Two updates on rehabbing Royals, from the mothership:
Waters was playing in his last extended Spring Training game before heading out on a rehab assignment over the weekend when he hit a homer — and felt tightness in his right lower back on the swing. The outfielder was going to play in a game Tuesday to test it out, but he still felt sore when he arrived at the complex. In response, the Royals pressed pause on his schedule and will reevaluate the 24-year-old in a couple days. Waters has sidelined since the beginning of Spring Training with a left oblique strain.
“We’re going to take a step back and give it at least two days,” general manager J.J. Picollo said. “And then see what we can do with it.”
Lynch, who has been on the IL since Opening Day, made his first rehab appearance Tuesday and allowed two runs with six strikeouts and one walk in 2 2/3 innings for Northwest Arkansas. The lefty will likely make three or four more rehab starts before returning to the Royals; pitchers can be on a rehab assignment for 30 days.
Craig Brown wonders about how best to use Ryan Yarbrough:
I thought Yarbrough looked ok on the last road trip. His work as the Bulk Guy in Anaheim was what the Royals needed and even though they didn’t win, he certainly kept them in the game. The same could be said about his start in Arizona. He went four innings and allowed just one run. It should be noted that the Royals dropped both those games by a scoreline of 2-0. So where do the Royals go from here? Another moment with The Opener, maybe using Taylor Clarke again, and then having Yarbrough go as the Bulk Guy. Or does Yarbrough continue to slot into the rotation, but as The Opener himself? He could maybe be used as a one-time-through-the-order guy. It would’ve worked on Tuesday.
Alex Duvall dug around for reasons to believe the Royals have the right personnel in place to lead the team forward. One of the sections deals with minor leaguers improving:
Luinder Avila has gone from fringe prospect to legitimate top-30 prospect in the system. He moved from Low-A to High-A and his K% is up almost 30%. He certainly won’t maintain that nonsense all year but he has clearly taken a massive step forward that we did not see from young international arms very often under the previous development group.
Austin Cox, who has been stuck in prospect purgatory for a couple of seasons, has ticked his K% up 11% in AAA this season. He’s a big, funky lefty who delivers the ball from a unique arm slot. He had big K numbers in the lower minors but could never really translate that to AAA. If he’s going to strike out 25%+ of the batters he faces, he’s a big league relief prospect again.
Drew Parrish’s K% is up 10% in AAA and his BB% is down 1%. I still don’t know how I feel about him in general but it certainly seems like he’s at least maximizing his talents now where last year he was clearly underachieving in Omaha.
Joseph M. Werner at Prospect Digest believes Frank Mozzicato is a top-100 prospect.
A trio of former Royals were mentioned on MLB Trade Rumors: The White Sox designated Jake Diekman for assignment and selected Billy Hamilton, and the Yankees optioned Franchy Cordero to Triple-A to allow for the return of Harrison Bader.
How Bryce Harper got back to playing after Tommy John in 160 days.
Here’s the moment Joel Embiid and teammates found out Embiid is NBA MVP:
On a scale of 1-10, how real do we think the Kendall Jenner/Bad Bunny relationship is? I’m solidly at a 2.
Two very different levels of stakes in these Ask a Manager letters:
- [content note: suicide, mention of gore] No one wants the office an employee died in four years ago.
- Does it look unprofessional to have an energy drink at my desk every day?
Salmonella could be present in Gold Medal flour; please see this recall notice and avoid eating that.
Some good news: giant touchscreens in cars may be on the way back to the hell from which they came. Buttons are better!
The Storm Chasers have a game this morning at 11:05! Yesterday’s was at noon, and the rest of this series includes games at 6:35 and 2:05. What is your favorite time for a ballgame to be, and why?
SOTD: Harry Styles - Satellite. Music video coming later today! It will be here, I think!