ICYMI, Dan Szymborski released his 2023 ZiPS projections for the Royals. They aren’t exactly rosy:
So, where do the Royals stand? Likely fighting it out at the bottom of the AL Central. This is a transitional time with a new owner who moved on from longtime executive Dayton Moore this winter. Is the new régime a continuation of the old one’s retro-mediocre management style? A placeholder for something better? A group that intends to modernize how the team is run? Nobody knows yet — another question the Royals need to answer urgently. The team’s current plan of being good a couple of times every two decades and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle in the playoffs is not my personal favorite management style.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown continues his roster projections with the pitching staff:
This is uninspiring, and even if Brian Sweeney is able to get more out of Lynch and Bubic, it’s uninspiring, but that’s sort of what you get with a couple of veteran retreads. This is also a group that I feel very uneasy projecting anyone but Singer and Lyles to be a part of moving forward. I think Lynch will be a starter for this club in 2023, but Bubic and Yarbrough are both guys who are probably not even quite 50/50, but I put their chances higher than some of the other guys.
Those other candidates include Max Castillo, Jonathan Heasley, Brad Keller, Jackson Kowar and Angel Zerpa. I guess Carlos Hernandez too, but I think the team really liked what they saw from Hernandez out of the bullpen and believe he’s a tweak or two away from being dominant. Of course, it was a different coaching staff, so maybe Matt Quatraro, Sweeney and Zach Bove see it differently. I could see a world where Heasley clicks with a new pitching coach and uses his fastball up in the zone and his breaking stuff works and he’s exciting as a starter. And I can see a world where a new staff gets the results out of Kowar that it seems like he should be getting already. So maybe they slide in for two of Bubic, Lynch and Yarbrough if things work out, but I’ll stick with this for now.
Jordan Foote has thoughts on the Matt Beaty signing:
At the plate, Beaty doesn’t do a ton particularly well and boasts a mixed profile. He doesn’t walk much but also doesn’t strike out a ton, and his power has been a relative non-factor at the plate since his rookie season. With that said, he has a respectable contact-oriented approach and owns a career .736 OPS against right-handed pitchers. That makes him a potentially valuable lefty bench bat.
Defensively, Beaty brings some positional versatility to the table. He has over 400 MLB innings under his belt at first base and left field, as well as 153.2 frames in right field. The Dodgers experimented with him at third base in 2019 and 2021, although it didn’t go as planned. Beaty’s profile may say that he’s an all-corners defender, but he’s a true first baseman and outfielder at his core. Even then, he’s graded out as a negative or neutral contributor throughout his career.
Also at Inside the Royals, Trey Donovan thinks the Royals could target Joe Ross:
Another reason to keep an eye on him is his through-the-order splits as a starter in his career (of note: he was not a good reliever). His opposing slash line is .219/.280/.305 with an OPS of .585, which is really good. Add in his 3.6 K:BB ratio and a staggeringly low wOBA of .259, and you see that he is at his best early in his starts.
The second time through the order gets a little messy for Ross. He gives up more home runs and hits, and batters get on base more often (.340 OBP). This isn’t the end of the world, though, as his ERA (4.25) is in line with the average middle or back-end of the rotation pitcher. He still gets almost a strikeout per innings and doesn’t walk too many batters, but he gives up more contact.
Wouldn’t it be fun if this team shopped above the bargain bin of free agents?
The Twins make $40M/year off their local TV deal, a bit less than what the Royals make. Forbes has their annual revenues at $268M, slightly more than the Royals at $263M. https://t.co/pF5UVFSrc8 https://t.co/OWoOcKfC9M— Max Rieper (@maxrieper) January 11, 2023
The Carlos Correa signing is official, finally closing the book on one of the weirdest sagas in free agent history.
I usually don’t put this many tweets in my rumblings but Grant Brisbee is on a heater lately:
Correa comes up to bat for the Twins on opening day. He calls time and rips off his uniform to reveal a Royals uniform underneath. The Kauffman Stadium crowd goes nuts. https://t.co/Qk8vyFVPJG— Grant Brisbee (@GrantBrisbee) January 10, 2023
An Woo-jin, perhaps the best pitcher in Korea, will not participate in the WBC due to his history of bullying.
The Miami Heat set an NBA record by going a perfect 40-40 on free throw attempts in Tuesday’s win.
A USMNT scandal years in the making reveals long-standing problems under the surface.
This week’s rental opportunity is a furnished hallway that somehow costs over $3200 per month.
Police in the UK will begin serving notices to people using pirated online streaming services. I’ve been waiting over a decade for the internet police to come knocking, and my time may be soon.
An interview with Pedro Pascal, star of The Mandalorian and the upcoming HBO series The Last of Us. The latter is set to premier this Sunday.
Your song of the day is Fade Into Darkness by Avicii.