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Weekend Rumblings - News for September 2, 2023

Everyone is talking about Cole Ragans.

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Tampa Bay Rays v Kansas City Royals - Game One Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Eno Sarris of The Athletic has a terrific deep dive into the improvement Cole Ragans has made.

“My first outing with Kansas City (in Triple-A Omaha), I gave up eight hits and six were to lefties,” said Ragans. “I said, ‘Oh my gosh.’ Zombro sent my xwOBA against lefties and it was ridiculous. In my head, I was like, ‘I need something that has a little more movement to get swing-and-miss off of lefties.’ A gyro slider, basically a three horizontal, three vertical, basically something to miss barrels with. With the cutter, they were micro-adjusting their barrel and killing it, shooting it the other way. I wanted something somewhat hard.”

So he picked it up his next start, and it was an immediate hit.

Anne Rogers talks to Royals Assistant GM Dr. Daniel Mack about the revamped analytics department.

Mack: I definitely think there’s a feeling that when a player asks a question about their data, it’ll be met with, ‘If we can’t get it for you right now, we will get it for you very quickly.’ That’s allowed more guys to feel comfortable asking for that information throughout the year. Whether or not they want it all the time is a different story, and that’s player-to-player, but it’s increased quite a bit. Their access to information has also increased. Now, we’ve got to make sure it’s consistent throughout our entire organization. Players up here have access to a wide variety of systems to get to their data and are encouraged to see it and understand it.

The Royals also made a flurry of moves yesterday when rosters expanded, including sending Brady Singer to the paternity list.

“Coming off the off-day yesterday, everyone will be available out of the bullpen,” manager Matt Quatraro said. “With Brady going on the paternity list, we thought it was best to go day by day with having 15 [hitters]. We’ll see how it goes today with who we need to use. In having [Dairon] Blanco, Samad [Taylor], [Nick] Loftin, all those guys here, we have a lot of different ways to match up late in the game.”

David Lesky considers trading Brady Singer this winter.

Can they get back a top-six prospect for him? I think it’s certainly possible. If the Dodgers offered Gavin Stone, Ronan Kopp and Austin Gauthier, I’d keep them on the phone while I called the commissioner’s office to make sure they didn’t have time to change their minds. If the Reds offered up Chase Petty, Lyon Richardson and Leonardo Balcazar, same thing. I don’t know if that’s what Singer can bring back, but with a strong final month, I do think there’s some very real value there and that value can help the Royals a lot more in seasons where they don’t theoretically have to have everything go right. Again, I’m not sure there’s a wrong answer, but there is a case to move him.

Steve Kraske at KCUR discusses the proposed downtown baseball stadium.

Ronald Acuña Jr. got married, hit a grand slam, and became the first player to hit 30 home runs and steal 60 bases in a season.

The Brewers sign veteran third baseman Josh Donaldson to a minor league deal.

The Padres sign Jurickson Profar to a minor league deal.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner calls this season “unacceptable” and will take a deep dive into baseball operations.

What is the trade value for Mets slugger Pete Alonso?

MLB won’t adjust the pitch clock for the post-season.

Wander Franco is facing a third accusation of an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

The MLB storylines to follow in September.

What’s next for Oregon State and Washington State and what’s left of the Pac 12.

How Antonio Brown’s indoor football team went from champions to defunct.

The public phone charger that will hack your phone is an urban legend....probably.

Scientists try to determine the “right” way to cook pasta.

Netflix’s One Piece adaptation gets all the little things right.

Your song of the day is Daryl Hall & John Oates with Out Of Touch.