Anne Rogers looks at some potential candidates for Royals manager:
1. Pedro Grifol, Royals bench coach
Grifol interviewed for the Marlins’ managerial opening on Tuesday, a source confirmed to MLB.com, and he’s also a candidate for the White Sox job. The 52-year-old has been a candidate for multiple managerial opportunities in the past. He’s spent the past three seasons as the Royals’ bench coach after holding a variety of titles on the Major League staff, including quality control/catching coach, hitting coach and special assignment coach.
Would Grifol prefer heading home to manage a young Miami club or remain with Kansas City, an organization he’s been with for 10 years? He’s especially close with catcher Salvador Perez and the Latino players in the Royals’ system. Kansas City is looking for someone who is analytically driven and can communicate with players to build trust; Grifol certainly fits that bill.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown investigates arbitration estimates for potential offseason trade targets:
Dinelson Lamet ($4.8 million)
It feels like a million years ago that Lamet finished fourth in the Cy Young vote, but it was in fact just 2020. That was a short season, but he was dominant, posting a 2.09 ERA in 12 starts with tons of strikeouts and limited walks. He hasn’t been able to replicate that and was part of the big Josh Hader trade, heading to Milwaukee in that deal. The Brewers then promptly DFA’d him and the Rockies signed him to work out of their bullpen. He struck out 29 in 20 relief innings and gave up just 14 hits, showing that he could be a quality reliever, at least for a short stint.
At $4.8 million, he’s a non-tender candidate, so maybe it’s not the best idea to trade for him but it also gives the Royals a crack at him and with their payroll so low right now, there’s no real need to worry about overpaying a bit for one year of a reliever before he’s eligible for free agency. I’d rather have him toiling in the bullpen for around $5 million than Brad Keller, for example, at his estimated $7 million. He does walk some hitters, but the stuff is electric. His slider got a 52.3 percent whiff rate in 2022, which was up from 2021’s 42.5 percent, which is still outstanding. His four-seamer gets hit hard and his command can be inconsistent, but maybe with the right coaching staff in place (TBD, obviously), they can get the most out of him. I think he’s worth a flyer for a low-level prospect more than signing some reclamation project.
Jordan Foote at Inside the Royals makes the case for players to non-tender this offseason:
1. Ryan O’Hearn
Estimated salary in 2023: $1.5M
It seems ages ago that Ryan O’Hearn burst onto the scene as a rookie and clobbered 12 home runs in just 44 games as a rookie while posting a 154 OPS+ and looking like a legitimate force in the Royals’ lineup. Since then, in 298 games and 901 plate appearances, he’s slashed just .211/.282/.351 with 26 home runs. O’Hearn was brought back to Kansas City for another year last offseason and while he did have some good moments on a pinch-hit basis, his 72 wRC+ wasn’t nearly inspiring enough to convince anyone outside the organization that he’s worthy of keeping around in 2023.
O’Hearn’s time in Kansas City is likely up, as his power at the plate is greatly overestimated and his “defensive versatility” is a moot point. Although the 29-year-old can play some right field in addition to serving as either a first baseman or designated hitter, he isn’t a plus defender and his anemic bat makes him a negative overall contributor even on a bad team. O’Hearn is too good for Triple-A pitching but not good enough to have consistent success against big leaguers and because of that, he makes a ton of sense as a non-tender candidate this offseason. Time will tell if the Royals follow through with that soon.
Let’s check in on Royals prospects in the Arizona Fall League:
- Christian Chamberlain has been outstanding in his three relief appearances, totaling 4.1 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, three walks, and just one hit allowed.
- Jonah Dipoto has pitched two innings with one run allowed on three hits and a walk. He has struck out one batter.
- T.J. Sikkema has pitched the second most innings on the team, totaling seven innings across two starts. He has allowed three runs on four hits and five walks, striking out three.
- Walter Pennington has been solid as a single-inning reliever, tossing three shutout innings. He has struck out two and walked one while allowing two hits.
- Samad Taylor has gone 3-18 with a triple, five punchouts, and one walk. He has also swiped two bags without being caught.
- John Rave has impressed at the dish, going 4-12 with a triple and a homer, as well as more walks (four) than strikeouts (three). He’s attempted one stolen base and it was a successful theft.
- Tyler Gentry has gone just 3-20 so far, but each of those hits has gone for extra bases (two homers and a double). He has only struck out twice and walked once.
Atlanta evened their series with Philadelphia behind a strong start from Kyle Wright.
San Diego evened their series with Los Angeles thanks to a heroic effort from the Padres bullpen.
Admiring some of the strongest throwing arms in baseball, featuring Nate Eaton.
Adley Rutschman and Bobby Witt Jr. are absent, but nonetheless these playoffs represent a showcase for an all-time rookie class.
Cleveland needs to make a run so Myles Straw can continue providing us with hot-mic moments.
The Braves are providing a blueprint for building a long-term contender. ($)
Players and coaches share what makes Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen so difficult to defend ahead of their big matchup this weekend.
Davante Adams has been charged with misdemeanor assault after shoving someone following Monday night’s loss.
Colorado remains at the top (bottom?) of this week’s College Football Bottom 10.
This week’s rental opportunity is a 259 square foot flat without an oven that costs over three grand per month.
Marvel is pausing production of Blade, which was originally scheduled for a November 2023 release.
The first annual Ozark Mountain Bigfoot Conference was held last Saturday.
Yuengling is spreading; the popular east coast lager will soon be available in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. I’ve never understood the hype with Yuengling, it’s an unremarkable light lager.
Einstein has been proven right once again as precession was observed in a pair of black holes.
Your song of the day is Can’t Catch Me by Avicii