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Royals Rumblings - News for July 18, 2016

Those free swingin' Royals.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for July 18, 2016

Jesse Newell shows just how walk-averse the Royals have been.

Many people consider 1969 the beginning of the "modern era" of baseball; MLB expanded (which included the Royals), reduced the strike zone and also implemented division play. In the 48 seasons since then, no team — none — has a lower walk percentage than this year’s Kansas City Royals. The 2002 Detroit Tigers, who went 55-106, rank second-worst on the list at 6.1 percent. Another way to look at it: The Royals rank 1,318 out of 1,318 in walk rate since 1969. KC proved a year ago that success can come without many walks. The Royals’ rate last year was 6.3 percent, which is fourth-worst in the modern era.

Lee Judge writes that the Royals bullpen has struggled in the seventh inning.

Compared with last year, the Royals have gone from three relievers with shutdown stuff (Davis, Madson and Herrera … four if you want to count Holland) to two (Davis and Herrera). And that’s showing up in the seventh inning.

In 2016 , opponents are hitting .266 in the sixth, spiking up to .275 in the seventh and then dropping off again in the eighth (.236) and ninth (.219). That batting average of .275 might not seem like much of an increase, but over a full game it would be the second-highest team batting average in the American League.

Lorenzo Cain could play some right field when he returns.

Cain will still need to complete a brief rehab assignment before returning to the major-league roster, but when he does come back, he could log starts in right field as a way to lessen the stress on his legs. "We’re still discussing that," Yost said. Yost cited the spacious outfield at Kauffman Stadium and the physical toll of the center field position. It’s possible, Yost said, that Cain could play right field while Jarrod Dyson or Paulo Orlando sees time in center.

"There’s just so much room (in center)," Yost said. "If you look at like two games before he hurt his leg, there were like 18 or 19 balls he was roaming all over the place to get. If we do decide to put him in right field, it would be because we decide to take a little pressure off his legs."

Alex Gordon is hoping for a better second half.

"All I can say,’ Gordon said, "is I’ve played like crap."

Clark Fosler at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City wants the Royals to make a move at the deadline.

All that said, after all the articles and tweets on the subject, I do advocate making a move. While we often bristle at the mental component of team building (and as Royals’ fans who lived through the bad years, we have a right to) I do think making a trade might provide this squad with a little energy. I don’t believe this team has been going through the motions this year, they play hard, they generally have been focused, but there does seem to be just a bit of ‘we’re good, we’re comfortable, we all know each other, it’ll all work out’ sort of aura around the entire organization.

Such an attitude is understandable. Heck, it is not even a bad thing. That said, if one can add a little fire to the comfortable and confident vibe, I could see that non-quantifiable intangible adding value over and above whatever value the acquired starting pitcher might bring. Of course, that could just be the old man musing in me, too.

Jonny Gomes is upset he is not among those invited to the White House with the Royals.

Eric Hosmer goes to bat for a two-year old with cancer.

Clubhouse Conversation talks to Royals prospect Chase Vallot.

The Astros sign Cuban star infielder Yulieski Gurriel.

MLB tells managers to cut it out with the arguing.

Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski has been pretty good at trading prospects.

Rob Neyer thinks the Athletics front office has become too insular.

Which five teams are going "all in" this year?

The Indians "sacrifice" a live chicken and ask Jobu for forgiveness.

Classic sports moments with Pokemon added.

Henrik Stinson wins the British Open on a terrific Sunday.

The seven biggest problems facing science, according to scientists.

Is the housing market waving some red flags?

Lucasfilm is making a virtual reality movie about Darth Vader.

Your song of the day is Gary Clark Jr. with "Don't Owe You a Thang."