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Royals Rumblings - News for August 31, 2023

The last day of meteorological summer

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MLB: AUG 23 Royals at Athletics Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Today in Cole Ragans news:

Cole Ragans has cemented a spot in the 2024 rotation:

It’s obvious that the Royals need to upgrade their bullpen this offseason. And adding to the rotation should be a priority, too. But Ragans has turned into a key piece they want to count on in 2024.

“I think he’s definitely established himself as somebody who’s going to be in our rotation,” general manager J.J. Picollo said Monday. “We still have a month left to play, but based off what we’ve seen — the power, the ease in which he does it, the ability to throw multiple pitches for strikes — he’s earned a spot. That’s one less rotation spot we’re going to worry about. Keep the competition going between many of the others, and we’re still going to look to get better. But Cole’s going to be a good piece for us.”

On Tuesday, Ragans dominated the Pirates with his fastball and kept them guessing with his changeup and slider. He needed 47 pitches through his first four innings and didn’t give up a hit until the fifth, but his command wavered in the back half of the game.

David Lesky is on the same page:

I don’t know if we can expect to see Ragans continue to look this good, but I also don’t know why we can’t expect him at this point to continue to be a legitimate front-half of the rotation big league starter. The Pirates aren’t a great offensive team, but they do have some weapons and I don’t think Ragans had his best command at times. We saw him lose it a little in the middle innings and have to figure out which pitch he could go to in a time of command crisis. And he did. That’s the beauty of having five pitches he feels he can go to.

Last night, for example, I don’t think he had a great feel for his curve. He’d used it to get plenty of called strikes in his last few starts, but he only threw eight of them against the Pirates and just two landed in the zone. But it didn’t hurt him because he both seems to have a great understanding of how to pitch, but also because he was able to utilize the other pitches in his arsenal. A pitcher with five pitches is rarely going to throw each one 20 percent of the time, but having options when one or even two aren’t working is very helpful.

Allow Craig Brown to pile on the praise:

The table tells a helluva story. Ragans isn’t walking guys and is keeping the ball in the yard, which is limiting any damage. He’s throwing smoke and outside of Freddy Peralta in Milwaukee, is striking batters out more than anyone. It’s just a dominant performance across the board.

If Ragans isn’t your American League Pitcher of the Month for August, I will demand a full investigation.

Mark DeRosa and Ron Darling break him down on MLB Network.

Nicky Lopez’s hot start in Atlanta is a bit misleading, writes Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman.

Garth Brooks was at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday to announce some sort of music-sports hybrid radio station.

Jackson County leaders seem to be growing frustrated with the Royals about their processes regarding a new ballpark.

Alex Cobb lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth on Tuesday.

What will it take to beat the Braves come October?

What’s up with the Angels waiving half their roster?

The Mets have a lot to figure out concerning Pete Alonso’s future.

The United States Ryder Cup team is set.

The reason McFlurry machines are seemingly always broken is not because they’re difficult to repair.

Your song of the day is Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris and Florence Welch.