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Royals Rumblings - News for June 23, 2023

Austin Cox is near unhittable.

Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Austin Cox set a record last night in the win over Tampa Bay.

Cox, who was recalled June 7 from Triple-A Omaha, made MLB history as he became the first pitcher in the Expansion Era (since 1961) to face 39 batters without allowing a hit to begin his career.

“It’s awesome,” Cox said. “At the end of the day, you want to go out there and give the team a chance to win. ... I am very honored by it.”

Anne Rogers writes about Matt Quatraro’s Rays homecoming in what has been a tough first season with the Royals.

But Quatraro, according to several sources, hasn’t lost the Royals’ clubhouse, with players understanding it takes time for the processes he and the coaching staff are trying to implement with not only the young roster at the Major League level but with the entire organization. The front office and ownership continue to have faith in that process, too.

So do the people who will face Quatraro this weekend.

“I’m excited to see Matt and Hoov [bench coach Paul Hoover],” Cash said. “They were pretty instrumental in a lot of the things that we did here. I’m really happy for both of them, what they’re doing in Kansas City. It’ll be good to see them and catch up.”

Jaylon Thompson also wrote about Quatraro’s reunion.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes that more starting pitching options may be on the way.

So now the Omaha rotation suddenly has prospects. Alec Marsh went five innings with seven strikeouts and one walk while allowing just one run on four hits last night. He’s joined by Bowlan and Anthony Veneziano. The bullpen is now featuring Will Klein, Chamberlain, Dylan Coleman and Jonah DiPoto. I think it’s fair to question whether or not any of these pitchers will ever be good enough, but I’ll take guys who have a shot to be part of a long-term solution.

Add in that Ryan Yarbrough is rehabbing now in Arizona and Brad Keller is likely to get to a rehab assignment soon and Angel Zerpa is back pitching in AA and suddenly there are at least some options, if nothing else. I personally think Keller might be the most important pitcher for the Royals over the next five or six weeks. He isn’t going to get many big league starts before the deadline, assuming he makes it back, but you’d be surprised how desperate teams are for pitchers sometimes.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter writes more about Bowlan.

This year, he is producing a K/9 of 12.09, which is nearly double his mark from a season ago. Furthermore, he’s also posting a K/BB ratio of 3.62, which is 1.86 points higher than his ratio a year ago and more aligned with what Royals fans were seeing from him back in 2019 and 2021.

A big reason for Bowlan’s early struggles may be tied to him switching over from a sinker to a four-seamer as his primary fastball. The switch has resulted in fewer groundballs and perhaps more home runs, but it has added more life to the pitch and boosted his strikeout numbers as well, which Marcus Meade of Royals Weekly pointed out in a Tweet thread today.

Salvador Perez will not advance to the run-off phase of All-Star starter voting.

Mark Feinsand writes about the reliever trade market, including Scott Barlow and Aroldis Chapman.

The Rays bench shortstop Wander Franco for how he deals with frustrations.

Ronald Acuna Jr. and Shohei Ohtani are the top vote-getters in the All-Star Game.

Rob Manfred says that giving Astros players immunity in the sign-stealing investigation wasn’t a great idea.

The Nationals place outfielder Victor Robles on the Injured List just after a dugout tiff with pitcher Mackenzie Gore.

The Pirates unveil their City Connect uniforms.

The Braves’ shortstop gamble is paying off.

Are the Giants surging in an odd year again?

Rockies prospect Zac Veen undergoes season-ending hand surgery.

Should the Athletics change their name when they move to Las Vegas?

Diamond Sports asks a judge to reject their TV contract with the Diamondbacks.

LSU walks it off against Wake Forest to advance to the College World Series finals against Florida.

Instant grades on every NBA first-round draft pick.

The NHL bans specialty warm-up sweaters.

The U.S. approves lab-grown chicken meat for human consumption.

The removal of groundwater by humans actually tilted the Earth 31.5 inches.

Warner Bros. Discovery reportedly looks to unload half of its music catalog, including songs from popular movies.

Your song of the day is James Brown with I Got the Feelin’.