AL Notes: Royals, Yankees, Hicks, Orioles, Kepler

In a discussion with Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, outgoing Royals owner David Glass reflects on his 20 years spent spearheading a Major League team, touching on a wide variety of subjects ranging from regrets, financial challenges, and the next chapter for the Royals. Glass offers some insight into the factors that led him to seek out John Sherman as the next Royals owner, including a desire to ensure the franchise remains in Kansas City. He speaks about the ups and downs of the last two decades, a time that saw the franchise emerge from some of its darkest moments to claim a World Series victory. He shares regrets and memories, as well as his philosophy for operating a small-market team. Finally, Glass gives a glimpse into his decision to forgo a bidding process, instead specifically targeting Sherman to take over the team in his wake, with the hope that the new ownership regime will keep the organization “basically intact.”

Let’s turn to other nuggets from the American League…

  • Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks, still recovering from elbow issues, has begun to throw from 90 feet, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. When we last heard from Hicks, a second opinion recommended several more weeks of rest after suffering a setback in early September. At this time, Hicks and the Yankees are still optimistic that he won’t require Tommy John surgery, though that’s not guarantee—he’s due for another evaluation shortly. However, the timeline has all but confirmed that Hicks won’t be ready to return at any point in the postseason.
  • Though there has been some clamoring for the Chris Davis era in Baltimore to end, Orioles general manager Mike Elias expects the 33-year-old to be back with the team in spring training 2020, tweets Dan Connolly of The Athletic. While Davis’s dreadful performance has certainly not earned him a spot in the team’s future plans, the reality remains that the ex-slugger is under contract for three more years, a span in which he’ll earn another $69MM. While internal options like Trey Mancini or minor-leaguer Ryan Mountcastle might make more sense, it appears that the club is committed to reforming its highest-paid player.
  • While there still isn’t a concrete timetable for the TwinsMax Kepler to return to the lineup, he’s set to dial up his workload in the coming days, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. Kepler, who hasn’t made a plate appearance for Minnesota since September 14, has been dealing with somewhat nebulous shoulder and back issues for months. One of the most productive hitters in the Minnesota lineup, it feels imperative that Kepler is available for postseason play. While the precise timetable remains unknown, it seems that ramping up his swings and hitting off a high-velocity machine is a step in the right direction.