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Weekend Rumblings - News for August 26, 2023

Maikel Garcia has been a pleasant surprise.

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Seattle Mariners v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

David Lesky at Inside the Crown writes about the positives and negatives from the second half.

So it’s pretty clear what a top priority needs to be for this club this winter. They need to fix the bullpen. So I’ll start there. Not everyone has been bad in the second half. Taylor Clarke has actually been pretty solid with a 4.09 ERA, but a 2.63 FIP. He’s under team control for two more years and he was a guy who teams were really interested in before imploding. If Clarke is one of your three best relievers, you’re in trouble. If he’s a middle reliever, you can have a good bullpen with him there. John McMillon has looked great in three innings of work. It’s only three innings, but it’s exactly what he did in the minors too. and, well, that’s about it. I think guys like Carlos Hernandez and Austin Cox are probably keepers in the bullpen, but neither has had a good second half.

Jared Perkins at Just Baseball writes about Maikel Garcia’s breakout.

The biggest knock on Garcia when he was a prospect was that no one thought he would hit for enough power due to his size. But even when he was small, he could find barrel with ease and spray the ball from line to line. Since then, he’s grown a ton, and that ability hasn’t gone away. He still features more gap power than over-the-fence power, but now can possibly hit 10-15 HRs per year. writes about the best 20/20 prospect in each organization, with Gavin Cross coming up for the Royals.

Kansas City has only three Minor Leaguers with at least 15 homers, and those three have combined for 10 total steals. Even in a difficult first full season, Cross was at least in shouting distance with 12 homers and 23 steals between High-A Quad Cities and Double-A Northwest Arkansas, but he was placed on the IL due to illness on Aug. 15. Should he return healthy, there’s an outside chance he gets hot in the hitter-friendly Texas League (which doesn’t end until Sept. 17). Otherwise, the Royals will lose out on a 20-20 player after Bobby Witt Jr. and Brewer Hicklen hit the marks in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Anne Rogers gives injury updates for Jake Brentz - who will miss the entire season, and Nick Pratto.

Pratto’s setback is more optimistic in the sense that the Royals expect it to only pause his rehab for a short time. The first baseman has been on the IL since July 27 with a left groin strain and left hip impingement syndrome, but he started his rehab assignment on Aug. 17. Pratto will be reevaluated on Monday in Kansas City to determine the next steps.

“What we’re hoping is just a minor setback,” manager Matt Quatraro said. “He’s going to be recalled from his rehab, get evaluated Monday in Kansas City, and hopefully, it’s just an interruption of his rehab.”

She also writes about all the MLB players that have married into Bobby Witt Jr.’s family.

Vahe Gregorian writes about the artist painting Ned Yost’s portrait.

Garth Brooks will have a press conference at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday.

There was a shooting at the White Sox game last night.

Mookie Betts returns to Boston as an opposing player and denies reports he turned down $300 million from them.

With Shohei Ohtani out, does that open up the American League MVP race?

Adam Wainwright’s pursuit of 200 career wins is hurting the Cardinals.

Former Orioles outfielder Adam Jones officially retires.

Padres pitcher Robert Suárez is suspended 10 games for using a foreign substance.

Why claims the A’s have lost $40 million are false.

Jayson Stark at The Athletic writes that players aren’t ready for complete robo-umps.

Why the Nationals don’t use their bullpen cart.

Red Sox announcer Dave O’Brien has an odd way of scoring innings where a team bats around.

Newspapers are using AI to cover high school football games with terrible results.

ESPN could charge $35 per month for a direct-to-consumer streaming option.

Overproduction has caused a glut of Nike sneakers.

Computer/brain interfaces could help those that have lost the ability to speak, but informed consent presents some ethical issues.

The 50 worst decisions in TV network history.

Your song of the day is Whitesnake with Still of the Night.