Jeffrey Flanagan tells us all about Dayton Moore trying to figure out what went wrong over the last two months of the season:
But the Royals played the final two months at nine games under .500. The question of what went wrong still puzzles Moore.
"I've asked myself that quite a bit over the last few weeks," Moore said. "We've talked about it with our leadership team. Baseball is unpredictable. When we started the season, the offense was really struggling and the pitching was good. We couldn't put it all together and I think we were [10-20] at one point.
"But then from the beginning of May until the end of July, we were one of the better teams in the American League, at least record-wise. Then we had some misfortunes with our starting pitching -- whether it was underperformance or injury. We just couldn't compensate for that."
BP KC’s David Lesky is bullish on Whit Merrifield going forward:
He didn’t reach the big leagues until he turned 27. That’s not all bad for the Royals. Getting prime talent during the pre-arbitration years is a big plus. I think Merrifield has staying power in the big leagues because of his ability to adjust and work ethic, but also because there’s legitimate talent there. He had the 24th highest sprint speed in baseball last season, ahead of guys like Peter Bourjos, Jarrod Dyson and, yes, Mike Trout. So he can run. We already talked about his fly balls and his ability to turn on balls. And he can play a competent second base.
But there are some concerns. On the Royals, it goes less noticed because some of the other super free swingers, but he swung at about one-third of all pitches outside the zone in 2017. His strikeout rate still dropped significantly due to increasing his contact on those pitches by seven percent, but he doesn’t have a great grasp of the strike zone. I also worry about him defensively at second base, especially with an inexperienced shortstop across the way in Raul Mondesi. I think if Eric Hosmer signs elsewhere, that actually could help Whit at second if they have a first baseman with more range to his right, but that’s a bit of a concern for me too.
Royals minor leaguer Kevin Lenik was struck in the face by a liner in the Dominican Winter League.
Nathan Williams looks at the potential starting pitchers for the Royals next year (warning: slideshow) over at Kings of Kauffman.
KoK’s Nicholas Sullivan tries to figure out what free agent starting pitchers might sign in Kansas City next season (again, warning: slideshow).
Fake Teams’s Joe Gentile (probably not a real person) lists Jorge Soler amongst next year’s fantasy sleepers.
Keston Hiura talks hitting and business economics with David Laurila.
Jeff Sullivan catalogs the myriad delightful and demonstrable takes of Yasiel Puig.
Will Leitch waxes ecstatic about a Game 2 for the ages.
Just where did the thought that eating carrots improves your night vision come from?
The National Parks system is entertaining the idea of steep raises to the admittance fees to the most popular parks to fund infrastructure.
Why does it seem like Beck is so inessential now?
The song of the day is “Only Once Away My Son” by Brian Eno and Kevin Shields: