The calendar is inching ever closer to February, which means my need for baseball is inching ever closer to its peak. If you’re anything like me, this last month has seemingly taken forever, and spring training can’t get here soon enough. Obviously there is a lot of anticipation in regards to the upcoming Royals season, but I’m just excited to see some baseball being played once again. To hold you over for now, here are some interesting articles from the last several days.
- On KC Kingdom, Aaron Reese wrote an excellent piece on the effects of concussions on catchers. He put a lot of research into it, and showed how devastating the constant trauma can be. This simply has to be a growing concern for teams around baseball, and perhaps even moreso for the Royals with all of the hits Salvador Perez took last year.
- Marc Hulet of Fangraphs broke down the Royals top 10 prospects, and included some scouting reports along with future projections. There were no real surprises anywhere to be found, with the usual suspects topping the list.
- Clay Davenport released his first team projections for 2014, and the early numbers aren’t pretty for the Royals. Davenport’s system has the boys in blue pegged for 77 wins, which would be incredibly disappointing, to say the least. I think that projection is far too conservative, but it is based on data that suggests it’s a possibility.
- Over at Pine Tar Press, David Lesky made 5 bold predictions regarding the upcoming season for the Royals.
- David Schoenfield of ESPN’s SweetSpot blog wrote a two-part post on the correlation between payroll and wins in the past five seasons. He simply looked up the number of wins by each team and their payroll in that span, and ranked them. As you would expect, there is a generally direct relationship between the two sets of data, with a few exceptions. And also as you would expect, the Royals are near the bottom in both categories.
- Despite rumors saying otherwise, MLB Daily Dish’s Tyler Drenon suggests that Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez could still benefit from Matt Garza‘s surprising contract. With one less starter on the market, and still plenty of teams needing frontline pitching, Santana and Jimenez may generate enough interest to still receive a fat paycheck before spring training rolls around next month.
- Finally, for something not exclusively Royals-related, Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote a column on Bud Selig’s legacy as he is entering his final year as MLB Commissioner. Stark says Selig has been “the greatest and most important commissioner in the history of the sport. Period.” On it’s face, that statement may seem silly, but I’m having a hard time arguing otherwise. For all the criticism Selig receives (much of it deservedly so) he’s done a lot of great things while in office, and the sport is in a seemingly terrific place for the future.