Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Most of the Royals have been in camp for at least a week by now, and the last couple of players rolled into Surprise yesterday. The first full squad workout takes place today, and while Spring Training games don’t start for another week, it’s still so exciting to see photos and videos of the guys throwing bullpen sessions and taking batting practice. We’re not really learning anything about the team right now, but hey, it’s baseball. Kind of. Let’s get to some links.
– Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reported that Mike Moustakas is planning on using the bunt to beat the shift more often this season. Moose still wants to try and hit it over the shift, but he realizes he’ll need to mix up his game to be more effective. Since the bunt should be a surprise play, I’m thinking Moustakas is using some kind of Jedi mind trick, so news of this plan will cause teams to not shift, preparing for the bunt. The Royals are always strategizing.
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– Royals Review’s Shaun Newkirk posted his top 30 Royals prospects, along with some scouting notes on just about every player. He’s a big fan of Sean Manaea and Hunter Dozier, and he sees 2014 draftee Scott Blewett as a guy who could really shoot up the rankings during this season.
– At the Kansas City Star, Sam Mellinger says it’s tough to say the AL Central is the best division in baseball when the champion may not win even 90 games, but it should be the most competitive division. Any one of four teams could win the crown without much surprise, and it’s unlikely a single team pulls away from the pack at any point during the year.
– Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that Joe Blanton is in the best shape of his life. I’m paraphrasing, but the Royals’ minor league signee is down to nearly 215 pounds after spending much of his career closer to 250. Blanton retired last April after he didn’t seem to enjoy playing anymore, but a few months away from the sport caused him to reconsider.
– Will Leitch wrote a piece for Sports on Earth discussing commissioner Rob Manfred’s recent comments about the possibility of reducing the season to 154 games. These latest comments are right in line with several of the bold, outside-the-box, and incredibly-unlikely-to-happen suggestions Manfred has made since taking over, so I didn’t even give them any thought. I’m sure the players would love a shorter season, but good luck getting the owners to turn down extra revenue.