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Royals Rumblings - News for March 29, 2023

Happy Opening Day Eve!

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View from above of a playpen, where five small puppies are all heaped together. One, with a white coat but mostly-black fur on their face, makes direct eye contact with the camera.
A playpen full of puppies!
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

With Daniel Lynch out with a shoulder strain, Kris Bubic will be the 5th starter, reports Anne Rogers:

When he takes the mound next week, Bubic will debut his slider in the regular season, a pitch he’s been toying with for several years before committing to it this spring. He threw 17 of them against Texas, his second-most used pitch behind his fastball.

Having that fourth pitch keeps Bubic unpredictable, and he’s seen an increase in swing-and-miss throughout the spring because of it. Bubic registered 14 whiffs on 32 swings — 41%. Bubic’s whiff percentage was 21.3% last year.

“Having the presence of the slider and having the hitters think about it as well elevated the rest of the arsenal,” Bubic said on Monday. “... This spring, I’ve had quite a few deep counts that have gotten the pitch counts up, but at the end of the day, I think this might be the most swing-and-miss I’ve gotten on a consistent basis. I know it’s a small sample size in spring, but I’ll take the swing-and-miss.”

It’s been great to have Craig Brown back at it at Into the Fountains. Here’s his breakdown of the (likely) Opening Day roster:

The prospect hounds said Massey had plus raw power. Then, he clubbed 21 dingers at High-A Quad Cities in 2021. Last year, all he did was blitz through the system with 20 more long balls split between Double and Triple-A and the majors. I’m trying not to get too carried away.

I continue to believe that the Royals will give Dozier every opportunity at the hot corner. Yet there is Lopez and Duffy…lurking. The leash should be short. The Royals have made enough organizational noise about players having to earn their spot in the lineup (or on the pitching staff) that it would be incredibly disappointing if it turns out that’s not the case. Or that Dozier gets special consideration.

“The beauty of this time of year is that anything can happen.” -David Lesky, starting an examination of what can go right, and wrong, for the Royals in 2023.

The Triple-A season will now be split into halves just like all the other levels of the minors. The first-half champs of the International and Pacific Coast Leagues will host a 3-game series to determine which teams will meet up for the one-game Triple-A championship.

This new book looks like something a lot of us here will enjoy:

A long look at how more MLB teams are hiring coaches without playing experience.

Maybe it’s good news for the Royals that there’s only one AL Central team in the top 15 pitching rotations, per FanGraphs. It’s the White Sox, at #15. (The Royals are at #26.)

Also at FanGraphs, service time manipulation is on the way out.

At The Athletic, an endearing look at the creation of growth of Out Of the Park Baseball. I love that a childhood friend bringing home some baseballs and a bat from a vacation to America led to OOTP creator Markus Heinsohn learning about baseball, and then years down the line, MLB managers and owners use his game for fun and for work.

Some basketball hall news:

Just a phenomenal group of people right there.

Patrick Mahomes is not happy with a new scheduling setup that may add a short-rest Thursday Night Football appearance for some teams.

Back to the NBA, the Blazers have shut down Damian Lillard for the season.

[TW sexual assault] Rams defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day said he had an overly invasive pat-down by TSA agents that he described as a sexual assault. It had to be really tough to talk about publicly, but (as he later tweeted) the “proper channels” for reporting that don’t go anywhere.

Season 3 of HBO’s ‘The White Lotus’ will film in Thailand.

The food recall of the week* is Impossible Foods, who have 22 lots of chicken-like nuggets that may contain wood chips.

*I never intended this to be a regular feature, but I realized that quite a few Wednesday Rumblings include news about recalls. Get it together, companies!

This whipped cream Easter egg dyeing method looks prettier AND easier than dunking them in stinky dye with those dang wire thingies.

A food creation firm made a meatball from mammoth cells. Mammoths! Which are extinct!

Eight stories of companies getting sexism awareness very wrong.

Reddit question of the week: What small purchase have you made that has had a significant impact on your life?

SOTD: Lucy Dacus - Night Shift