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Royals Rumblings - News for August 14, 2023

Jordan Lyles can feast on innings.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals jumped all over Adam Wainright on Friday for eight runs, forcing him to leave in the second inning.

“It was pretty explosive,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said of the offensive outburst. “They had a good plan. You know Wainwright was going to have the good curveball. I think they had a good plan hunting it at times. They made him pay for some mistakes he made. That was nice for us to see and mount up some runs early.”

Nelson Velázquez homered in his first at-bat with the Royals.

“Man, this field is huge,” Velázquez said. “I mean, this is about 387. I mean, I remember when I was at Wrigley Field and it was just 365, and now it’s 22 feet farther than that was. It was like, man, I have to still hit it hard, because if not, they’re not going anywhere.”

Then he hit his second home run.

“I was staying with my plan and looking for the fastball,” Velázquez said. “No matter if it was in the middle, outside or in, I was staying on that and react to everything else.”

Cole Ragans had his first loss with the Royals.

“He was battling out there to keep us in the game,” manager Matt Quatraro said. “Walked a couple more than he would have ideally liked, but his stuff was really good. I don’t think his stuff was down at all. The misses didn’t look bad, either, they were just all around the zone, essentially.”

The Royals drew a big crowd on Saturday.

“I mean, that was electric,” Royals starting pitcher Cole Ragans said afterward, despite taking the loss in his five-inning outing. “I don’t know how many people were here, but it’s probably, I mean, that might be the most I’ve ever thrown in front of.”

Lindsey Adler at the Wall Street Journal writes about the value of innings-eater Jordan Lyles.

It isn’t the most glamorous experience a pitcher can have on a major-league baseball field, but it is a virtuous effort in the dog days of a long regular season.

“As you run through some stretches in this game when your bullpen gets taxed, we can very regularly count on him to eat up some innings,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “Sometimes I think that has a negative connotation—‘innings eater’—but when he goes out there, he’s kept us in pretty much every game he’s been in.”

Jaylon Thompson writes about how Matt Quatraro has handled the Royals’ clubhouse.

Quatraro argued a called strike against the Philadelphia Phillies and check-swing call against the Boston Red Sox. Royals players appreciated Quatraro coming to their defense.

“He really creates a good environment for us to be ourselves and go about our business the way we need to,” Royals infielder Michael Massey said. “He is not always on you, but he is fighting for us on the field. I feel like that goes a long way with the guys in the clubhouse.”

The Royals, who recently strung together a seven-game win streak, have taken on the identity of their manager. The clubhouse is relaxed and each player has open lines of communication to the staff.

MLB Pipeline writes about their updated prospect lists.

Kansas City may have saved space in its bonus pool by taking Blake Mitchell eighth overall, but the 19-year-old has a chance to impact the game on both sides with lots of hard contact and a cannon arm. He’s as close as the system comes to a Top 100 prospect now that 2022 first-rounder Gavin Cross has dropped out due to issues with contact in his first full season. In better news, a new pitching regime has helped arms like Ben Kudrna, Chandler Champlain and Mason Barnett take positive steps forward, but with Alec Marsh set to graduate soon, it’s going to take some patience before the system brings a high-quality arm to the Major League rotation.

Nick Wittgren opens up to David Laurila about his missing tooth.

“Eighth grade football and I wasn’t wearing a mouthguard under my face mask,” explained Wittgren. “I got my tooth pushed up. It actually fused into my jawbone. The full tooth is still there, but all you see is the little nub.”

Maikel Garcia is still dealing with upper body soreness.

Nicky Lopez had a big game in his first start with the Braves.

The Yankees blow a big ninth inning lead to lose to the Marlins.

The Diamondbacks designate catcher Carson Kelly for assignment.

MLB is investigating social media posts implicating Wander Franco with an underage girl.

How pitchers have fared by adding a cutter this year.

The Braves are on pace to be one of the best home run-hitting teams in history.

Justin Steele is having a Cy Young-caliber season with a deceptive fastball.

Should MLB move the trade deadline to mid-August?

Meet the women representing Team USA at the Women’s Baseball World Cup.

Tom Carroll is the only player to earn a World Series ring and the CIA Medal of Merit.

A history of Jewish ballplayers in baseball.

The Johnny Manziel documentary has some wild revelations.

Chelsea and Brighton agree to a British transfer record fee for midfielder Moisés Caicedo.

The video call revolution is dead.

How a U.S. lab created energy with fusion—again.

Mark Zuckerberg accuses Elon Musk of not being serious about their proposed cage fight.

Your song of the day is The B-52’s with Rock Lobster.