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Royals Rumblings - News for April 13, 2023

Is the offense turning the corner?

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Anne Rogers on Tuesday night’s walk-off loss:

Yet the lineup, which features several young hitters, is slashing .163/.217/.265 with runners in scoring position. And they’re 3-9 this season, on the verge of getting swept in Arlington with Wednesday’s series finale on deck.

“Runners in scoring position at-bats are so volatile,” Quatraro said. “For veteran hitters, too. You always remember the ones that don’t go your way. But there are plenty of them that do come through.

“… You can’t expedite experience. It just has to take time. You can go look at veteran hitters, and they’re going to go through ups and downs of not getting that guy in. Every team feels that way. It just goes in streaks.”

David Lesky at Inside the Crown on that same loss:

The record, for the sixth straight year, doesn’t matter. It didn’t matter at first pitch on March 30 and it doesn’t matter today. This season is about what the last few seasons should have been about, but they were woefully mismanaged. And that’s fine. At least with me. As long as they take what they ended up learning in 2023 and put that toward 2024’s record actually mattering. That’s another story for another day, but when you’re six years removed from the last time you competed and you’ve reset things like they have, year seven has to at least be about making progress in the standings. Again, another day. I honestly don’t quite know where to start with this one.

On one hand, a starting pitching matchup of Jordan Lyles vs. Jacob deGrom is such a mismatch that it almost feels good to have even had a shot to win. On the other hand, the Royals wasted some opportunities that they’ve wasted all season long (and likely won’t waste all season long moving forward, for what it’s worth) that put them in the spot they were in.

Now let's wash that out of our mouths and talk about last night's win and Bobby Witt Jr.'s homecoming:

Witt finished the series 6-for-13 with two RBIs, three runs scored, a walk, four stolen bases and a jaw-dropping catch in Tuesday’s loss. In his last at-bat on Tuesday, Witt sliced a ball foul -- right to his dad in a suite. The first foul ball Bobby Witt Sr. had ever caught as a fan came from his son, and Witt Jr. dated and signed it: “Hit by Bobby Witt Jr. Caught by Bobby Witt Sr.”

“Just a really cool thing,” Witt Jr. said. “... Last year, I tried to do so much with family here, friends here. I needed to step back and realize where I was at. Now, I just take that mindset into each and every day. I know sometimes I get ahead of myself. But I have to take a step back. The highest level of baseball, a great team around me, I’m lucky. So we’ve got to keep pushing forward.”

The Royals have been huge on FanGraphs lately as Davy Andrews writes about Nate Eaton’s pitching appearance.

Jacob Milham at Kings of Kauffman suggests some Royals players that should be trade bait.

Wander Franco is demonstrating why he was the #1 overall prospect in baseball not long ago.

Team Canada legend Edouard Julien made his MLB debut for Minnesota yesterday. He managed to draw a walk, but is still waiting on his first hit.

With Tampa Bay starter Zach Eflin hitting the IL, top pitching prospect Taj Bradley made his MLB debut yesterday. Bradley struck out eight in five innings as the Rays won their 12th straight game to open the season.

Other notable players hitting the IL include Boston outfielder Adam Duvall, Atlanta starter Ian Anderson, Oakland outfielder Seth Brown, Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff, Detroit starter Matt Manning, and Colorado starter Germán Márquez.

With game times reduced, some teams are extending alcohol sales through the eighth inning. The Royals are one of these teams.

A Salt Lake City group is planning to pursue an MLB expansion franchise. It makes some sense economically, but SLC has an elevation of 4327 feet above sea level. We’ve already seen one expansion franchise struggle mightily to figure out how to overcome their environmental challenges.

Traditional college baseball powers USC and Arizona State, each in multiyear slumps as programs, make their long-awaited return to the Top 25. USC has won more titles than any school in the nation but has only reached the NCAA Tournament once in the past 16 years. ASU has had more alumni reach MLB than any other school, but they haven’t reached Omaha since 2010.

Kansas State Athletic Director Gene Taylor had a Q&A on Tuesday that hinted at some considerable upcoming changes to Bramlage Coliseum.

UFC returns to Kansas City for the first time since 2019 this Saturday, headlined by Max Holloway vs. Arnold Allen.

The final round of this year’s Masters drew over 12 million viewers, the most viewed golf telecast since the 2018 Masters.

Rinku Singh pulled off one of the wildest finishes in T20 cricket history earlier this week in the IPL.

NASA has discovered an object shining 10 million times brighter than the sun, breaking the laws of physics as we understand them.

A particularly wet few months has produced a “superbloom” of wildflowers all across California.

An autonomous AI project called Auto-GPT was tasked to “destroy humanity,” “establish global dominance,” and “attain immortality.” As I said about AI a few weeks ago, it’s still not quite Skynet.

A brawl involving over 100 teenagers broke out at Worlds of Fun last Saturday. I’m very curious what led to this, but they have now permanently ruined the amusement park for teens.

Your song of the day is Night Drive by Ari Lennox.