Rustin Dodd reports that Kris Medlen has a shoulder issue that needs looking at, which may preclude him from making his start on Sunday:
Before Wednesday’s 7-3 victory over the New York Yankees, Royals manager Ned Yost said right-hander Kris Medlen would "more than likely" make his next start on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves at Kauffman Stadium. But then a shoulder issue surfaced on late Wednesday afternoon, putting that start in jeopardy.
Yost said Medlen would see a doctor on Thursday and have the shoulder evaluated. If he is not able to start Sunday, the Royals could turn to left-hander Danny Duffy or left-hander Brian Flynn, Yost said.
Neither pitcher has been stretched out more than 70 pitches this season. Still, the current state of the Royals’ starting rotation could force one into a spot start.
BP KCer Darin Watson reassures us that every good team has bad stetches, noting:
The other four NL playoff teams had struggles at various points, too. The Dodgers had 4-8, 2-7, and 2-8 stretches. Pittsburgh had a 2-8 and a 3-6 period. The Cubs had 3-8 and 6-10 stretches of futility. Even the Cardinals, the only MLB team to win 100 games last year, weren’t immune. They had two different 5-9 stretches and a 2-8 one in early September, making the NL Central race interesting for a bit.
You want more? I’ve got more.
Every 2014 playoff team had bad stretches. The 2014 American League champions—oh, that would be the Royals—went 3-7 in early May of that season, and 9-18 from mid-June to mid-July. The team that won the AL Central, Detroit, had 4-13 and 5-10 stretches. The World Series winners, San Francisco, went 6-13 from late July to mid-August. The Pirates, who lost the wild-card game to the Giants, went 6-17 after a 6-3 start to the season. Yep, they were 12-20 in early May and still won 88 games.
BP KCer Clint Scoles got a chance to watch Shawnee Mission East likely first rounder Joey Wentz pitch:
On the hill, Wentz was 89-93 mph, showing an ability to attack all quadrants of the zone including the bottom half, which he can get to with easy downhill plane. Along with the fastball he showed a real feel for a curveball which has nice shape and a feel for being able to place it in and out of the zone.
In his What You Need to Know from Tuesday's games, Nicolas Stellini notes that Tuesday's Royals aren't the Royals we've known:
Close your eyes and think of the Royals. There has perhaps been no more unique team over the past two years. They’ve won in a way that was at first foreign, and—seemingly, at times—illogical. The long ball isn’t the weapon of choice here; rather, they wield defense, a never-ending procession of elite relievers, and Ned Yost’s gut. Close your eyes and think of the Royals. You see Wade Davis. You see Alcides Escobar and his sub-.300 OBP leading off. You see Salvador Perez poking the ball under Josh Donaldson’s glove down the left field line. You see Omar Infante running rampant in the All-Star voting. It feels unconventional, but it feels right. There’s something magical about what they have done and what they have been. Something that makes the corners of your mouth curl up and forces a chuckle out of your throat.
That mental image of the Royals was absent on Tuesday. The slap hitting, the bullpen, the defense. All of it was missing in action, locked away with the princess in another castle. What instead was on display at Yankee Stadium was perhaps the antithesis of what Kansas City baseball has been about for nigh on two and a half years.
Old friend Clark Fosler looks for a hero and hopes that maybe it might could be Cheslor Cuthbert.
Of Ventura's first inning:
By the way, that was the first 1-2-3 first inning by a #Royals pitcher (Chris Young) since April 27 in Anaheim.— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) May 11, 2016
At Baseball Prospectus, Christopher Crawford pitches Mike Trout deals and gets shot down.
MLB is investigating the Red Sox for possible bonus pool violations in their international signings.
Marcus Stroman is attending commencement to receive his degree from Duke.
At FanGraphs, Owen Watson marvels at how Josh Donaldson has fully become Edwin Encarnacion.
The Fertittas may be selling their 80% stake in the UFC, possibly for as much as $4B. Dana White denies this claim, complete with a Darren Rovell slam.
At Vox, David Roberts looks at the fundamental ways in which transportation is changing.
It looks like Joaquin Phoenix is set to star in a feature based loosely on the life of Adam LaRoche.
What we've learned about Prince since his death.
A look at the political history of Radiohead.
The song for today is "Whatever's Written in Your Heart" by Gerry Rafferty from his masterpiece City to City: