Usually we don’t run a full rumblings on holidays, but I wasn’t reminded of that until after I put all this together, so here we are!
Royals: Drew Waters, OF (No. 7)
Waters is sitting on exactly 45 days of service time, meaning he has not exceeded the minimum required to lose rookie status, so on the list he goes. The 23-year-old switch-hitter looked like he was languishing at Triple-A with the Braves but hit another gear after getting traded in early July, producing a .295/.399/.541 line in 31 games with Omaha. He was an above-average hitter (125 wRC+) over 109 plate appearances in the Majors, too, also showing good speed and a strong arm. Assuming KC keeps a spot on the grass open for him, Waters has the tools to build a strong second MLB season.
From MLBTR, part of the improvement for Royals pitching could come in the form of improved catcher defense:
In terms of framing, the problem appears to be more chronic. FanGraphs has only given him a positive grade in that department once, which was the shortened 2020 season. He posted a -19.6 and -12.6 over the past two campaigns, bringing his career tally to -106.5. That’s last in the majors among all catchers from 2011 to the present. Baseball Prospectus is fairly similar, as Perez has been tagged with a negative number in each season except for 2013 and 2020, with a -14.3 and -14.2 in the past two years. Statcast framing data only goes back to 2015, but it also isn’t the foundation of his work. Apart from an even zero in 2020, he has all negative numbers there, including a -8 this year, fifth-worst in the league, and a -18 last year, which was dead last.
All of this isn’t to say that Perez is solely responsible for the club’s pitching woes. As mentioned, baseball teams have dozens of coaches and analysts who all play a role in the results. But these numbers certainly aren’t ideal when trying to mold a batch of pitching prospects into effective major leaguers. It’s also possible that health is playing a role, since Perez underwent left thumb surgery in 2022. He was supposed to be out of action eight weeks but returned after just over a month and maybe wasn’t 100%. If better health in 2023 leads to better outcomes, that would be fantastic for KC. But if it doesn’t and the problem persists, finding a solution will have multiple challenges.
Jayson Stark describes what to watch on this year’s Hall of Fame voting, including first-time candidate Carlos Beltrán ($):
But as someone who just spent time in Houston covering the World Series, I’ve got this bulletin for Beltrán: There’s a better chance of America forgetting to watch football on Thanksgiving than there is of America forgetting the dastardly deeds of the 2017 Astros.
So here’s the question, as Beltrán makes his debut on this ballot: Will voters punish Beltrán (and future Astros stars) the way they punished (and continue to punish) the stars in the good old performance-enhancing drugs galaxy?
That’s basically it. It’s a slow time of the offseason.
Shout out to the German World Cup team. I don’t care if they won or not.
The only other relevant World Cup news: all the beer that was supposed to be sold there will be shipped to the winning country.
Today is the tenth anniversary of the Butt Fumble (alright technically it was on the 22nd but it was on Thanksgiving so sue me).
This year’s Chiefs are historically good at converting third-and-long ($).
UMass holds strong on this week’s College Football Bottom 10.
Despite playing in only three events this year, Tiger Woods finished at the top of the 2022 PGA TOUR Player Impact Program. He will finish at the top every year until he retires.
This week’s rental opportunity: you can sleep in your kitchen for a cool three grand per month.
Twitter’s slow death is being wrought by one of its main characters.
Belgian authorities are unable to keep up with the amount of cocaine they are seizing.
It’s past time for political parties to stop discounting young voters.
Is it true that some kids are naturally “good” at math?
Want to impress your family with weird knowledge? Here are some historical misconceptions to debunk while you enjoy Thanksgiving.
Your song of the day is Coming Home by Seven Lions (Festival Mix).