The World Baseball Classic is already underway, and despite spring training having just started, it feels like the baseball season will be on top of us before we know it. The Twins start their 2023 season in just 20 days, and we’ll be galloping into winter again by the time this year’s ballgames are all squared away. The mist is clearing as the final free agents leave the board and league-wide Opening Day rosters come into focus. But there’s always time for a little more...
RIVAL ROUNDUP, BABY
- Lorenzo Cain spent his major-league career between Milwaukee and Kansas City; drafted by the Brewers in 2004, he debuted for the Crew in 2010 and was shipped to the Royals as part of the Zack Greinke trade that December. It was with the Royals that Cain played the next seven seasons, earning an All-Star nomination/top-3 MVP finish/World Championship in a magical 2015 season. He was an All-Star again with the Brewers in 2018, before age finally came for him, as it does for center fielders everywhere. Still, it was with Kansas City that his star burned brightest.
2015 World Series champion Lorenzo Cain has retired.— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) March 7, 2023
He will return to Kauffman Stadium this summer for an official retirement ceremony as a Royal.
“He’s going to be a Royal Hall of Famer,” Kansas City GM JJ Picollo said.
- In roster news, the Mike Clevinger investigation is “resolved,” insofar as Major League Baseball has not produced a recommendation for any discipline after the mother of Clevinger’s daughter brought forth domestic violence allegations to MLB over the summer of 2022, per The Athletic.
Breaking: The investigation into White Sox pitcher, Mike Clevinger, is complete. He WILL NOT face discipline. Additionally, he’s voluntarily agreed to evaluations by MLB/MLBPA joint treatment boards and will comply with their recommendations – if there are any.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) March 5, 2023
- Everyone’s favorite projection nerds took a crack at forecasting how the new rules will benefit teams around the league. Their conclusion? After running their Metric for Assessing Negative or Favorabl Rule-Effect Dynamics (yes — they called it MANFRED), they’ve suggested that the Cleveland Guardians will have the most to gain from the rule changes, given their roster’s predisposition for well-paced pitching, a nearly-league-low overshift rate, and bein’ a quick little guy (also known as speed.) FiveThirtyEight considers them “custom-built” for the new landscape.
- Detroit cut Julio Rodriguez from spring camp. In other news, Spencer Torkleson is pacing the spring competition in hard-hit balls, ahead of what will be a very interesting sophomore season for the top prospect.
Not every park is equipped with Statcast, but here are your spring training barrel leaders: pic.twitter.com/O27NKtkG7z— Chris Brown (@ChrisBrown0914) March 9, 2023
- The Royals’ 2023 slogan seems to go hand-in-hand with that downtown stadium they’ve been floating around.
Together.#WelcomeToTheCity pic.twitter.com/kL1L8Mbf7a— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) March 6, 2023
- On this episode of Great Out-of-Context Headlines, we have this gem from White Sox camp: “Cease unconcerned after getting “punched in the face.” He can always talk to Jordan Balazovic, I suppose.
- Lastly, our friends at Royals Review ponder why 2023 is a “make or break” year for the Royals, as they refresh their personnel and try not to fall into the Tiger trap of a traditional rebuild model that doesn’t quite stick when the roster finally turns over.
Hopefully, those interested are enjoying the World Baseball Classic. Others may be finding solace in Grapefruit/Cactus League action. If you don’t find yourself in either of the above camps, no worries — the real deal is right around the corner. See you next week!