KANSAS CITY -- Royals super-utility man Whit Merrifield received the inaugural "Good Guy" Award as voted upon by the Kansas City chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
The "Good Guy" Award is presented to the Royals' player who best exemplifies a cooperative spirit with the beat writers who cover the team.
Merrifield is well known among Kansas City media circles for always being available before games and after games, even after especially difficult defeats.
“I’m very appreciate of this award,” Merrifield said. “It’s a pleasure working with the writers who cover this team.”
Merrifield looks forward to 2020
Though Merrifield has endured back-to-back 100-plus-loss seasons, he remains hopeful that the club is close to being competitive again.
“You can look around this clubhouse and see there is talent,” Merrifield said. “You’ve got guys like Jorge Soler and [Adalberto] Mondesi and Hunter Dozier. And Salvy [Perez] is coming back and hopefully Alex [Gordon]. I think we’re a lot closer than people might think.”
Starling hopes to add weight
Royals rookie center fielder Bubba Starling experienced major weight loss this season. He started Spring Training at about 225 pounds.
But at one point shortly after getting called up in July, Starling was down to about 200 pounds.
“I think it started with just eating some bad meals in the Minors, which happens,” Starling said. “And I remember when I first got called up, I couldn’t eat for like 36 hours and I lost even more weight.”
Starling said he hopes to put on about 20 more pounds this offseason as he trains in Kansas City.
“I need to get back near 225,” Starling said. “At that weight, I can still be quick enough to move in center and still have strength to hit with some power.”