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Royal Ups and Downs: Chickenpox Edition

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I can't name it anything else. Sorry.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Well, "they overcame a chickenpox outbreak" or "they were hamstrung by chickenpox" just got thrown into every Royals season review story (let's make sure we have it covered here, eh Max?). There's obviously no telling how much this'll actually affect the team going forward, but I sure would've preferred a report that said "the Royals, with Alex Gordon back off the DL, are in perfect health and are wonderful."

As to roster news, the Royals now have Jonny Gomes, who is kinda like a bargain-basement Josh Willingham. Gomes also brings the ability to either be a clubhouse leader/prankster, or just plain obnoxious depending on who you ask (or, perhaps more accurately, if the team is winning)! He hits lefties! He can't play defense! He survived a heart attack in 2002 (no, really)! He has the uncanny ability to appeal to fans by having a beard and choosing fun walk-up music! His wikipedia page reads like someone they'll make a Disney movie about! There's your scouting report from someone who's lived in the Boston media market for the past 18 years.

Anyways, I'm short of time and patience, so off to the arrow-assigning-asininity. Your Position Player Ups and Downs for August/the first game of September:

SS - Alcides Escobar -

kaboom

Hmm. Well, another tick off last year's pace for Alcides. After four months of total adequacy at the plate, he's fallen to a .300 OBP on the dot. While, again, this doesn't kill you from a SS who can flash the leather, it's not a priority to place at the top of your line-up. And it has been an ugly month for Al at the plate.

3B/OF/2B - Ben Zobrist -

Ups

Yeah, I don't even know what the plan is for Zobrist's position at this point, but you've gotta get him in the line-up somehow. He raked at .343/.433/.539 in August. He won't do that the whole time he's a Royal, but Zobrist has been a worthwhile acquisition and then some.

CF - Lorenzo Cain -

nope

It's super-weird to be writing, "hey is something wrong with Lorenzo Cain?" what with how great he's been this year. Still, it bears mentioning that while his overall August line looks good, he's hit .258/.333/.258 over the last 15 games after a hot--you know, like the rest of his year--first couple weeks of August.

1B - Eric Hosmer -

nope

It's as if Hosmer's and Cain's August fortunes were synced. Hosmer hit well over the first two weeks of the month, and his .309/.369/.467 is still quite fine...but he's hit at .232/.317/.268 over the last two weeks. Note that neither of these players received a down arrow because this is for the whole month of August, but it's kind of weird/concerning that both have slumped so hard at the same time.

DH - Kendrys Morales -

Ups

Morales' triple slash line--which basically sums up his contributions--is back up to .286/.353/.465, and he should benefit from having lefty-mashing options on the roster. All is well.

C - Salvador Perez -

Ups

Recovered from a seemingly never-ending slump to slug 3 homers and 4 doubles while hitting .275 in August. Let's just whistle past the OBP and be glad that Perez appears to be not quite dead.

2B - Omar Infante -

kaboom

OBP went down from last time's .244 figure. Ugh. Read that again so I don't have type it again. Infante's OBP is .232. Just...wow. Okay, anyhow, once everyone's well, can Zobrist PLEASE move over to second?

Omar's basically moved the needle on his skillset over to "defensive replacement at second" this season. There are worse things, I suppose.

OF - Jarrod Dyson -

Ups

OBP'd .344 in August and did his usual thing in the field. I'm contractually obligated to write out the words "playing time" in every Dyson Ups and Downs blurb.

OF - Paulo Orlando -

kaboom

While his XBH seem to have a knack for appearing at good times, Orlando's got to be wondering how much playing time he's going to lose to Gomes. Orlando is the obviously superior defensive player, but aside for a little pop...he hasn't really hit either lefties or righties. His OBP is at .260.

3B - Mike Moustakas -

Ups

Had found a bit of his April-May Mojo before his hamstring started barking, which was nice. Moustakas showed came fully back to life for the first time in awhile, smacking the apple to the tune of .281/.375/.562 in August. Now it's a matter of keeping that leg healthy. At least he doesn't have chicken pox?

OF - Alex Rios -

nope

At least he doesn't have "great pox"?

Sorry, been playing too much Crusader Kings II. I'll see myself out.

OTHERS: Drew Butera hit .280/.357/.440 in 25 PAs in August!...Celebrate! Terrance Gore is back!