Brad Keller worked out with Driveline this offseason and has added a curveball to his arsenal:
To help the curveball, Keller added sweeping action to his slider to have two different movements on his two breaking pitches. His slider is still his best secondary pitch as a swing-and-miss option. The curveball is useful to throw hitters’ timing off — in a live session last week, Vinnie Pasquantino grounded out to second, thrown off balance by the spin. Over time, Keller hopes the curveball can evolve to a swing-and-miss pitch.
“I can really see some guys hesitate before they swing,” Keller said. “That’s ultimately the main reason why we did it. And having another pitch I can go to is going to be big for me.”
Anne Rogers has some other notes on Spring Training, including pitchers that will get live game action this weekend:
The Royals have laid out the first few days of their pitching plans for the Cactus League schedule starting this weekend.
Lefty Daniel Lynch will start Friday’s opener against the Rangers at Surprise Stadium. He’ll likely be followed by relievers Jose Cuas and Josh Staumont, among others.
Right-hander Mike Mayers, a non-roster invitee this spring after signing a Minor League deal with the Royals, will start Saturday’s game for visiting Kansas City, also against the Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Carlos Hernández, who will be leaving soon for the World Baseball Classic, will be one pitcher to get innings behind Mayers.
David Lesky at Inside the Crown answers mailbag questions:
Well I mentioned above why people may not care so much. Look, I get it. They won 65 games, signed a non-tendered pitcher and a journeyman and for the longest time, that was it. That’s not entirely true. They also fired a manager very few people liked and a pitching coach even fewer liked. But those aren’t the types of moves that generate buzz, they’re the moves that matter in the long-run. My thought is that the Chiefs were a big culprit for people not caring. I can say, anecdotally, that when I wrote on Monday after a Chiefs game, fewer people visited this very newsletter. So I stopped writing on Mondays after Chiefs games.
But it’s more than just the Chiefs. Again, 65 wins last year played a big role, but even the year before, they won 74. And the year before that, they played at a 70-win pace. And they lost 100+ the two years prior to that. It’s been a long time since the Royals were even relevant on July 4th. And not to discount what this team did from 2013-2017 and specifically 2014 and 2015, but this team has been basically irrelevant for 23 of the last 28 seasons. That’s a hard stigma to overcome.
Keith Law expects Drew Waters to play a significant role for Kansas City this season ($):
Waters has the lead in the competition for the Royals’ center field job, as they acquired him from Atlanta before the trade deadline last year to fill that particular void on their depth chart. His cup of coffee in September showed his power potential and his lack of an approach, with 40 strikeouts in those 109 plate appearances (37 percent) and a whiff rate of nearly 50 percent on breaking stuff. He’s a plus runner who should be worth at least plus-5 runs in center, and if any team can help him develop a real plan at the plate, it’s Kansas City. I’m still expecting a low OBP this year, probably .300 at the most, but maybe 15-20 homers and that plus defense in center. Update: Waters suffered a left oblique strain on Tuesday and is expected to be out for six weeks.
Spring Training games start tomorrow! You can tune in on 610 AM in Kansas City, while Saturday’s game will be televised.
I’m glad the Royals only play one home series after this:
JUST ANNOUNCED! Guns N’ Roses are heading out on tour this summer! Tickets go on sale Friday @ 10 a.m. CT.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) February 21, 2023
The team will also be hosting a career fair this weekend.
Probably shouldn’t read too much into this, but Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown was rocking a Royals hat in an appearance on the Raw Room podcast.
Fangraphs has their preseason Top 100 prospects list, which features zero (0) Royals.
Also at Fangraphs, Michael Baumann writes about former Air Force and current LSU ace Paul Skenes. I was curious how a guy could transfer out of a service academy and now I know.
The college baseball top 25 hasn’t changed much through the first week of games.
Kiley McDaniel has his preseason Top 100 prospects list for this summer’s draft ($), with Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford and LSU outfielder Dylan Crews leading the way.
Netflix’s Full Swing docuseries provides a unique look at the lives of professional golfers.
While Australia’s men’s cricket team is getting demolished in India, their women are playing in the T20 World Cup semifinals against India. This match will start in Cape Town at the same time that these Rumblings are published.
Kansas City Brew Festival is this Saturday at Union Station, featuring over 120 beers from 45 breweries.
If you need something else to do this weekend in Kansas City, there’s just one week left of free admission to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
The Islas Marias penal colony, located on a small island about 60 miles off the coast of Mexico, has been converted into a resort.
Hordes of lunatics are determined to personally piss me off by protesting 15-minute cities.
Your song of the day is Pompeii - Audien Remix by Bastille.