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Royals Rumblings - News for August 10, 2016

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The mantis is dead. Long live the mantis.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for August 10, 2016

Sam Mellinger shares some thoughts on what the Royals will need to do for next year.

The most important thing for the Royals remains, as always, what happens with the guys already employed by the organization. If Danny Duffy continues to pitch like this, and Yordano Ventura can perform closer to his ability, then along with Ian Kennedy (and perhaps Ed Volquez) the Royals have the basis of a decent rotation.

They also need Wade Davis healthy, Joakim Soria back to being a good pitcher, and Raul Mondesi to come along. They need Alcides Escobar’s bounce back, Mike Moustakas’ knee strong, and Alex Gordon to perform up to his contract.

If all or most of that happens, it doesn’t matter much what the Royals bring from the outside.

But, like all teams, they will need to make some additions. Most importantly, they need to add pitching depth — expect some low-risk gambles like the Chris Young signing of 2015 — and a hitter who can play right field or DH.

Jeffrey Flanagan answers his mailbox, writing that Royals fans should expect Alcides Escobar back at shortstop next year.

The Royals have a $6.5 million club option on Alcides Escobar for 2017 -- that's a bargain by today's standards for a Gold Glove shortstop. Royals fans tend to view Escobar far differently than manager Ned Yost or club officials, who still see the guy who was MVP of last year's American League Championship Series and a clutch performer the past two postseasons. True, Escobar's .279 on-base percentage is very poor, especially for a leadoff man. But the Royals believe 2017 can be another championship season, and while top prospect Raul Mondesi could easily be as good -- if not better -- defensively than Escobar at shortstop, the Royals are better overall with Escobar at short and Mondesi at second next season.

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at some interesting numbers for the Royals this year.

-1 – The total number of Defensive Runs Saved when the Royals deploy the shift. Scoff all you want at defensive metrics, but the Royals use the shift among the fewest times of all teams, but when they do, they can’t seem to get it right. They and the Miami Marlins are the only teams in baseball with a negative Runs Saved when shifting. The Royals have rightfully earned kudos for expanding their analytics department the last several seasons, but I’m wondering why they aren’t using the defensive data more to their advantage. Do they think their defense is simply that great that they don’t need to shift like other teams? That seems like a very Royals thing to do.

The Royals have built a home for Rally Mantis.

Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez talk about their Instagram videos.

Frank White still leads by example with the Jackson County Legislature.

Is it time for the Cardinals to fire manager Mike Matheny?

Do the Pirates have a sense of urgency?

Giants manager Bruce Bochy was recently hospitalized.

Cubs infielder Tommy LaStella has not reported to his minor league assignment for almost two weeks now.

The Red Sox cancel a David Ortiz bobblehead giveaway over concerns the bobbleheads were racially insensitive.

The MLBPA is wary of "wearable devices" that collect health data about players.

A ranking of how Olympic sports look from your couch.

Tim Kaine wants to revive the Missouri-Kansas college rivalry.

What is up with food being sold at T.J. Maxx?

Addressing a female attorney as "honey" will result in a sanction by the ABA.

A man is suing the producers of Suicide Squad for a misleading trailer with scenes that weren’t in the movie.

Your song of the day is Atlas Genius with "Trojans."