Royals Rumblings - News for June 22, 2016
Sam Mellinger assesses the Royals' post-season chances at this point in the year.
To me, it’s always been primarily between the Royals and Indians. I do think some of the Tigers-getting-old stuff is overblown. They have just three player in their regular lineup in their 30s, and one of them is Miguel Cabrera, and they’re transitioning Michael Fulmer to the big leagues. But whatever. I do think their window is closing, where it’s very much wide open for the Indians and Royals. There are too many moving parts to say it will come down to one or two things. The 2016 Royals aren’t as good as the 2015 Royals, but then, they don’t have to be.
Darin Watson at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City thinks the Royals should keep Brett Eibner even when Alex Gordon returns.
First, Eibner is unlikely to see the quality of breaking balls he’s seen in the majors at Omaha. And really, he has hit .280/.353/.471 in 224 games for Omaha. I don’t think he has anything left to prove there. At age 27, he’s not really a prospect to improve, either. I think he’s got to sink or swim at the major league level. It won’t be easy without regular playing time, but Eibner seems like a good enough hitter to at least not be dominated by breaking pitches. I think he can figure it out.
Second, the Royals have five games coming up in National League parks, even after this two-game series in New York. While that means Kendrys Morales will be available to pinch-hit, rather than DH, it might be nice to have a second pinch-hitter with some power.
Seth Wingeter at Royals Blue talks about the miracle of Whit Merrifield.
With the importance of hitting the ball hard established, Merrifield puts himself amongst the best of the franchise. At 36.1%, his Hard Hit% is the slightest bit behind Eric Hosmer(36.4%) and Salvador Perez(36.6%), but also just slightly ahead Kendrys Morales(35.9%)(note: players also within .5% of Merrifield include Miguel Cabrera, Nick Castellanos and Mark Trumbo). Although Merrifield’s extremely low launch rate is going to limit him from hitting HR’s like any of the other players listed, his Hard Hit% should allow him to keep his BA at a somewhat above average level. With this mostly offsetting his ridiculously high BABIP, he should regress, but still be able to finish the year around .290.
The Royals officially release Omar Infante.
Rusty Kuntz talks to Lee Judge about how he keeps outfielders from daydreaming.
Hunter Dozier talks about taking advantage of his opportunities.
A new book details the rise of the Royals from the ashes of the departing Kansas City Athletics.
Yordano Ventura and George Brett make the "All-Hot Head Team."
White Sox fans at South Side Sox are ready for wholesale changes.
The Cardinals come to terms that they likely won't win the division.
Argentina ran circles around the US Men's National Team in Copa America.
It looks like Ben Simmons will be the top pick of the NBA draft.
New FAA rules allow you to fly drones without a pilot's license.
A history of television characters becoming president without ever being elected.
Your song of the day is Cold War Kids with "Hang Me Out to Dry".