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Weekend Rumblings - News for September 9, 2023

Royals hitters are making contact.

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MLB: SEP 06 White Sox at Royals Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Anne Rogers writes how Cole Ragans learned from Cole Hamels.

The reason for the similarities is partly by design. When Ragans, 25, was a junior at North Florida Christian High School, he added an overhead windup to help with his timing. He used Google to help find other lefties who did the same.

Hamels, who by then had logged nearly 10 years in the big leagues and won the 2008 World Series with the Phillies, was one of the top search results.

“I was like, ‘Well, he does it, and he’s doing pretty well,’” Ragans said. “It kind of grew from there. Studied his mechanics, how he was doing it, what his movements were, and then after that, I just started watching highlights.”

David Lesky at Inside the Crown notes that Royals hitters are cutting down on their whiffs.

Okay, so obviously a couple of these stand out as irrelevant. Pratto’s strikeout rate is still absurdly high and Fermin’s has technically dropped, but 0.1 percent is essentially a rounding error. But even so, that’s 10 players with decreased strikeout rates and some are pretty dramatic. The biggest drop percentage-wise is Massey, who has almost cut his strikeout rate in half. But Witt has seen a big drop, Blanco has seen a massive drop while looking like there’s a role for him on a winning club. Garcia, Isbel, Melendez and even Perez have seen sizable drops.

Contact isn’t a guarantee of future success, but putting the ball in play with good quality contact is generally a good thing.

Salvador Perez is the Royals’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.

The Rockies sign pitcher Germán Márquez to a two-year extension.

The Dodgers will be without Walker Buehler for the rest of the season.

Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan may miss all of next year after Tommy John surgery.

Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias is placed on administrative leave pending an investigation on domestic assault charges.

The Nationals respond to allegations they canceled Stephen Strasburg’s retirement ceremony over negotiating his contract settlement.

What has led to the Rangers’ collapse?

Adalberto Mondesi won’t play this year, but he did impress a teammate with Boston.

Triple-A has tweaked its electronic strike zone.

Who are the baserunners that sprint speed overlooks?

Twenty-five years after Mark McGwire broke the home run record, fans are ambivalent about his legacy.

How MLB handles threats to players on social media.

Team Germany knocks out the USA in the FIBA World Cup semifinals.

For some reason, the Dallas Cowboys have created an interactive AI version of owner Jerry Jones.

How to talk to your kids about AI.

Japan had a successful rocket launch and hopes to attempt a moon landing in February.

The worst movie sequels of all-time.

Your song of the day is the Beach Boys with God Only Knows.