This week has been a lot more calm than last week. There are still the Greinke rumors and discussions going on, but not as intense as during the winter meetings. The most suspense other than Zack’s team in 2011 lies in who gets shuffled away to make room for Melky Cabrera once he passes his physical.
That being said, and after a long day of helping Christmas shoppers, I’m going to share the things I found interesting out in the Royals world over the past couple of days. But first, a fun story.
As I have mentioned before, my day job is at a bookstore, which is just incredibly fun this time of year, what with a million people looking for books with a red cover that had the word “Time” in the title and they swore was on that table right by the door. Or that one book they saw on Oprah. But now and then, I find a kindred spirit and today I had one such run in. A gentleman came through my line at the register with a copy of USA Today’s Baseball Insider and asked if we ever got Baseball America for the newsstand.
“Wow, I wish we did, I’d read that during my lunch break every day,” I said.
He mentioned something about how he liked to keep up with things in the winter and how he was glad the Royals would be “somethin’ else” in a couple of years. I had to agree with him and dropped some names just to see how he’d react. I get a lot of people who can talk a little bit about the Royals, but they clearly don’t pay the same kind of attention that I do (or many other hardcore fans do). I asked how he thought the Greinke market would heat up with Cliff Lee‘s signing and he mentioned that “they just have to trade him – he doesn’t want to be there and they’ll get what they want for him” and mentioned a young shortstop with the Rangers he’d heard of (I have to think he meant Jurickson Profar).
The really interesting part is next. He mentioned that he goes down the Arkansas a lot and has been friends with Brian Poldberg, manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
“I was down there this spring and saw [Mike] Moustakas put a couple out there. That boy can hit it a ton. Can’t wait to see him in KC.”
“I remember when that lefty [John] Lamb came up to Double A, it was maybe his second game and he was getting hit hard and came out after just an inning, and I asked Brian the next day ‘well why’d Lamb only go an inning?’ and he looked at me with a little grin and said ‘Well, that little [guy] shook off a sign to throw to first three times, so I figured I’d let him have a short night.'” He paused. “The next night out, I guess he made every throw he was asked to make, so he got in line real quick.”
I can’t really verify the story, but hey, it’s a fun little yarn. There have been a lot of reports of Lamb’s poise and confidence on the mound, but I hadn’t heard much in the line of shaking things off. I guess I could see it, if he’s so focused and assured of his skills. Nobody’s bigger than the manager though and it seems if there was any kind of situation like this, he got it settled up.
Anyhow, let’s see what else is going on in the world of the Royals:
- Chris Getz has received a full clearance after suffering a concussion last season. Getz will likely end up the starting second baseman with Mike Aviles the favorite to be the opening day starter at third. He’s still a collection of below average skills, but has nice speed and now and then has a really nice at bat.
- It looks like the Yankees, Red Sox and Nationals are among the 15 teams that Zack Greinke has listed as part of his no-trade clause. Interestingly, the Rangers, Angels and Tigers are not. The Rangers are probably the favorite to land him if there’s a trade this offseason, with their collection of minor league talent, especially in the areas the Royals are hoping to fill up the middle.
- If you like prospect talk (and who doesn’t?), Greg Schaum at Royals Prospects talked with Adam Foster of Project Prospect about some Royals youngsters. Also, if you’re a fan of batting practice videos, you can see a few that include Cheslor Cuthbert, Johnny Giavotella and Eric Hosmer.
- The Royals announced a few of the minor leaguers who will receive awards at Royals FanFest on January 22. Mike Moustakas was named George Brett Hitter of the Year, for instance.
- Speaking of FanFest, if you plan on attending, advance two-day tickets for $18 are on sale now. The event will be held January 21-22 in Overland Park. I’ve never been but plan to be there this year. From what I’ve heard, it’s a blast.