Rustin Dodd at The Athletic has four burning questions for the Royals entering Spring Training ($):
“Last year I think we were trying to be too fine early,” Picollo said.
The team’s research and development supported the findings. So the Royals will put a stronger emphasis on giving pitchers a more manageable target early in the count. The Royals finished 2022 with the second-most walks in the major leagues, so any marginal improvement would be welcome.
Club officials also believe the return of Zack Greinke and the signings of Jordan Lyles and Ryan Yarbrough could take some stress off the young pitchers. For now, the rotation is a little fluid, though Greinke, Lyles and Singer appear to be locks. Lynch would also appear in good shape to make the rotation, while the fifth spot could come down to a list that includes Bubic, Kowar, Yarbrough, Jonathan Heasley, Brad Keller, Angel Zerpa and others.
David Schoenfield at ESPN isn’t so high on Kansas City’s offseason ($):
There’s a new general manager in J.J. Picollo, but this offseason merely resembled the unproductive ones under Dayton Moore in recent years (Picollo was his top lieutenant). Lyles, Yarbrough, Chapman and Greinke combined for a 4.21 ERA and 3.4 bWAR in 2022 — and Greinke was responsible for 2.6 of that WAR even though he averaged just 4.8 strikeouts per nine innings. For that group, they’ll be paying $23.75 million — more than the Mariners are paying Luis Castillo or the Phillies are paying Zack Wheeler. Look, the Royals are just treading water: Their hope is for Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino and MJ Melendez to turn into big stars and then figure out how to build around that trio.
Jay Jaffe investigates upcoming rule changes through a statistical lens.
Also at Fangraphs, Ben Clemens makes the case that Gerrit Cole has become underrated.
Frankie Montas had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder, potentially shelving him for the 2023 season.
Colorado extended manager and Royals legend Bud Black through 2024.
Division I College Baseball starts tomorrow! Some reading to get you up to speed:
- Ten teams to watch and ten players to watch from the AP.
- A preview of opening weekend courtesy of TCU’s SI site.
- D1Baseball released their projected field of 64.
- A couple excellent pieces from The Athletic ($): Mitch Light interviews coaches about the best players and teams to watch and how NIL and the transfer portal are affecting the sport.
The Chiefs were in the wrong formation on Skyy Moore’s Super Bowl touchdown.
This is the final rental opportunity of the week article. Now I need to find a new bit.
Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard seems to be falling apart.
A 60-year-old former real estate agent assembled a crew to hunt invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades.
Barney the Dinosaur is being rebooted and there sure are a lot of takes about his new look.
Your song of the day is Homesick by MitiS ft. SOUNDR.