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Weekend Rumblings - News for August 19, 2023

King Cole!

Kansas City Royals v Chicago Cubs Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Cole Ragans turned in another quality start for the Royals on Friday.

“It felt good,” Ragans said. “Me and (Royals catcher) Freddy (Fermin) had to make a few changes throughout the outing with our plan. They kind of adjusted to our plan pretty quick. We had to switch it up for the last couple of innings.”

However, Ragans settled down late. He finished his start with three consecutive strikeouts before turning it over to the Royals bullpen. Ragans threw 106 pitches and generated 20 called strikes and 14 whiffs.

Matt Quatraro marvels at the play of Bobby Witt Jr. after his home run lifts the Royals to victory.

“We’ve seen him doing both sides of that for a while now,” Quatraro said of Witt. “It is impressive, and there aren’t that many guys that can do it. It’s something you can’t take for granted.”

Anne Rogers reports Maikel Garcia is “day-to-day” with left upper body discomfort.

Taylor Clarke talks about some adjustments he made in his time off.

Clarke also met with the Royals pitching staff. They worked on pitch sequencing and the mechanics of his delivery. Clarke said the extra work helped him understand areas where he could improve.

“It was nothing major, just little kinds of tweaks,” Clarke said. “It was more sequencing and where to throw my stuff. Just where it played best and focusing more on that.”

Sam McDowell reacts to Commissioner Rob Manfred’s call for the Royals to build a new stadium to make the team more competitive.

If the league truly believes that is the only path toward competitiveness — and they certainly want you, the prospective voter to believe it — they should first step of this process should require a look inward, not a look toward us.

And wait, did I say catch up? I meant fight to reach the middle of the pack. While Royals chairman and CEO John Sherman says ownership plans to re-invest profits from the district back into the team, how much of an impact can we really expect that to make? The Royals’ payroll falls $74 million short of league average. Not of No. 1 on the list. Shy of league average.

Let’s be clear: This doesn’t close the gap.

David Lesky at Inside the Crown looks at the pitching and where the Royals might seek help.

Given the struggles of this bullpen and the likelihood that next year is another stepping-stone season rather than one where wins and losses are the primary focus, the question becomes who they sign with the idea of flipping. There’s no sense in a multi-year deal for someone like Jordan Hicks or Joe Jimenez, but there are others. Michael Fulmer is, once again, interesting.

I could be off here, but I wonder a bit of Reynaldo Lopez doesn’t get the attention he probably should. Give him a year and $8 million and get something for him at the deadline if he lingers. Maybe Ryne Stanek wants to come home and pitch for an old coach. There’s a big lefty out there named Aroldis Chapman who will be a free agent. I don’t think it’ll happen, but they did it once. He’s pitched so well in both places this year that I doubt he settles for what he got from the Royals this year. I certainly wouldn’t spend any big money on the bullpen just yet, but there are possibilities.

Robert Cronkelton at the Star writes about how there is still one pending labor issue between the Royals and stadium workers.

John McMillon recalls what a big star fellow Red Raider Patrick Mahomes was in college.

The Dodgers sign second baseman Kolten Wong.

The Angels call up 2023 first-round pick Nolan Schnauel.

Peter Alonso tosses Masyn Winn’s first MLB hit into the stands by accident.

MLB has to alter schedules in southern California due to Hurricane Hilary.

The Red Sox shut down shortstop Adalberto Mondesi after a setback in his rehab.

How the Phillies overhauled their bullpen.

Who are the most disappointing players in baseball this year?

Australia has a two-way female superstar in Genevieve Beacom.

Can Kansas City finally turn Brush Creek into an amenity?

The KC Current win again and set a new attendance record.

Elon Musk says Twitter/X will no longer feature a block function.

Buyers of Bored Ape NFTs sue after it turns out they weren’t a good investment.

Amazon scraps season 2 of the TV adaptation of A League of Their Own.

Your song of the day is Led Zeppelin with Fool in the Rain.