drew Waters, OF
Waters was acquired via trade from the Braves last season and posted an .803 OPS in 32 games after debuting with the Royals in August. The good news for his Rookie of the Year chances is that he retained his rookie status — just barely. The bad news is he’s currently sidelined with an oblique injury and will miss the start of the season.
Baseball-Reference says Waters “exceeded rookie limits during 2022 season,” but Dodd tweeted that the Royals have him at exactly 45 days of service time, and eligibility runs out at “more than 45” days, so he is still a rookie.
Anne Rogers did a roster projection at the mothership, including a pondering of whether the Royals will carry three catchers or send Freddy Fermin to Triple-A:
Catcher (3): Salvador Perez, MJ Melendez, Freddy FerminPerez will begin his 12th season behind the plate and as the unquestioned leader of this young team. Melendez, who is also listed in the outfield section, will be his backup. Do the Royals carry a third catcher? Quatraro has said he likes that idea, but it depends on how the rest of the bench is shaped. Perhaps the Royals start Fermin in Triple-A, load their bench with more pop and rely on Fermin later this season if an injury pops up.
If Fermin stays with Kansas City, what’s the trickle-down for catchers? Omaha will have Jakson Reetz, José Briceño, and probably Luca Tresh who should all get regular playing time, along with Logan Porter who has been back behind the plate this spring but can also play first base.
Jacob Milham at Kings of Kauffman makes a case for Nick Pratto to stay with the big club.
UPDATE on a Royals organizational update I mentioned a few weeks ago: a second source confirmed that minor leaguers will be allowed to have beards this season, reversing the old “Yankee rules” that have been in place for too long.
Diamond Sports Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a few days earlier than expected. Evidently the broadcasts will continue as scheduled while they reconfigure themselves.
Free to read at Baseball America is this detailed rundown of rules changes in the Minors this season. Triple-A will PitchCom as well as Automatic Ball-Strike available.
The Giants are down to two outfielders with the news that Luis Gonzalez will be out 16 weeks after back surgery.
Nicaraguan right-hander Duque Hebbert struck out three in his relief inning in the World Baseball Classic, and then got signed by the Tigers. (His strikeout victims weren’t just anyone, either: Juan Soto, Julio Rodríguez, and Rafael Devers!)
Ooooh that’s an unfortunate slip of the tongue:
There’s not likely much of an audience here for this, but it’s big news in its own world: stylist Law Roach abruptly retired.
Got kids in softball and softball this year? A bunch of stuff is on sale at Easton for the rest of March.
Today’s OT question: how do you fold/hang/store your clothes? I saw a TikTok yesterday of someone saying he and his wife stopped folding their clothes and they have so much free time. This article says rolling is the best way to go. I “file” mine in a variation of the Marie Kondo method, but I hate doing it.
SOTD: The Menzingers - Anna