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Royals Rumblings - News for September 28, 2016

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The Royals technically still have a shot!

Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for September 28, 2016

Sam Mellinger wraps up the season with the Royals.

I know a lot of people want to be angry, and I get it. The Royals won’t have Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain and Wade Davis and a lot of these other very good baseball players together for much longer* and every year without a championship or even a postseason is a year wasted. Baseball fans in Kansas City have waited for decades, and they have every right to want the most of these good years.

* One more year, actually.

But I don’t have it in me to be angry. Not about this team. Not after the last two years, the greatest joyride in the history of Kansas City sports. The Royals have, literally, changed the way baseball is viewed and consumed by an entire city and region. They have turned perhaps the worst franchise in professional sports into the dang World Series champions — and, honestly, the postseason before that was more fun until the final out.

Rustin Dodd looks at Alcides Escobar’s declining defense.

Escobar’s defense has trended downward in recent years, according to defensive runs saved and UZR. Aside from 2012, which seems to be a bizarre outlier, Escobar’s defensive numbers, on the whole, are his worst since he joined the Royals.

He still makes a ton of great plays. For example: According to Inside Edge Fielding, which rates plays in different categories, Escobar has made 50 percent of plays deemed “Unlikely,” when we normally see shortstops make only 10-40 percent of those plays. In addition, he makes 60 percent of the “Even” plays, which is also above average. Where he struggles a little, according this metric, is on plays deemed “Likely.” The normal shortstop will make these plays 60 to 90 percent of the time, and Escobar is 77 percent.

This is just one metric, but it does seem to match up with the eye test.

See you in 2017, Lorenzo Cain.

Clark Fosler at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City points out that this year’s bullpen isn’t that much worse than last year’s.

Miss Ryan Madson? He has seven relief losses this year as the A’s closer. Flawed stat and all, seven losses in that role is not a good number.

More than anything, the above two tables probably point to the fact that the percentage of appearances in which relievers allow a run tells us, like pitcher wins and losses, more about perception than reality. Yet, is there something telling in the fact that the pitchers listed for 2015 combined for 11 total losses, while the 2016 group has been tagged for 18 losses? Quite honestly, if there is something to be learned from an antiquated stat combined with a very basic one, is it teaching us more about the bullpen or a Royals offense that would have to average almost 12 runs per game this final week just to equal the output of the 2015 squad?

The Royals are sending promising young catchers Meibrys Viloria and Chase Vallot to the Instructional League.

"Vallot is good to go and he's all pumped up," Richardson said. "He's running around all over the place. He's one of the leaders of this program. He's been here before and he helps set the tone for the other players.”...

"Viloria had a phenomenal season," Richardson said. "He'll work with our catching coordinator to improve his overall catching, his game-calling, his approach to the game, increase his knowledge of the game. He's really exciting."

Royals prospects Garrett Davila and Nicky Lopez are named top 20 prospects from the Appalachian League, according to Baseball America.

The Marlins sign infielder Martin Prado to a three-year extension.

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is out for the year with an ACL injury.

Why some agents have serious concerns about the next collective bargaining agreement.

MLB has moved their showcase for Venezuelan prospects out of Venezuela.

Pakistan’s baseball team just wants you to know they exist.

Cardinals fans boo the team after an embarrassing loss.

A Yankees fan loses the ring after a stadium proposal.

The Fenway Park scoreboard operator has some stories to tell.

Historian John Thorn writes about the golden age of baseball writing.

A change of heart by Oklahoma means expansion may be dead for the Big 12.

Houston’s J.J. Watt may be out for the year.

Vancouver and London are among the cities most at risk of a housing bubble.

How is Elon Musk’s vision for colonizing Mars different from past visions?

Which TV characters did you most want not to hook up?

Your song of the day is Hot Hot Heat with Bandages.