If this was a few years ago, I think there would be a new Royals blog called Ned Yost’s Broken Pelvis already up somewhere on the internet. Instead, the Royals manager just had to recover from a terribly painful sounding injury. Thankfully, the word is he’s going to be just fine, but man, that doesn’t sound comfortable in any way, shape or form. Add to it the team in flux and the beginning of the offseason hasn’t exactly been ideal for Ned, but I suppose all of that was to be expected. Well, other than the broken pelvis. I’ll stop saying broken pelvis now.
- Logan Morrison was on MLB Network Radio yesterday with Jon Morosi and said what a dream it would be to play for the Royals. Morrison, of course, was born in Kansas City and went to high school for a time at Blue Valley West so it’s no surprise he grew up a Royals fan, other than many of the years he grew up being awful for the team. I had kind of ignored Morrison as a free agent because I guessed the Rays would offer him a qualifying offer, but now that they didn’t, I have to say that he’s an intriguing alternative to Eric Hosmer. Yes, many believe that spending any real money in 2018 is silly and, like I’ve said before, I see, understand and somewhat agree with that viewpoint. But if they do spend money and try to make the team competitive, you could make an argument that a Morrison/Hunter Dozier combination at first and third would be as effective offensively as Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. When you factor in that Morrison is probably in line for a deal that’s roughly 25% or less of Hosmer’s and Dozier is a 0-3 guy making roughly the minimum, that’s a bet I’d surely take while the Royals take the draft pick in exchange for their free agents. Heck, go out and sign Carlos Gomez too and you might not even see much of an offensive dropoff, if any. They’re still going to need pitching to be anything more than mediocre, but it would be a start if they choose to go that way.
- Recently, Nicky Lopez has gotten a ton of love based on his performance in the Arizona Fall League, and rightfully so. He’s been really good after a season where he was really good in Wilmington before struggling in Northwest Arkansas. In 2017, he walked 52 times and struck out 52 times, so it’s pretty easy to see what’s exciting about him. There are questions about if he’s a shortstop or second baseman, but the consensus is slowly turning to him being a big leaguer and maybe even a solid regular. I bring Lopez up and I even talked about him for awhile, but my point here is actually more about Michael Gigliotti, the Royals fourth round pick last season out of Lipscomb University. Between Burlington and Lexington, he hit .320/.420/.456 while playing a solid center field. He’s not a secret or anything, so I don’t profess to being the first guy to talk about him, but I would not be surprised if he can move through the system very quickly, and I’m really excited about him. The question with Gigliotti is likely the power, but even if he doesn’t ever really develop it any more, he can be a solid regular. Now, back to Lopez. If he can continue to progress, the Royals could have something we haven’t seen much of in Kansas City with two guys who can really work a walk and get on base and even steal a few of them. A middle of the order bat could be very happy behind those two if things work out the way everyone hopes.
- Gold Gloves are kind of stupid and Silver Slugger awards are kind of stupid, but it’s still cool that the Royals continue to be represented in them. For the third year in a row, one of their players won a Silver Slugger when Eric Hosmer was awarded one at first base last night. The previous were Salvador Perez and Kendrys Morales, and like Hosmer, neither was actually the best hitter at his position, so I don’t really get it, but whatever. Awards are fun. And for the fourth time in five years, the Royals picked up multiple Gold Gloves and had at least one for the seventh consecutive year. The biggest shock to me is that Salvador Perez lost out to Martin Maldonado at the catcher spot. I’m not saying Maldonado didn’t deserve it over Salvy, but the incumbent has such an advantage usually that I just didn’t expect it at all. I have a hunch that the awards streak the Royals are on might come to an end in 2018, so we might as well enjoy it while we can.
- The coaching staff is finally set with the additions of Terry Bradshaw (no, not the football player) as hitting coach, Cal Eldred as pitching coach and Vance Wilson as the bullpen coach. I have a few initial thoughts. Wilson up in the big leagues makes the dream of him as the next manager much more possible. I had wondered if he would stay in Northwest Arkansas for his family, but now that he’s on the big league staff, it’s clear that isn’t an issue. In Eldred, I don’t have much because I’m honestly not sure of his philosophies, but he seemed to be slightly in demand as the Cardinals had interest in him as their pitching coach, which is usually a good sign. The Bradshaw hire is one that I’m very intrigued by because I had thought he should get a chance when they ended up hiring Jack Maloof and Andre David. Bradshaw had worked really well with a lot of the Royals prospects coming through the minors and it always seemed like when a player was sent to Omaha and worked with him that he came back better. Mark Teahen in 2006 is the example I always think of, but there are others as well. I really like this hire. A lot of people (myself included) were interested in these proven coaches who had done a lot before, but we can at least dream on the fact that they have maybe found a new group of coaches who might very well be great. Of course, the players will matter more than anything, but I’m excited to see what these new guys can do.