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Royals Rumblings - News for August 4, 2014

Beating Oakland means we won the trade deadline, right?

Jason O. Watson

Ned Yost isn't in a hurry to add a bat to his bench.

The customary number of pitchers is 12, and manager Ned Yost initially indicated he intended to correct the discrepancy before Tuesday’s series opener against the Diamondbacks. But before the game on Saturday, Yost explained why the team might delay the decision until it can find a player who fits the profile as an addition to their three-man bench.

"We may ride it longer," Yost said. "I don’t know. We’re fine right now. I don’t need the extra bench player. I’m not screaming for the extra bench player. It’s a luxury right now."

Lee Judge writes that the reason the Royals were able to take a series from the best team in baseball was because of pitching and defense.

The people who play this game for a living will tell you that baseball is about pitching and defense. You can do everything else right, but if you don’t pitch well, you’re still going to lose a lot of games.

That’s why you couldn’t find anyone in the Royals clubhouse who was upset about the Wil Myers trade. The players think pitching is the name of the game, and this series against the Oakland A’s — the best team in baseball — shows why. On Friday, the Royals pitched and defended well and won 1-0. On Saturday, they pitched OK, played defense poorly and got beat 8-3. On Sunday, James Shields threw eight innings, surrendered four hits and only two runs and the Royals took the series with a 4-2 win.

A position player affects the game on balls hit to him and the four or five times he steps to the plate. A starting pitcher affects the game for 100 or more pitches. There’s no comparison.

The Royals led the league in ERA last year and had one of the best defenses in the last ten years by some measures - and they won 86 games. But yes, pitching and defense trumps all.

The Royals are considering moving third base prospect Hunter Dozier to right field because Mike Moustakas has played so well lately.

Another possibility being discussed -- if Moustakas cements himself at third for the Royals -- would be to move Dozier to second base eventually. One scout said he would project to be a "Jeff Kent type" of second baseman.

Mike Moustakas will be here for the next ten years. Get used to it.

Nathaniel Stolz at Fangraphs has written how the Royals elimination of their Arizona Rookie League team has created an unusual backlog for their Appalachian League affiliate in Burlington.

The Royals thus lost an entire team’s worth of roster spots in their system in the offseason, and that created something of a backlog in their organization. All the high school draftees and Latin American kids who would normally (or at least often) be assigned to their old AZL team now jumped straight up to the club’s Rookie-Advanced affiliate in Burlington. The squad opened the year with a whopping 38 players on its roster as a result, including four 17-year-olds and six players picked in the top six rounds of the 2014 draft. As you’d expect, the raw Burlington squad resides in last place in the Appalachian League East Division, but also as you’d expect, they are largely considered the most talented team in the circuit

Speaking of weighing costs vs. player development, Sam Mellinger has a cool piece about how the demise of the Royals Academy 40 years ago, and how Ewing Kauffman regretted ending the innovative program that produced Royals Hall of Famer Frank White

By virtually any measure, the Academy was a resounding success. In five years, 14 eventual big-leaguers came out of the Academy — a success rate similar to or better than actual draft classes. Besides White and Ron Washington, the Academy produced U.L. Washington (no relation to Ron), a skinny kid who hitchhiked from Oklahoma to a tryout camp and played shortstop for 11 years in the big leagues. His best years were with the Royals, and from 1979-83 — some of the best teams in franchise history — he teamed with second baseman White on an all-Academy double-play combination.

But there were other forces at work. The economy was dipping, and Kauffman was trying to balance his baseball books. The Academy cost about $500,000 a year to operate. Nobody knows for sure, but some believe he saw closing the Academy as a way to offset the money he’d spent the year before to open a new stadium that today bears his name.

Jeremy Guthrie is a pop-a-shot master.

Grantland's Ben Lindbergh has his trade deadline winners and losers, and the Royals don't even merit a mention.

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson - who the Royals face on Tuesday - is just awful.

On Saturday, the Diamondbacks flat-out embarrassed themselves. Because of their mentality, it was a given that they’d seek revenge after Paul Goldschmidt suffered a broken finger when he was hit by a pitch during Friday’s game. There was nothing intentional about that pitch, something Goldschmidt himself acknowledged. But the Diamondbacks were going to drill Andrew McCutchen last night regardless.

No, what was pathetic about the whole incident was that the Diamondbacks did nothing the first three times McCutchen was up. They waited until they were down 5-1 in the ninth, then they had Randall Delgado throw a 95-mph fastball at the small of McCutchen’s back. A little higher, and a team with no postseason aspirations might have had a huge effect on a team aiming to play in October.

It was a true act of cowardice from baseball’s most ludicrous tough guys.

The Royals #1 fan in Korea is finally coming to Kansas City to "Be Royal."

These guys know what's up.

A nine-year old loses his family in Central Park for the day, has the "greatest day of his life." I think I've seen that movie.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" is getting pretty good reviews. This is the one with Dumbledore, right?

Does this mean "Howard the Duck" will be the next Marvel franchise?

The Royals have crawled back into this thing, but we still have two months of baseball left. Your song of the day is Grouplove's "Ways to Go."