Royals Rumblings - News for July 16, 2015
Sam Mellinger looks at the keys for the Royals in the second half.
The problem is typical of any team looking to improve through a trade: the acquisition costs can be incredibly high. For instance, Ben Zobrist would figure to be a terrific fit for the Royals. He is reliable, gets on base, has some power, and can play both second base and a corner outfield spot. But the A’s have given little indication they are motivated to trade Zobrist for anything other than a big haul, and, generally, speaking, the cost for a top addition would likely be top prospect Raul Mondesi and a piece or two off the big league team — Duffy or Kelvin Herrera, for instance.
Ken Rosenthal has some assorted thoughts following the All-Star Game.
Salvador Perez. Always was gifted defensively, but struggled as a hitter earlier in his career. In 2009, the Royals even demoted Perez from Class A back to rookie ball because of his offensive struggles. The following year, Perez shared catching duties with Wil Myers at high A and started to take off offensively. Ned Yost, then a special advisor with the team, fell in love with Perez and became his advocate. Perez reached the majors with Yost as his manager the following year.
David Lesky at Pine Tar Press looks at starting pitchers the Royals could target for a trade.
Dan Haren – Haren is having a really nice season with the Marlins, doing his typical dance of not walking anybody and striking out fewer than you’d like but enough. He’s also giving up fly balls at a rate he’s never before seen, which works in Miami, but also works in Kansas City. When he was traded to the Marlins, there was talk that he might retire rather than pitching on the not West Coast, so who knows if he’d even be happy pitching in KC, but he’d be a really nice mid-rotation target for the Royals. You’d like to see more innings from a guy who is no longer great, but he gives enough, and would be a nice fit. A free agent after the season, Haren could be a pretty inexpensive rental for the Royals. You wonder if getting back to the AL where he posted a 4.33 ERA in his last go round might be trouble, but he’s certainly worth considering.
Ben Lindbergh at Grantland tries to simulate what it would be like if the Royals really took on the National League All-Stars.
Even in the most favorable matchup — Volquez vs. deGrom, with home-field advantage on K.C.’s side — the All-Stars still prevail at about a 100-win clip. Overall, the NL All-Stars go 109-53 over a 162-game season, a .673 winning percentage. It’s worth mentioning, though, that Lichtman’s projections — like those at Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs — still see the Royals as close to a .500 team over the rest of the season, and they’ve easily exceeded that figure so far. If they can keep up their overachieving in simulation land, they might get the All-Stars down to .650.
Kansas City tuned in to see the All-Star Game.
K.C. led all markets for All Star Game with 31.4 rating. Host market Cincy got a 22.8 local figure— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) July 15, 2015
More people in Kansas City watched last night's All Star Game than the Wild Card game.— Carrington Harrison (@cdotharrison) July 15, 2015
Kris Medlen was sharp in his rehab outing for Northwest Arkansas last night.
Kris Medlen tonight: 7.0IP, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 4K 94 pitches, 61 for strikes.— NW Arkansas Naturals (@nwanaturals) July 16, 2015
The Pacific Coast League lost the Triple-A All-Star Game in part due to former Royals reliever Blake Wood. Royals farmhand Cheslor Cuthbert was 0-for-2. Louis Coleman gave up the game-winning hit in the ninth. John Lamb did not pitch which is....interesting.
Walter Barnard at Minor League Ball gives a scouting report on Royals minor leaguer Bubba Starling.
In games two and three I was able to see a more polished approach and a glimmer of his near future potential. Two hits and two walks in each game where he showed great patience at the plate and laid off many breaking pitches in front of the plate he chased the night before. He is clearly trying to make pitch to pitch and bat to bat adjustments but looks the part of a complex/Low A player with 5 tools. Now that is not a bad thing considering he is 22 years old and adjusting to a very polished group of pitchers in the Texas League. Many players look this way as they enter higher levels. But make no mistake, I knew two years ago this is going to be a long term education and a long term process.
Baseball American has its top ten Royals prospect list out (subscription required). Mondesi is #1, but Hunter Dozier has fallen out of the top ten.
Third baseman Hunter Dozier impressed scouts with a short swing and a line-drive approach that produced doubles and a solid on-base percentage. But he’s gotten into some bad habits as he tried to add more loft to drive the ball. His swing is now longer, and he can’t catch up to pitches he should punish. Dozier has to effectively start over in getting back to the shorter, less power-oriented swing he used to have at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Pitcher Miguel Almonte was promoted to AAA Omaha.
Balbino Fuenmayor and Ryan O'Hearn are the Royals farmhands listed as first-half risers at MiLB.com.
Old friend Erik Kratz is once again available.
Rowyal points out a story at Grantland about former Royals slugger Joe Vitiello and an unfortunate pie in the face.
Commissioner Rob Manfred thinks baseball could expand again in the future.
Could baseball go back to a 154-game schedule?
Is neuroscience the next market inefficiency in baseball?
The Chiefs sign star linebacker Justin Houston to a $100 million contract.
Forget the ESPYs, we're handing out the "Es-Bees" to reward the silliest sports stuff.
China is developing a big database of all us Americans.
Do we need to bring back earmarks to make Congress work again?
Former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong goes off on the "white-power racist-sexist neckbeards" at Reddit.
Stephen Colbert grills Neil Degrasse Tyson on Pluto.
Your song of the day is The Rolling Stones with "I am Waiting."