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Royals Rumblings - News for April 18, 2023

The Royals can’t win at home.

Texas Rangers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images

Jesse Newell writes about another loss for the Royals.

KC, to be fair, wasn’t supposed to compete this season. It wasn’t presumed to make the playoffs. This was a transition year after the team moved on from president of baseball operations Dayton Moore and manager Mike Matheny last season, with the organization also committing to a complete pitching overhaul from the minor leagues up.

But there was still some hope that maybe this team could surprise. Maybe stay in the race until the summer months? Hang around .500? Perhaps see where some hope and confidence might take you in an AL Central division without a true juggernaut?

So far ... nope, nope and nope. The young Royals have already torpedoed almost all of those preseason dreams with their 4-13 start, meaning that a team already fighting for relevance has stacked the odds against itself.

Kris Bubic will get a second opinion on his left forearm flexor strain.

“The results were the flexor strain, and some other underlying concerns are going to require a second opinion,” manager Matt Quatraro said. “That’s what we’re waiting on right now. ... You’re constantly asking guys, whether you feel like there’s an issue or not, how they’re feeling. How’s your body feel? How’s your arm feel? All those kinds of things. So we have those conversations between every inning. For all of us, learning what everybody’s threshold is is different. Kris was saying that he felt OK, and obviously when he came out of the game, he felt a lot worse than he did out on the mound.”

David Lesky at Inside the Crown looks at the offensive woes.

The other issue is they simply don’t have enough good hitters right now. I think Michael Massey can be a really nice piece on a good team. He’s lost right now. Isbel should be hitting eighth or ninth, not fifth or sixth. Edward Olivares is too streaky to count on, but when he’s struggling, he’s nearly unplayable. Hopefully that sorts itself out as guys get out of early-season funks or get replaced with others who can help. I think the Royals have players who can win a championship at the top of their lineup. I think they have a couple of guys who can win a championship if they’re hitting at the bottom of the lineup. They need another impact bat and another competent one to fill in the middle. Not to sound like a broken record, but that’s what this season is for. It’s to spend the year (not the first 16 games) determining if they have that or if they need to go get it.

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains questions how the Royals handled Bubic.

I get not wanting to burn the bullpen but a pitcher’s health has to trump that concern. The signs were obvious to everyone that Bubic wasn’t right.

On the other hand, once a pitcher experiences said forearm tightness, the injury has already happened. We’ve heard that plenty of pitchers have slight tears or strains in their forearms and are able to continue to pitch through it. Greg Holland comes to mind. It’s about pain tolerance and effectiveness. I’m going to theorize (and hope) that Bubic didn’t do further damage by staying out there. Still, throwing 100 pitches on a cold day when he’s not feeling right? Not a smart call.

Jake Mintz at Fox Sports writes about the worst teams in baseball right now.

The Upshot: There’s actually a lot to like about the Royals, especially if the strides in the rotation prove to be real. But the bottom of the lineup is just so outrageously dreadful that a legitimately encouraging display by Kansas City’s arms might not lead to many wins.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at the Royals and their clutch stats.

Jacob deGrom had to exit last night’s start against the Royals due to wrist soreness.

Jorge Soler hits a huge pinch-hit home run for the Marlins.

The Twins reportedly have a deal on a four-year $73 million extension with pitcher Pablo López.

Fernando Tatis Jr. ends his rehab and will rejoin the Padres on Thursday.

Oakland pitchers have really sucked this year.

Stolen bases are booming this year.

The Rangers unveil their City Connect jerseys.

A’s fans are planning a “reverse boycott” by packing the seats to show ownership the fans are not the problem.

A tweet by Blue Jays reliever Anthony Bass about how his wife was treated on a plan goes viral.

Does the NBA need to change the block/charge rule?

Jalen Hurts becomes the highest paid player in NFL history.

The Writer’s Guild of America votes to go on strike.

Japan has millions of empty houses you can buy for $25,000.

Why are teens suddenly obsessed with chess?

Your song of the day is The Gap Band with Early in the Morning.