MJ Melendez left Sunday’s game with back tightness, reports Anne Rogers.
Melendez was removed from Sunday’s game before the bottom of the fourth and replaced in right field for what the team described as lower back tightness. He had opened the scoring with a home run in the first and struck out in the third inning.
Matt Quatraro told @DHoltzy in the postgame news conference that MJ Melendez’s back tightened not on a specific play but jogging off the field after the bottom of the 3rd. Couldn’t get it loosened up. Doesn’t sound too serious, but should have a further update tomorrow from AZ— Joel Goldberg (@goldbergkc) April 23, 2023
The Royals have a new home run helmet.
Answers came after the game, a 4-3 L.A. Angels victory: The Royals’ hitting coaches, inspired by the movie “Gladiator,” cooked up the idea to order a special prop. Efforts to procure something suitable during spring training “didn’t work out,” Witt Jr. said, but the correct version was finally deployed during Sunday’s series finale in Southern California.
The helmet appeared to be a replica of one worn by Maximus, played by actor Russell Crowe in the Hollywood classic.
“That’s kind of our mentality,” Witt Jr. said. “Everyone against us.”
Anne Rogers profiles pitching prospect Noah Cameron.
His rising fastball tunnels well with a tumbling, low-80s changeup that gets swing-and-miss from batters looking for something harder, and he’ll occasionally drop in a curveball that has been the focus of his development with the Royals.
“I don’t think it’s a secret that my changeup is my best pitch,” Cameron said. “I love throwing it, and I love the swing-and-miss that I get on it. The curveball has come a long way since college. It makes my changeup better, which is the goal when you gain pitches, right? Really to make your best pitches even better. So really just being able to keep hitters off balance and keep them on their toes.”
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter is optimistic about Carlos Hernandez.
In terms of “raiding the zone”, Hernandez has been a significantly better pitcher than in seasons past.
His zone percentage is up 7.5 percent; his edge percentage is up 0.2 percent; and his first pitch strike percentage is up 6.9 percent. That shows that pitching coach Brian Sweeney, assistant pitching coach Zach Bove, and bullpen coach Mitch Stetter have had a positive impact in helping coach Hernandez to throw more strikes this season.
In addition to getting more early strikes against batters, he also has been much better at generating swings out of the zone as well.
Mark Gubicza talked to David Laurila at Fangraphs about becoming a middle reliever for the Royals.
Craig Brown at Into the Fountains writes about Saturday’s comeback win.
The Pirates extend the contract of manager Derek Shelton after a hot start.
The Rays break a record by homering in their first 21 games.
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The New York Times looks at the impact on this year’s rule changes.
Chiefs GM Brett Veach talks about what he expects for this week’s draft.
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Your song of the day is Urban Dance Squad with Deeper Shade Of Soul.