Anne Rogers projects the Opening Day roster.
The Royals believe Isbel is their best center field option and are counting on power in their corner outfield with Melendez and Renfroe. One major roster battle this spring is that fourth outfielder spot (or fifth, counting Nelson Velázquez below). Drew Waters, who can play all three positions, is an option here and can easily play his way into an Opening Day spot — and even a starting spot. He offers more power potential and a higher ceiling than Blanco, who more fits the role of a pinch-runner and late-game defensive replacement.
It’ll come down to play, and then philosophy: Might the Royals prefer the 25-year-old Waters get everyday at-bats in Triple-A until a spot is open? Blanco, 30, could be better fitted as a bench player who doesn’t play every day.
Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at how the Royals stack up in the Central Division.
I also think the predictions are a little down on a few players, with Michael Wacha being the primary target (as I wrote about in a post yesterday). Thus, I think the Royals will surprise some folks, especially after losing 106 games a season ago.
That said, it’s tough to turn things around in one year, regardless of the front office’s effort. Winning 10 more games than the previous year is tough, so I think the Royals winning 19 more games than the previous year would be a cause for celebration. In fact, in most years, that kind of turnaround would be celebrated by most Royals fans.
Alvin Garcia at Farm to Fountains thinks Will Smith is the choice for closer.
Will Smith boasts an impressive 11-year career, demonstrating a track record of success in the closer role. His extensive experience in high-pressure situations has equipped him with the mental fortitude required to handle the demands of the ninth inning. Smith has accumulated 611.0 innings pitched throughout his career, tallying 719 strikeouts with a solid 3.60 ERA and 1.224 WHIP.
PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT FOR SPRING TRAINING TODAY!!!!
Patrick Tuohey at the Star makes the case against public subsidies for the Royals.
Former Royals reliever Amir Garrett signs a minor league deal with the Giants.
Bo Jackson is awarded $21 million in an extortion case against family members.
The Pirates sign catcher Yasmani Grandal to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
The Padres re-sign Jurickson Profar to a one-year, $1.5 million deal.
The Mets are unlikely to re-sign Pete Alonso before he hits free agency.
Free agent Jake Odorizzi is throwing for clubs and looking for a deal.
Washington signs former All-Star Jesse Winker to a minor league deal.
What would a Kyle Tucker contract extension look like?
How does the Injured List actually work?
A look at the pulled fly ball revolution.
Jen Pawol will be the first female umpire in a MLB spring training game since 2007.
Some Niners players admit they didn’t know the post-season overtime rules.
Indiana State men’s basketball is ranked by the AP for the first time since Larry Bird played there.
Temu knows we’re addicted to cheap stuff.
How much snow will produce a day off from school in different parts of the country?
Your song of the day is Neil Young and Crazy Horse with Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown.