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Weekend Rumblings - News for May 6, 2023

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Preparations Are Made On The Eve Of The Coronation Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

Shreyas Laddha writes that the warming weather may be helping Royals bats.

“It does have an effect, though — certainly the way the ball flies,” Duffy said. “If it’s windy, the ball does weird things and can make for challenges. … When you are struggling and you compound that with tougher weather, it can make for an: ‘Aw man.’”

Duffy appreciates not having to wear three layers for games at this point. Still, the weather isn’t the only reason he thinks the offense has heated up.

“The other team is playing in the same conditions as we are, but the combination of turning over the month and the warm weather kind of gets guys in kind of a new head-space that could help.”

Anne Rogers gives an injury update on Kyle Isbel.

Isbel strained his hamstring while running out a bunt single on Thursday against the Orioles, and further testing determined it to be a Grade 2 hamstring strain. The Royals’ center fielder will be out for four to six weeks. In his place, the Royals brought Eaton back to Kansas City, and he and Jackie Bradley Jr. will cover center field until Isbel or Drew Waters returns. Infielder Maikel Garcia, who began learning center field in Spring Training, might get some time there if needed.

“We’ll see how everybody is feeling, we’ll look at the matchups, and we’ll make sure the right guy is out there on a given night,” manager Matt Quatraro said.

Lorenzo Cain, who will retire as a Royal tonight, talked to the media about his time in Kansas City.

Fans again cheered Cain after he hit a home run for the Brewers during the game. As he circled the bases to applause from the opposing fans, Cain had an epiphany.

“That’s when I knew. When I came back and played, I just saw it, they showed me how much they cared about me, respected me and loved me as a player,” Cain said. “And I knew right then and there that I was gonna come back here and retire. Because you hit a home run with the opposing team and they’re cheering, I mean, what else can you ask for?”

The Royals announced details about the Cain celebration tonight.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about the improving offense.

Whatever it is, they’re making way more contact, probably because they’re not going out of the zone nearly as much. Their O-swing% prior to the 22nd was 37.1 percent. It’s at 33 percent since, which is still worse than average, but considerably better. While it’s obvious that laying off bad pitches and success go hand in hand, there’s even more nuance than that. If a team is hitting well, pitchers are less likely to want to go after them, so they might nibble more. If a pitcher nibbles more and the team doesn’t go after the pitches they shouldn’t, they work walks. If they’re working walks, a pitcher has to come back in the zone and then the team hitting well can do damage. We all know this because this is what happens to Royals pitching.

Baseball America writes about some underrated minor league pitchers, including three Royals.

Steven Zobac, RHP, Royals: It’s hard to think of a pitcher having a better start than Zobac to the 2023 season. Over 11 innings spanning four appearances Zobac has struck out 23 batters to just one walk and four hits. In fact, Zobac struck out the first 10 ten batters he faced as a professional, a streak that spanned his first two appearances with Low-A Columbia. Zobac relies heavily on a mid-90s four-seam fastball with above-average ride. His fastball this year boasts a better than 40% whiff rate and is leading the charge behind his early success. Zobac’s secondaries are a question mark, however. He has a low-to-mid-80s slider with moderate sweep, a curveball and a changeup that both grade out as fringe-average. Used exclusively in longer relief outings so far, Zobac’s future likely lies in the bullpen but it will be interesting to see how he’s stretched out.

John Sherman talks about the timeline for downtown stadium tax vote.

“There’s a lot of work to do, but in some window in between August of this year and April of 2024 would be kind of the window that we would try to target,” Sherman told FOX4 when asked whether it’d be hard for his group to put a sales tax extension on a Jackson County ballot this August.

Former Royals and Mets pitcher Matt Harvey announces his retirement.

Cancer-free Liam Hendriks makes his first rehab appearance.

Astros pitcher Luis Garcia will need Tommy John surgery.

The Twins and Pirates are heating up the basepaths.

Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodon has chronic back issues.

A fan fell into the bullpen at the Phillies game and had to be taken to the hospital.

Who is the best catcher in baseball?

Why do the Cardinals suck?

How will artificial intelligence affect baseball player development?

Alabama fires its baseball coach amidst a gambling probe.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will give the “Riders Up” command at the Kentucky Derby.

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen won’t defend his title - how will that affect his legacy?

Why allergy season is getting longer and worse.

What to know about King Charles III’s coronation today.

The 100 best Marvel characters, ranked.

Your song of the day is Tom Petty with It’s Good to Be King.