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Royals Rumblings - News for September 9, 2016


MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for September 9, 2016

Vahe Gregorian at the Star writes that Ned Yost’s usage of Joakim Soria is hurting the team.

In high-leverage situations, Soria has given up 20 earned runs in 18 innings; otherwise, he has given up eight earned runs in 43 innings.

But after Soria was scorched for the second time in four days on Wednesday night, when Yost either could have stuck with left-hander Danny Duffy in the seventh or turned to thriving rookie lefty Matt Strahm (whose biceps tendinitis didn’t prevent him from relieving Soria), Yost somehow denied this was a trend in Soria.

“You’re wrong; that’s not right,” Yost said after the 6-4 loss to woeful Minnesota held the Royals four games back in the wild-card race.

He later added, “To insinuate that he’s giving up runs in every high-leverage situation is wrong.”

Not every one.

Just too many.

In a mailbag article, Jeffrey Flanagan talks about what the Royals will do at third base and designated hitter next year.

As for designated hitter, it's going to be interesting. Kendrys Morales has a $17 million mutual option next season, which the Royals will buy out for $1.5 million. Kansas City never has exercised a mutual option under Moore -- mutual options are just an accounting trick to increase the value of a deal. The Royals could make Morales the qualifying offer, which coincidentally will be almost $17 million, too. But what if he takes it? That would be a lot for a small-market team to pay a DH who will be 34 next June. Then again, how will Kansas City replace his power? Morales is headed for a 30-homer season.

Cheslor Cuthbert could be a DH, but he's not even close to being the power threat that is Morales, who is making the organization rethink his future with the team.

At Fangraphs, Danny Duffy talks pitching.

I’m just trying to keep it simple, man. It’s that battle I’ve tried to conquer for a while. When you don’t make the game so difficult… it’s hard enough already. I’m kind of just trying to use my stuff for what it is and not trying to be better than I am.

“I don’t know that my stuff is better this year. I think it’s more that it’s a little more refined. I’ve kind of learned myself. [Pitching coach] Dave Eiland has helped me a lot. [Bullpen coach] Doug Henry has helped me a lot. Again, I just try to simplify everything and stay as composed as I can on the mound.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus argues Lorenzo Cain is the most valuable Royals player.

You can argue that Hosmer’s been better offensively for the Royals or that Morales has provided more because of all the home runs he’s hit or that Salvy and his work behind the plate gets the job done better than anyone, but the win-loss column doesn’t lie. When Cain plays, the Royals are a better team. That 57-43 record is a 92-70 pace. Their 15-23 record when he doesn’t play is a 64-98 pace. That doesn’t mean Cain is an 18-win player or anything, but he’s extremely valuable to this team.

Lee Judge also asks whether the Royals should stop using Joakim Soria in close games.

Ned Yost is hopeful Salvador Perez can return tonight against Chicago.

Jon Heyman writes that making a Qualifying Offer to Edinson Volquez is a “close call.”

The Royals didn’t land their Heisman Trophy winner.

Reliever Peter Moylan is not a fan.

Grant Brisbee writes about Tim Tebow because, well, he has to.

He also takes a look at all the teams still left in the American League Wild Card race.

Are umpires to blame for the spike in home runs?

A look at Brian Dozier’s power surge.

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs considers the problem of expanded rosters in September.

Jon Heyman looks at the 20 best trades from the last two years.

The BBWAA has drastically overlooked Mike Trout.

SB Nation writers give their dream Super Bowl matchups.

How doomed are the college football teams that lost to cupcakes last week?

Why do some phone batteries explode?

The media is increasingly concentrated into just a few big markets.

The 25 most-anticipated movies from the Toronto Film Festival.

Your song of the day is Van Morrison with “Jackie Wilson Said.”