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Royals Rumblings - News for September 27, 2016

One last day in contention.

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for September 27, 2016

Whit Merrifield has played himself into the mix at second base next year.

And so, as the club opens its final home stand with a game against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night, Merrifield has resurfaced as a possible option at second base, a position that, barring an offseason acquisition, will likely remain muddled entering spring training in 2017.

“It’s wide open,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

This, of course, is a marked change from the last three seasons, when Omar Infante entered each year as the likely starter. But with Infante gone, the result of two years of diminishing offense, the Royals will look for a more stable answer at the spot next season.

It’s possible, too, that the club will consider free agent options this winter; second base and right field will likely lead the list of non-pitching priorities in the offseason. But Yost is confident the organization has the internal pieces to fill the spot.

Jeffrey Flanagan considers what the outfield looks like in 2017.

Interesting question. The Royals went into 2016 thinking Jarrod Dyson could be their starting right fielder. Dyson got hurt and got off to a slow start, and eventually manager Ned Yost had no choice but to play Paulo Orlando, who was hitting .350 or so in May and June. But Dyson had a strong September, and he'll be in the mix for the right fielder job in 2016. Billy Burns has impressed Yost and the coaching staff with his speed and peskiness at the plate, so he'll get a look in Spring Training as well. You know how Kansas City loves speed for its organization, and Burns can fly. Plus, Burns is a switch-hitter.

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City justifies the slight downturn in attendance for the Royals.

Mellinger goes on to note that this will be the fourth time in 20 years a defending World Series champion has seen a decrease in attendance the following year. That, unfortunately, is the talking point. A decrease in attendance.

Let’s pump the breaks for a moment. Yes, attendance is down and yes, the Royals are (still) the defending World Champions. Yet a couple of caveats must be thrown down. First, the Royals went to back to back World Series. Teams – as noted in the stat in the previous paragraph – usually experience a bump in the season following a World Series appearance. The Royals most definitely got that bump in 2015 as they set a franchise attendance record.

Dee Gordon is overcome with emotion after hitting a home run to lead off the first Marlins game after the death of Jose Fernandez.

Jose Fernandez was pure joy, writes Grant Brisbee.

Benches clear twice during the Blue Jays/Yankees game.

The Twins hire Indians executive Derek Falvey as General Manager.

Israel defeats Great Britain to advance to the World Baseball Classic.

Jeff Sullivan presents the worst called ball on record.

Legal technicalities allows teams to pay such low wages to minor leaguers.

If you need pitching this winter, you may be out of luck.

Rawlings gives out their minor league Gold Glove awards.

Optimism is building for a return for Chiefs runningback Jamaal Charles.

Sportswriters love staying at Marriotts.

A devil frog puked up a new ant species.

New technology could reduce the amount of space cars take up in our cities.

Why we need optimistic science fiction more than ever.

Your song of the day is R.E.M. with “Its the End of the World As We Know it (And I Feel Fine).