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Labor Day Rumblings - News for September 5, 2016

Have a safe Labor Day!

NCAA Football: Cowboys Classic-Wisconsin vs Alabama Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Labor Day Rumblings - News for September 5, 2016

Rustin Dodd of the Star writes that Alcides Escobar is Kansas City’s ironman.

On Saturday night, Escobar started for the 135th time in 135 games this season. If he maintains that pace, appearing in the final 27 games this year, he will become the first Royals player in club history to play in 162 games twice.

Escobar also did it in 2014. Only four other Royals — Billy Butler, Carlos Beltran, Hal McRae and Al Cowens — have gone wire to wire, appearing in 162 games. If Escobar can finish off the feat this year, he would have an argument as the most durable player in franchise history.

“That’s my goal,” Escobar says. “When I start the season, I say I want to play 162 games.”

Hunter Samuels of Baseball Prospectus Kansas City writes that Dillon Gee is perfectly fine for a fifth starter.

The Royals signed Gee to a minor-league contract this winter, hoping he could provide some roughly average innings in the rotation and/or bullpen, as needed. The weren’t expecting him to dominate. They weren’t expecting him to be an All-Star. They were expecting average, and average is what they’ve gotten.

Gee has a 4.37 ERA in 105 innings this season. That comes out to an ERA+ of 101. Just above average. But the averageness doesn’t stop there.

Out of 59 pitchers in the league who’ve thrown at least 100 innings, Gee’s adjusted ERA ranks 33rd. His 6.7 percent walk rate ranks 32nd. His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.7 ranks 34th.

Whit Merrifield was disappointed at being demoted, but vowed to work harder to make it back to the big leagues.

"I had a good talk with Ned. Went back to Omaha and worked on some things and tried to get back up here."

And Merrifield has made it back, part of the September callups. He went back to Omaha and worked instead of pouting.

"I just worked on certain things with my swing," he said. "I was just trying to recognize spin early and put myself in a good position to make a good swing."

Alex Gordon talks to David Laurila of Fangraphs about advanced stats.

Last weekend, I asked the Royals outfielder if he appreciates what advanced stats have done for his reputation.

“I don’t think like that,” responded Gordon. “But I do think it’s neat that people have come up with these stats . Back in the day, maybe certain things were overlooked a little bit. Now, some of the what your teammates see, but the common fan might not recognize… to have that noticed a little more is a good thing.”

The Royals will open next season in Minnesota.

The Burlington Royals put up 20 runs in their playoff opener.

The Yankees could target Jose Fernandez this winter.

A Japanese pitcher has hit 20 home runs this year.

The go-go Brewers are attempting a tremendous amount of stolen bases.

Scouts give Boston’s Mookie Betts the edge in the MVP race.

You should watch the Women’s Baseball World Cup, streaming live on Youtube.

The Chiefs finalize their 53-man roster.

Nebraska deliberately lines up with ten men to honor their punter Sam Foltz, who was killed in a car accident this summer.

So why do we have Labor Day?

Is Virginia the birthplace of barbecue?

The second season of Narcos has much to offer, but also shows the worst of TV.

Your song of the day is The Clash with “Career Opportunities.”