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Royals Rumblings - News for August 16, 2016

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A NEW MANTIS HAS RISEN!

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for August 16, 2016

Dan Szymborski at ESPN writes that the Royals face an abyss in 2018.

ZiPS puts the 2017 Royals at 34.5 WAR, which puts them right around .500, not the worst place to start the winter after a disappointing season in which they'll likely finish below that line. But it also suggests a team that's projected for fewer wins than they were entering 2016 and a team that needs a lot to go right to be a serious contender. After 2017, it gets worse, as the table shows. To stay competitive after that, just to maintain that .500 team, the Royals need to replace 20 WAR.

Finding 20 new wins is an extremely tall order for them.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City offers a defense of Ian Kennedy.

Back to Kennedy specifically, there’s a lot to like with what he’s done this season. He’s kept the team in the game way more often than not, allowing two or less runs in 15 of his 23 starts, a rate that’s on par with guys like Chris Sale and Cole Hamels. He’s gone six or more innings 14 out of 23 times and only failed to get through five innings three times. And one of those times was that weird rain delay game in Minnesota when he came back out after the delay and struggled.

Some might believe Kennedy is overpaid, and relative to the total payroll of the Royals, he probably is. In terms of baseball money, that’s not especially true. A win on the free agent market is worth around $8 million. He’s been worth 2.4 WARP this year and was at 2.2 and 2.3 the last two seasons. He’s averaged around 2.7 WARP for every 33 starts he makes. He’s on pace for about a 3.4 WARP this year, so even if you peg him for a decline of 0.5 every year, he’s set to be worth 12 WARP over the life of his deal, which in present day money is worth about $96 million, or $26 million more than he’s owed.

Lee Judge writes that clutch players exist, but not in the way you think.

Royals manager Ned Yost and I recently talked about clutch players and I ventured the opinion that being clutch mainly consisted of staying the same. The movies show us clutch players doing something fantastic like hitting a home run that somehow sets off a fireworks display, but in real life being clutch is not raising your game to another level; it’s taking the same consistent approach whether it’s spring training or the playoffs.

RIP Rally Mantis.

But welcome Rally Mantis 2!

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