The Ringer didn't waste any time getting a piece out incredulous at Royals fans voting for Omar Infante:
America’s favorite second baseman might just get another shot at the All-Star Game — oh, sorry, I mean Kansas City’s favorite. Omar Infante, the 34-year-old mainstay at the bottom of the Royals’ lineup, once again looks poised to land an invite to the Midsummer Classic.
The second baseman narrowly missed starting last year’s showcase, seemingly after frightening non-Kansas City fans into action: Infante was the worst hitter in baseball last June, and yet led American League balloting at the position until the final tally, when, following weeks of handwringing by media and fans alike, the Astros’ José Altuve overtook him. This year, Infante doesn’t look any more like an All-Star. Since April 16, he has batted just .211 with no home runs and six extra-base hits. There aren’t a lot of reasons you would want to see him in July — unless you have a fondness for royal blue.
And it appears voters do. This week brought the first 2016 All-Star ballot update, and Kansas City fans are again trying to make baseball’s biggest small thing their own. To say that the Royals dominated the early vote would be an insult to conquerors everywhere: K.C. players led two of seven position categories, and they’re in second in the remaining five. Catcher Salvador Perez leads all major leaguers with 1,094,942 votes; Infante pulled in 473,205, behind Altuve but well ahead of the Mariners’ Robinson Canó.
Per Jeffrey Flanagan, It looks like Alex Gordon can start throwing this weekend:
Alex Gordon was told after his injury -- a fractured scaphoid in his right wrist after a collision with Mike Moustakas -- that he would be re-evaluated after 10 days.
That time frame was up on Wednesday and Gordon, after an examination, was told by physicians that it's progressing as well as it can be.
"I can start throwing after the Cleveland series [this weekend] and start hitting next homestand," Gordon said. "Nothing extreme in terms of throwing."
Royals beat the Rays, 6-3. They finished 6-0 on the home stand. They've won 13 of 16 for the first time since August 2014. KC is 30-22.— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) June 2, 2016
No mention of 15 of 20, Rustin?
The Star's Jesse Newell looks at how this year's Royals are measuring up to last year's at this juncture. Of note:
Even if the Royals starters have been worse this season, that’s been balanced a bit by the fact that the bullpen — somehow — has gotten better. The Royals’ 2.43 bullpen ERA is best in baseball, and Kelvin Herrera (25 innings, 32 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1.08 ERA) ranks as the MLB’s top reliever in Fangraphs WAR.
Numerous psych studies (none of which are listed or detailed) apparently support Ned Yost slotting Alcides Escobar in the leadoff spot, or at least so says John Viril.
This weekend's opponents, those guys from Cleveland, have to deal with an even thinner outfield now that Marlon Byrd got suspended for a year.
Dave Cameron looks at where the Diamondbacks can go from here. Odds are they trade Zack Greinke to the Royals for a package built around Clint Robinson.
If your name is Dave Nelson, you could totally snag one of these sweet Phil Hartman greetings for your voicemail message. (h/t to thelaundry)
When the employees of Trump University are the most damning testifiers, things could get messy.
The song of the day is the brand new single from The Avalanches "Frankie Sinatra" from their forthcoming album Wildflower that has been at least ten years in the making and will finally hit the streets on July 8.