The Hunt For Blue October: Kansas City Royals (OOTP 25)

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Old 04-02-2024, 02:36 PM   #1
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The Hunt For Blue October: Kansas City Royals (OOTP 25)

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Platform: Steam
Rosters: Modified Opening Day
Trading Difficulty: Very Hard (Will potentially adjust if TOO hard)
Play Style: 95% sim, will interrupt to make subs/pitching changes as needed
Team Control: Active roster plus minors
Managerial Control: Manager will handle all in-game decisions aside from the above
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Old 04-02-2024, 02:38 PM   #2
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Team Roster (4/26)

Royals 40-Man Roster (Updated: April 26th, 2024)
24Jordan LylesRHPR/R10/19/906'5"230Hartsville (SC) HS
30Kyle Wright (IL-60)RHPR/R10/02/956'4"200Vanderbilt
31Will SmithLHPR/L09/06/966'5"245Gulf Coast CC (FL)
35Chris StrattonRHPR/R08/22/956'2"210Mississippi State
36Will Klein*RHPR/R11/28/996'5"225Eastern Illinois
38Josh Taylor (IL-60)LHPL/L03/02/936'5"230Georgia College & State
41Daniel Lynch IV*LHPL/L11/17/966'6"190Virginia
43Carlos HernandezRHPR/R03/11/976'4"245
46John SchreiberRHPR/R03/05/946'3"220University of NW Ohio
48Alec MarshRHPR/R05/14/986'2"220Arizona State
50Kris Bubic (IL-60)LHPL/L08/19/976'3"220Stanford
51Brady SingerRHPR/R08/04/966'5"210Florida
52Michael WachaRHPR/R07/01/916'6"215Texas A&M
54Matt SauerRHPR/R12/12/976'4"190Righetti (CA) HS
55Cole RagansLHPL/L12/12/976'4"190North Florida (FL) Christian
58John McMillon*RHPL/R01/27/986'3"230Texas Tech
59Jake Brentz (IL-15)LHPL/L09/14/946'1"190Parkway South (MO) HS
61Angel ZerpaLHPL/L09/27/996'175
62Jonathan Bowlan*RHPR/R12/01/966'6"240Memphis
63Nick AndersonRHPR/R07/05/906'5"195Mayville State (ND)
66James McArthurRHPR/R12/11/966'7"230Ole Miss
67Seth LugoRHPR/R11/17/896'4"225Centenary College (LA)
69Anthony Veneziano*LHPL/L09/01/976'5"205Coastal Carolina
13Salvador PerezC/1BR/R05/10/906'4"240
14Austin Nola*C/IFR/R12/28/896'195LSU
34Freddy FerminC/1BR/R05/16/955'10"195
7Bobby Witt, Jr.SSR/R06/14/006'1190Colleyville Heritage HS (TX)
9Vinnie Pasquantino1BL/L10/10/976'4"245Old Dominion
11Maikel GarciaINFR/R03/03/006'180
12Nick LoftinINFR/R09/25/986'1"180Baylor
19Michael Massey2B/3BL/R03/22/986'190Illinois
26Adam FrazierINF/OFL/R12/14/915'10"185Mississippi State
32Nick Pratto*1B/OFL/R10/06/986'1200Huntington Beach HS (CA)
1MJ MelendezOF/CL/R11/29/986'1"185Westminster (FL) School
2Garrett HampsonOF/IFR/R10/10/945'11"185Long Beach State
6Drew Waters*OFS/R12/30/986'190Etowah (GA) HS
16Hunter Renfroe (IL-10)OFR/R01/28/926'1"220Mississippi State
17Nelson VelasquezOFR/R12/26/986'190PJ Education (PR) HS
27Tyler Gentry*OFR/R02/01/996'2"210Alabama
28Kyle IsbelOFL/R03/03/975'11"185UNLV
44Dairon BlancoOFR/R04/26/936'170

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Old 04-02-2024, 02:38 PM   #3
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Old 04-02-2024, 02:39 PM   #4
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Player Stats (4/22)

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Old 04-02-2024, 02:41 PM   #5
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Old 04-03-2024, 03:38 PM   #6
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2024 Season Preview

2024 MLB Season Preview: Kansas City Royals
K.C. isn't expected to compete this year, but there must be signs that a solid foundation has been built by year's end.

By MLB.com Staff

2023 Record: 56-106 (5th, AL Central)
Manager: Matt Quatraro (2nd season)
2024 Payroll: $115 million
Key additions: RHP Michael Wacha, RHP Seth Lugo, OF Hunter Renfroe, RHP John Schreiber, RHP Chris Stratton, IF Adam Frazier, IF Garrett Hampson, RHP Nick Anderson
Key losses: RHP Jackson Kowar, OF Edward Olivares, RHP Zack Greinke

Expectations for 2024
After tying a franchise record for losses with 106 last season, Kansas City really can't go anywhere but up — on paper, they seem to be a lot better than last year, acquiring such players like Renfroe, Wacha, Lugo, and Frazier without losing a lot from last year's squad. In fact, there was a survey of all of the MLB teams, and the vote totals overwhelmingly favored Kansas City as the team most likely to surprise in 2024.

Matt Quatraro is back for his second season as the team's skipper; and after tinkering with the lineups nearly day-to-day and using the most openers in baseball last season, he noted early on in the spring that he would likely cut down on the use of openers going forward. The additions of Lugo and Wacha lengthen the rotation, giving the Royals four competent-to-above-average starters; and then Alec Marsh, who can fill in as a fifth starter and long-relief option. They also added Kyle Wright from the Braves via trade, although he will miss the entirety of the season due to injury.

"Last season was a lot of evaluation and just trying to figure out what pieces fit the best, and how we could make the team better going forward," he said late in the spring season after much of the roster had been pared down. "This season, we have a better idea of who goes where, and there should be less experimentation with the roster, for lack of a better term."

That commitment to the big league roster is reflected in the Opening Day payroll, which is the highest it's been since 2018 when they clocked in at $122 million on Opening Day. They also extended star shortstop Bobby Witt Jr to an eleven-year, $288 million contract, shattering the club record by over $200 million. However, there are plenty of ways that BWJ can opt-out, starting after the 2030 season.

With the relative weakness of the AL Central, it's not difficult to imagine that the Royals could be better, perhaps double-digit games better than last season. But even a ten-game improvement over 2023 is still just a 66-win team, which would be disappointing coming off such a promising offseason.

What would constitute a successful season? This team still is a longshot to make the postseason, but if the young talent led by Witt continue to impress, and one or two of the veteran arms they added perform up to expectations, I like this iteration of the Royals' chances to at least be a thorn in the side of the top contenders in the league.

Stories to watch
With an extension now in hand for Witt, who would be next to get extended by the club? There's some talk that Vinnie Pasquantino is next up, but there's been little chatter over the last few months in that regard. Missing the last three to four months of the 2023 season due to a knee injury really put a damper on extension talks, but a healthy 2024 would go a long ways towards re-starting those conversations.

There's also the stadium issue hanging over the franchise right now. With the site picked out and renderings released to the public, on April 2nd, a sales tax extension, not an increase, is expected to pass to fund the new downtown facility. In the event it doesn't, they would likely turn to the Kansas side of the state line. Perhaps it would be built near Children's Mercy Park, where the MLS' Sporting KC plays. It's still unlikely that happens, as the Royals have always been in Missouri and want to keep it that way, but the longer the delay in getting a stadium built, the further you have to push back the timeline. A 'no' vote would push the initiative back at least six months to a year.

It was thought that the new stadium, if started by Opening Day this year, could be finished in time for the 2031 season, it will be 2032 or 2033. Again, this is not a tax increase, but rather a 40-year extension of the current sales tax in Jackson County. Oh, and the Chiefs will also use some of the money for renovations of Arrowhead Stadium, as well.

Final outlook
Much of the success of the Royals in 2024 will hinge on two things -- one, the health of the starting pitching; and secondly, can they find some additional thump in the middle of the lineup? The rotation of Ragans, Lugo, Wacha, and Brady Singer is pretty solid, but a major injury or two could really put them up the creek. There's not a lot of depth in the upper minors, as much of it after Daniel Lynch IV is unproven or doesn't really have the upper-minors track record as of yet. Kris Bubic, who had two strong starts before getting shelved in 2023, isn't expected back until July. As mentioned earlier, Wright won't pitch this year. Marsh is the other besides Lynch that has starting experience, but was much better in relief than as a starter.

Offensively, we liked the Renfroe signing, and Frazier is a competent bat that can fill in at multiple spots. However, we're really hoping they can get some additional production out of Velazquez. Again, he had a rough spring, but has tremendous power with less than ten AB per homerun. It would also be nice to see Renfroe return to the form that has made him one of the better RH power bats in baseball, as he has five seasons of 25+ homeruns already on his ledger, including two over 30.
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Old 04-03-2024, 10:52 PM   #7
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Minnesota @ Kansas City (March 28th -- March 31st)

Series Recap: Minnesota Twins

By Conner Smith | Kansas City Star | April 1st, 2024

Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals
Mar 28, 2024123456789RHE
Minnesota Twins (0-1)000000010121
Kansas City Royals (1-0)00210000X370
W: Cole Ragans (1-0) L: Pablo Lopez (0-1) S: Chris Stratton (1)

Thursday, March 28th, 2024
Fresh off a 2023 campaign that put him on the national radar around the league, Cole Ragans made his first career Opening Day start, and eighty-two pitches later, tossed six no-hit innings, striking out a Royals record thirteen hitters on Opening Day as the Royals won 3-1.

Not only were they no-hit innings, they were six perfect innings. Out of the eighteen outs he recorded, only five were of the non-strikeout variety. He also topped out at 99.7 MPH with his four-seamer, throwing all four of his pitches effectively.

Bobby Witt Jr homered in the fourth inning, Maikel Garcia collected three hits and a stolen base, and M.J. Melendez also collected a pair of hits.

"Can't really get much better than that, can we?" Manager Matt Quatraro grinned as he took to the podium prior to taking questions from the throng of reporters in place. "I know it's just one of 162, but getting that first win on your first time out really gets you out on the right foot and sets a tone."

Quatraro was also pressed about taking Ragans out with a perfect game through six, but re-iterated that he wasn't going to push his top starter too much.

"Unfortunately, there's some history with regards to injuries with Cole, and this early in the season we don't want to go too far," he explained. "Now, if this was several months or so in? I might have rolled the dice and let him go because eighty-two pitches isn't close to how far he can go when he's stretched out."

Right-handers Nick Anderson and Chris Stratton, both newcomers to the bullpen, pitched scoreless innings. Stratton's was in the ninth inning, picking up his first save.

Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals
Mar 30, 2024123456789RHE
Minnesota Twins (1-1)000002011492
Kansas City Royals (1-1)000000300370
W: Griffin Jax (1-0) L: Will Smith (0-1) S: Brock Stewart (1)

Saturday, March 30th, 2024
Single tallies in the eighth and ninth from the Twins helped turn a 3-2 Royals lead into a 4-3 defeat for the home team, with Manuel Margot and Willi Castro providing the thunder. Minnesota socked four homers in all during Saturday's game; two of them off starter Seth Lugo, who otherwise was solid with just two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings with six strikeouts.

Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa went back-to-back against Lugo in the sixth, as Lugo was cruising at the time having allowed just three hits and no runs with one out in the sixth. Acquired in a trade with the Red Sox over the offseason, John Schreiber gave the Royals a nice lift out of the bullpen with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, surrending just a single hit with three strikeouts.

Kansas City countered with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, as Salvador Perez reached on an error by the third baseman, Castro. Perez would later advance to third on another error, this time by Gold Glove-winning centerfielder Byron Buxton, although he's played a single-digit number of games in center the last few years due to injuries.

With Hunter Renfroe at the plate, Perez would then score on a passed ball from Christian Vazquez, yet another solid defensive player, before Renfroe launched a two-run homerun to center to put the Royals in front.

"Not sure what happened to us in that inning," said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, "But we looked really lost out there for a brief period of time. Thankfully, we were able to pick up our defense with some timely hitting late."

Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals
Mar 31, 2024123456789RHE
Minnesota Twins (1-2)010120000460
Kansas City Royals (2-1)20000400X681
W: Nick Anderson (1-0) L: Bailey Ober (0-1) S: Will Smith (1)

Sunday, March 31st, 2024
Gray clouds hung over Kauffman Stadium throughout the entire game, but that didn't seem to dampen the Royals' bats as they hammered out a half-dozen runs on eight hits in the Royals' 6-4 win over the Twins, earning a series victory in the opening set of the season against a divisional foe.

Rain did eventually fall for roughly thirty minutes, pausing play right before the third inning. Both starting pitchers managed to return after the break, with both of them going five innings each.

With a first-inning two-run homerun against Twins starter Bailey Ober, Salvador Perez staked the Royals out to a 2-0 lead after one inning. Minnesota battled their way back by scoring four times over the next four innings to double up their lead, 4-2, but a four-run sixth from the Royals pushed them back in front for good.

Again, Perez played a big role in the four-run stanza, smacking a two-run single to give him four RBI during his 2-for-4 day.

Freddy Fermin also collected a pair of hits in his first starting assignment of the season, hitting eighth and getting the start behind the plate while Perez drew his first start at first base with Vinnie Pasquantino DH'ing.

Brady Singer was hot-and-cold, allowing four earned runs over five innings, striking out six with just two walks. He gave up only one big hit, a two-run homerun from rookie Austin Martin, who was making his MLB debut after replacing the injured Royce Lewis on the active roster.

UP NEXT: at Baltimore (04/01 -- 04/03)
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Old 04-05-2024, 01:05 PM   #8
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Kansas City @ Baltimore (04/01 -- 04/03)

Series Recap: Baltimore Orioles

By Conner Smith | Kansas City Star | April 4th, 2024

Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles
Apr 1, 2024123456789RHE
Kansas City Royals (3-1)100210001591
Baltimore Orioles (1-3)001300000472
W: Chris Stratton (1-0) L: Yennier Cano (0-2) S: None

Monday, April 1st, 2024
Facing his previous team for the first time this season, Adam Frazier collected three hits (including a double) and a stolen base as the Royals won 5-4. A ninth-inning RBI single in the top of the ninth was the deciding factor, as Nick Loftin drove in Bobby Witt Jr with the go-ahead run. Chris Stratton, who started the eighth inning in relief of Alec Marsh, picked up the victory with a spotless ninth.

In his Royals debut, Michael Wacha went five innings while allowing four earned runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out just one, and allowed a couple of homeruns. Still, he was good enough, along with a great bullpen effort from the aforementioned Stratton and Alec Marsh, they kept the game within striking distance for the late rally.

Kansas City got on the board first with a sac fly from Vinnie Pasquantino, before Baltimore tied it up with a run of their own in the third with the first of the two solo homeruns on the day from the Orioles' offense, this one by Anthony Santander. Former Royal Ryan O'Hearn led off the fourth with a solo homerun, later scoring twice on a double and a sac fly to re-take the lead, 4-3. They wouldn't lead again, as Kansas City tied it up in the fifth, holding the line until Loftin's game-winning hit.

The 3-1 start is the team's best since 2021, when they won nine of their first dozen games, but ended up with seventy-four wins, the last time they were over that watermark. Manager Matt Quatraro still harped on the team's struggles with men on base.

"You know, we still had ten guys that we left on base, so we left a lot of runs out there on the field," he said in the post-game interviews after the win. "We had an outstanding effort from Mike (Wacha) and the bullpen, who kept us in it, but we missed on some chances to score."

Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles
Apr 2, 2024123456789RHE
Kansas City Royals (3-2)100200000370
Baltimore Orioles (2-3)30000340X10120
W: Michael Baumann (1-0) L: Cole Ragans (1-1) S: None

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024
It wasn't as good as his Opening Day effort in which he went berzerk and retired all eighteen hitters he faced with a baker's dozen strikeouts, but Cole Ragans still pitched a decent game in his second outing of the year, going 5 2/3 innings while allowing seven hits and no walks with four strikeouts as the Royals fell 10-3 to the O's in a bit of a laugher.

Ragans was eventually tagged with five earned runs, although one of them was his responsibility, leaving in the sixth inning with a man on and two outs for righty James McArthur in his first appearance of the season.

McArthur's first hitter, Cedric Mullins, bashed a two-run opposite field blast just two pitches into the at-bat, and it didn't get much better for him from there -- he ended up lasting just two-thirds of an inning with four earned runs on three hits and a walk, although both of his outs were strikeouts.

Ragans ran into trouble right from the outset, allowing a leadoff double to Gunnar Henderson. After two outs, they scored three runs on three hits, including another two-bagger. He was excellent from the second through the fifth innings before running into trouble again in the sixth, throwing ninety-eight pitches in all.

"Cole left it up to Brian (pitching coach Sweeney) to leave him in or not, and he made the call that he should get another batter to try and get out of the inning," manager Matt Quatraro noted. It didn't work out very well, but it was a reasonable decision given he was pitching well and he only needed another out."

There wasn't much to speak of for the Royals offensively, with Maikel Garcia's two hits and two RBI leading the way. The other run was driven in by Hunter Renfroe on a first-inning RBI single against Cole Irvin.

Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles
Apr 3, 2024123456789RHE
Kansas City Royals (3-3)000000001130
Baltimore Orioles (3-3)00201000X380
W: Corbin Burnes (1-1) L: Seth Lugo (0-1) S: Yennier Cano (1)

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024
Even though the Royals fell 3-1 to the Orioles in the rubber match of their three-game series, the Royals were able to see a rarity -- In the ninth inning, Salvador Perez banged out a triple, his first since June 8th, 2022, against the Blue Jays. Before that, it was July 19th, 2017 against Detroit at home, so just two in the past eight-plus seasons.

Besides that, the offense was listless for much of the game against Corbin Burnes, as the right-hander limited the Royals to just two hits, no runs, and no walks through six innings of work, facing only three hitters over the minimum on eighty-seven pitches.

Seth Lugo got the start, but went just 2 2/3 innings before being taken out after a finger blister issue popped up. He said it started in the second inning, but had a harder and harder time throwing breaking pitches going into the third inning.

"I told them when they came out, that I don't want to jeopardize my next start, and we have guys in the pen that can hold it down," he said. "I felt good otherwise, but it's hard to get the right grip on the ball when you have this blister right on the spot you need to be."

Perez's triple was one of just three total hits, with the other two coming from M.J. Melendez (including a double). Interestingly, Melendez was lifted for pinch-hitter Garrett Hampson in the seventh to face lefty Keegan Akin. Quatraro was asked about the move, and noted that it's a 'feel type' of move, with Hampson sporting a career OPS+ of 120 against southpaws.

"Garrett's a guy that's historically punished lefties in his career," said Quatraro. "It's early enough in the season where we're still trying to feel out the roster, and Garrett can play in the outfield as well as on the dirt, so we can use him in more spots."

Kansas City heads back home beginning today to begin a four-game series with the Southsiders of Chicago, their first four-game foray of the season. Brady Singer is expected to get the ball tonight against former Atlanta Brave Michael Soroka.

UP NEXT: vs Chi. Sox (04/04 -- 04/07)
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