Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, which means baseball season is almost upon us. The first pitchers and catchers report to camp in less than a week, and Royals’ pitchers and catchers arrive in Surprise, Arizona in a mere 11 days. This past weekend, Royals fans got to enjoy all that FanFest had to offer: autograph sessions, Q&A with team personnel, and the chance to rub elbows with players. Even with some befuddling moves made by the team in the last week, the excitement level for the upcoming season is still incredibly high, and there is no shortage of people talking about the Royals. Here are a few stories from around the web from the last few days.
– Joshua Ward of MLB Daily Dish broke down the Bruce Chen signing quite well, noting that while Dayton Moore is neither malicious nor stupid, he struggles with major league roster construction and resource allocation.
– The Kansas City Star’s Blair Kerkhoff had an article on Mike Moustakas, his new look (Moose has lost about 10 pounds), and the work he put in during his time in Venezuela with Pedro Grifol this winter. Moustakas was focused on some mechanical adjustments to keep him from trying to pull every pitch he saw. Grifol wants Moose to keep his hips in and drive the ball all over the field, and when there’s one in his power zone, that’s the time to pull it. This season will be critical for Moose’s future with the club, so hopefully these adjustments pay off.
– Jeff Zimmerman wrote a piece on Royals Review about how Ned Yost might handle the upcoming instant replay rules. Zimmerman argues that opportunities for getting a call reversed will not come along all that often, so Yost should challenge any play that appears to be close.
– Over at Royal Revival, Nicholas Ian Allen discussed the possibility of Maikel Cleto making an impact in the big leagues. Cleto has a fastball in the upper 90s, but not much of an idea of where it’s going. With the crowded bullpen in Kansas City, it could be tough for the big righty to get very many innings.
– At The Hardball Times, Eno Sarris wrote a very interesting piece on the job of a beat reporter. While a lot of us would probably think watching games and talking to baseball players every day would be a blast, the toils of the job aren’t quite so glamorous. Tons of travel, constantly eating out, late nights, and tight deadlines can put quite a bit of stress on reporters, which makes me appreciate the work of guys like new Royals’ beat reporter Andy McCullough even more.