clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Royals Rumblings - News for September 21, 2023

The Royals could still avoid the franchise loss record

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Cleveland Guardians v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Leading off with some game stories:

Tyler Cropley had a debut to remember on Tuesday:

No, those 40 people — nearly all from Cropley’s hometown of Sioux City, Ia., or college town in Iowa City, Ia. — weren’t going to miss this.

“Some of them decided about noon today just to skip out on the afternoon and come for the game,” Cropley said.

The 27-year-old has had a crazy journey to get here. Nothing could beat this moment.

“It’s just been up and down, up and down,” Cropley said. “You never know when it’s going to pay off. Today, it did. That’s the best part about it. Keep working, and never give up.”

Yesterday, Zack Greinke continued climbing franchise leaderboards as the Royals completed the sweep:

With five strikeouts Wednesday against the team with the lowest strikeout rate in baseball, Greinke now has 1,094 strikeouts as a Royal across his two stints in Kansas City. That moves him into fourth place all-time in club history, surpassing Bret Saberhagan’s 1,093.

On Wednesday, he outsmarted the Guardians with his fastball the first three innings before they adjusted and scored two in the fourth. After Josh Naylor’s double, Greinke got Kole Calhoun swinging on a changeup for his fifth strikeout before allowing back-to-back hits on fastballs to end his day.

“That was not expected,” Greinke said of the strikeouts. “It seemed like a decent amount of them were on fastballs. I might have tried doing it too much because the last inning, I gave up two hits on fastballs with two strikes.”

David Lesky at Inside the Crown talks Tuesday’s game, including James McArthur’s recent success:

Look, I don’t know if this is for real or if this is forever or whatever, but I see a pitcher who was getting middling results as a starter in the Phillies system who the Royals saw something in. They immediately put him in the bullpen and the results didn’t stick right away.

As they’ve done with a couple of other pitchers, they helped him add a slider that took some time to develop but he’s figured it out and while he had an absolutely brutal bomb of a big league debut, he’d been pretty good in Omaha surrounding that. I’m not ready to say he’s the 2024 closer or that he’s even going to be a competent big league pitcher long-term, but it’s nice to see a guy thrive when put into the Royals environment rather than wait to thrive until he’s out of it.

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains breaks down recent roster moves, including Brady Singer’s shutdown:

The sinker, which he had been consistently throwing at around 92-93 MPH dipped to 91 MPH in that start. He was down to 90 MPH on Monday.

It’s never a good thing to see a pitcher lose that much velocity. If there’s anyone who can’t afford that kind of dip, it’s Singer. Yeah, yeah, yeah…he remains a two-pitch pitcher with that sinker/slider combo. While the decline in velocity with the slider has been a little more gradual, when the sinker is coming in at 90 to 91 MPH I’m not sure the velocity of the slider matters all that much. Both pitches became extremely more hittable.

The results reflect that. Over his final five starts of 2023, Singer threw just 24 innings and allowed 26 runs. Opponents hit .407/.433/.657 against him.

More on James McArthur from The Royals Reporter:

It’s interesting to see that McArthur is not just the best reliever for the Royals in this category this month but Hernandez has been the worst. Thus, it’s not surprising that manager Matt Quatraro opted to go with McArthur for the save today rather than Hernandez.

Of course, this is just one month of play, and it’s possible that Hernandez is suffering from fatigue in his first full MLB season as a reliever (especially in a more high-leverage role). With a full offseason, could Hernandez be his mid-season self (which looked like a closer)?

As for McArthur, is this a flash in the pan or is he truly turning a corner to become the Royals’ closer for not just 2024 but perhaps beyond as well? The data seems to paint the picture that it may indeed be the latter.

Angel Zerpa has enjoyed a solid September.

How did ballpark negotiations in Oakland go south?

After many years of injuries, Royce Lewis is finally fulfilling his potential.

FanGraphs projections continue fading the Baltimore Orioles.

Allan Wylie, blind since birth, aspires to work in a broadcast booth ($).

A couple young outfielders underwent Tommy John surgery: Detroit’s Riley Greene and New York’s Jasson Dominguez.

Minnesota shortstop Carlos Correa heads to the IL with a foot injury.

Looking back on Serge Ibaka, an NBA pioneer in many ways.

The MAC is heavily featured in this week’s College Football Bottom 10.

Primates used in Neurlink testing died in a grisly manner.

If you’ve noticed an uptick in pointless meetings at work since the pandemic, you’re not the only one.

I was thinking today was the autumnal equinox, but it turns out it’s actually this Saturday.

Your song of the day is Sine Language by Summer Was Fun.