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Royals Rumblings - News for July 9, 2015

Pray for Gordo.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for July 9, 2015

Sam Mellinger writes that Paulo Orlando deserves a shot to show what he can do.

Orlando is not nearly as proven, or naturally gifted, as Rios. But he is playing better than Rios — an opinion based not just on Tuesday, but also scouts — and at the very least he gives the Royals an option. He could be an upgrade defensively, and if Rios is slowed by either that nagging thumb injury or the fractured hand he suffered in April, then the Royals could sell more time for Orlando as a chance for Rios to rest and get healthy.

"(Orlando) got his opportunity today when he played," Yost said. "He just continues to play. That’s my job, to continue to give him opportunities when they present themselves. He got an opportunity today, with Cain being out, and he took advantage of it."

Yost said those words after the first game, and Orlando did start in place of Rios in right field in the second game. There is no indication this is a long-term trend, but it is something worth watching. Orlando is not a panacea. He is a 29-year-old rookie who is hitting .242 with 23 strikeouts. But he might be the Royals’ best option, at least in the short-term.

Dan Szymborski at ESPN writes about the Royals elite defense.

It took one start in front of the Royals' defense for new rotation anchor Edinson Volquez to declare it the league's best. The rest of the staff owes the D a huge hat tip too: If you gave Kansas City a league-average defense instead of its assortment of world-beaters, the team's ERA would swell from 3.52, third in the AL, to 3.99, which would rank ninth. And as for the standings? Zero out the Royals' 39 defensive runs saved and it would translate to four fewer wins. Now give them the leaky gloves of the Philadelphia Phillies, the league's worst defensive team (minus-74 runs saved) and the Royals, on pace to win 94 games, would win 71.

Darin Watson at Pine Tar Press wonders if the Royals have used BABIP as the new market inefficiency.

But maybe the Royals have figured out another way. Strikeouts are on the rise in baseball. As always, teams value home run hitters, making the best ones to pricey for the Royals’ budget. Teams are willing to exchange home runs for plenty of strikeouts. And there is something to be said for that; after all, a home run is worth at least one run. Regular base hits, especially singles, aren’t. Would you rather have someone hit 40 home runs or 160 singles? Give me the 40-homer guy, even if they have the same number of total bases....

Now, this is not necessarily the way I would build a team. As I mentioned, a walk gets you on base 100% of the time. A home run scores at least one run 100% of the time. Those are what I would emphasize. We’ve seen recently how frustrating a contact-based offense can be. That can be said for any offense, but when a team is depending on well-placed line drives and grounders, they are susceptible to long stretches of low-scoring games.

On the other hand, perhaps this is the best strategy for the Royals. Those big power hitters seldom make good defenders. The Royals succeed with great defense, especially in the outfield. Kauffman Stadium punishes home run hitters, but rewards line-drive hitters who can find the gaps. Especially if they can run.

Aaron Brooks gets to stay, its Brandon Finnegan that was shipped down to Omaha to get the Royals back down to 25.

No surprise, Mike Moustakas has the early lead in the Final Vote.

Dear god, we have made a deal with the devil.

The Star's Vahe Gregorian talks about what the Royals might do at the trade deadline.

John Viril at Kings of Kauffman looks at how the Zack Greinke deal that netted Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain could have turned out terribly if Dayton Moore actually got what he wanted.

Clint Scoles looks at a pair of lower-profile signings the Royals made upon the start of the international signing period.

Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs looks at examples of bunt doubles, like the one Alcides Escobar had on Tuesday against the Rays.

Here we’ve got Escobar bunting with two outs and ending up in scoring position. The bunt itself didn’t do what Escobar intended — bunts that get popped up tend to be virtually automatic outs — but this was a pop in just the right place. It didn’t just drop in to give him one base; it came down close enough to Everett Teaford to compel him to dive. His dive was short, and the ball rolled away. It has some of the ingredients of an error, but because Teaford went to some effort to get himself in that position, the scorer decided not to penalize the defense. And to think, if it weren’t for a pretty heads-up Asdrubal Cabrera, this could’ve become a sort of bunt triple, as the third baseman had converged on the initial pop. Escobar bunted for a double on a ball that ended up behind home plate.

Chase Utley seem to have lost his starting job for the Phillies. He has more time to respond to Mac's letter I suppose.

Here are the ten best active big leaguers who have never made an All-Star team. Shoulda played for the Royals.

Former South Carolina star running back Marcus Lattimore talks to SB Nation about why he retired so young from the NFL

DeAndre Jordan is having second thoughts about joining the Mavericks.

Adam Schefter somehow got Jason Pierre-Paul's medical records, a major HIPAA violation for whoever leaked it.

A District Court has upheld the decision that "Redskins" cannot be a registered trademark.

Keith Olberman is out at ESPN in a cost-cutting move.

Ariane Grande hates America so now she won't perform at the All-Star Game.

Paramount is shortening the time between when movies hit the theaters and when they reach "video-on-demand."

Reddit's moderators explain why they shut down the "Ask Me Anything" forum.

Author Chuck Palahniuk talks about his sequel to "Fight Club."

Your song of the day is Aretha Franklin with "Think."