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Royals Rumblings - News for August 14, 2017

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for August 14, 2017

Whit Merrifield has been on fire in the second half.

“I think he goes overlooked a little bit,” Butera said. “We appreciate him because we see him every day. But you look at some of the stuff he does on the field, at the batter’s box, getting big hits … just kind of setting the tone for us.

“It’s kind of nationally overlooked. But we notice it.”

Salvador Perez played catch for the second time in a week.

“I don’t feel anything with the throwing,” he said.

Perez could begin taking swings next week, he said. But his schedule remains day to day. The Royals are still unsure when Perez may return to the lineup.

Despite being mediocre, the Royals are still in it, writes Sam Mellinger.

One awesome byproduct: with so many teams bunched together, it seems highly possible if not probable that we'll have a 163rd game to get into the wild card. In other words: an effective one-game playoff to get into a one-game playoff.

Actually, that may be selling this madness short, because there are many scenarios for a three- or even more team tiebreaker for a wild card spot.

In that terrific version of reality, we could have the first 164th game in more than a half century: a virtual one-game playoff to get into another virtual one-game playoff to get into an actual one-game playoff to get into a playoff series.

If funhouse mirrors were a playoff format, this would be it.

David Lesky wonders what is wrong with Brandon Maurer.

Buchter has looked okay enough at times, so I’m willing to chalk his issues up to small sample, but Maurer looks absolutely out of control. His fastball appears to be straight as an arrow and he is making every right-handed hitter look like a better version of Mike Trout. It’s bad. I have no suggestion. Maybe he could try throwing his changeup to right-handed batters? They’re hitting .857 with a 1.714 SLG on his fastball as a Royal, and no, that’s not a typo, though the sample is small. He hasn’t gotten a single swing and miss on a fastball from a righty out of 40 thrown with the Royals and only has 13 out of 221 this whole season. Lefties are struggling to make good contact on his fastball, and maybe it’s because the changeup gives them enough reason to worry. I honestly don’t know, but anything is worth a try at this point.

Ned Yost confirms Jake Junis will make the start tonight against Oakland.

Lee Judge writes that you should not to give up on the Royals.

Rally Cat was sent to jail for helping the Cardinals.

Alex Duvall of Royals Farm Report breaks down the prospects in Northwest Arkansas with beat writer Paul Boyd.

Former Royals pitcher Brian Bannister talks about how quickly trends in baseball are changing.

The Brewers get second baseman Neil Walker.

Ryan Howard is back, in the minors with the Rockies.

Bryce Harper has a bone bruise.

Is Chris Sale an MVP contender?

The Mariners retire #11 for Edgar Martinez.

The Dodgers may be close to landing a future All-Star Game.

Is Miguel Sano hurt or just struggling?

Jeffrey Loria will make out like a bandit in the sale of the Marlins.

Justin Thomas is your PGA Championship winner.

Patrick Mahomes is already moving up the Chiefs depth chart.

How to spot a Twitter bot.

Will drinking hot coffee keep you cool in the summer?

The finale for Orphan Black reveals the total number of clones.

Your song of the day is The Bravery with Believe.