Royals Links: Rios’ Defense, Madson’s Mechanics, International Spending, & More


Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals play a real, live baseball game today. Aaron Brooks is starting against Colby Lewis, so I suppose you can temper that enthusiasm a bit, but still. It’s baseball! I’ll use this space to remind all of you to not get too caught up in Spring Training statistics, especially those from a certain third baseman, but really that goes for almost every player. The numbers aren’t totally meaningless, but you’re not going to learn much about a player’s 2015 season by looking at how many Cactus League dingers he hit. Here are some links about the Royals.

Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star wrote a very informative article on why the Royals are more comfortable with Alex Rios than they were with Nori Aoki roaming right field. While Rios’ defensive metrics haven’t been kind recently, they don’t account for positioning, and there were some issues with Aoki conforming to what Rusty Kuntz was trying to do. There are some telling quotes from team members who think the new guy is a clear defensive upgrade.

More from Kings of Kauffman’s Jeffrey Flanagan reported yesterday that Dave Eiland is already working his magic with comeback candidate Ryan Madson. The 34-year old righty has tweaked his delivery to drop down and drive toward the plate, after using a more upright delivery in the past. Madson is hoping the new mechanics can help propel him back to the big leagues for the first time since 2011.

Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs reported that the Royals have an agreement in place to sign 16-year old center fielder Seuly Matias out of the Dominican Republic. Scouts see Matias as possibly having five above average tools, which is why the Royals are rumored to be willing to pay him a $2.2 million bonus. McDaniel also notes the team may have another top international prospect set to sign for another seven figures, which could push the organization over their spending allotment.

– At FOX Sports Kansas City, Matthew DeFranks asked some questions the Royals will have to answer this season, including how the team can replace James Shields, and whether or not the offense can be expected to carry over some of their success from the postseason into next month.

Michael Baumann has a great piece on Grantland that looks at the all-too-familiar circumstances facing the Cubs this April. They’ll likely decide to not use their best possible roster for the first few weeks of the season, so they can gain an extra year of service time from super prospect Kris Bryant. It’s a messy situation with no clear solution, but Baumann reminds us that these decisions are made because billionaires don’t like to spend more money than they have to.

Next: Finding a Spot for Finnegan