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Royals Rumblings - News for June 28, 2023

Happy Wednesday!

Minda Haas Kuhlmann

Lots of injury and health updates from Anne Rogers:


Rogers also issued a story in her newsletter about catcher Freddy Fermin’s journey to the Majors:

In 2015, Fermin was nearly ready to give up baseball. At 19 years old, he wasn’t getting noticed by teams because of his smallish size. He had already been through plenty of hardship growing up in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, and it was getting harder to envision his dream of playing baseball. The Royals were Fermin’s last chance; he worked out at the Dominican Academy with newly signed players and stood out to Victor Baez, now the Royals’ Dominican Academy field coordinator.

“He’s not just here to work out,” Baez told assistant general manager Rene Francisco, detailing Fermin’s strong and accurate arm.

The Royals signed Fermin for less than $10,000. One chance was all he needed. As he slowly made his way through the Minors, playing at every level of the Royals’ organization, his receiving skills got better. His bat became serviceable with sneaky strength.

And Fermin became someone on whom the Royals knew they could count.

“He’s a workhorse,” Boscan said. “Sometimes I have to tell him, ‘Freddy, that’s enough.’ He’s never told me, ‘Hey, I’m good.’ He wants to work and is open to information at all times.”

The story also emphasizes Fermin’s determination to learn English, which is something I admire.

Hunter Felt at the Guardian wrote a “bless his heart” piece about Jordan Lyles making a career out of not winning:

When the Royals signed Lyles to a two-year contract in the offseason, it wasn’t because they thought that he could help him win games. (In fact, it’s not entirely certain they have much interest in doing so this year.) Kansas City had a young pitching staff in desperate need of a veteran who could throw a ton of innings. Royals vice-president JJ Picollo explained the deal by saying Lyles “has shown in the last two years that he can really handle a heavy workload.”

It is, for sure, a very polite way to describe a 32-year-old righthander who boasts a 5.20 ERA and a 67-101 record in a career spanning seven organizations and counting (for context an ERA over 4.40 is considered iffy). However, Lyles – who made 32 starts and pitched 179 innings for the Baltimore Orioles the previous year – sounded at ease with being praised mostly for his rubber-armed reputation.

“Staying on the field,” he rather humbly said after the signing, “I’ve been very fortunate and blessed from that aspect, and that boils down to taking care of yourself in between starts.”

The Royals traded reliever Andrés Núñez to the Red Sox for cash considerations.

David Lesky has a handy guide to teams that might be good trade partners for the Royals.

Two season-ending surgeries for pitchers: Penn Murfee of the Mariners and Detroit’s Matthew Boyd.

Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs examines the ups and downs (this is a pun, you’ll see) of Cardinals outfield prospect Jordan Walker’s hitting.

The Reds have a lot going on with their recent wins and cool rookies, but one thing they’re not doing right now is extending manager David Bell.

The latest on Luis Arraez’s odds of hitting .400.

Max Scherzer may be open to waiving his no-trade clause if he wants to leave the disaster-laden Mets for a contender.

Things didn’t go great for Alek Manoah in his first start since the Blue Jays optioned him down to the low minors.

I haven’t watched season two of The Bear yet, but here’s something on Tina and Richie’s character arcs for those who have.

Apparently it’s already time to start your fall garden.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Brian Kohberger, the alleged killer of four University of Idaho students last fall.

People who received settlements from SmileDirect Club are no longer bound by the NDAs that were allegedly part of the settlement process, so I am curious to hear about people’s bad experiences with the at-home orthodontic company.

A small number of lucky people will get to stay in a Barbie Malibu Dream House Airbnb as part of the unhinged and wonderful marketing push for next month’s Barbie movie.

SOTD: actually a set of songs! MUNA did a Tiny Desk Concert!