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Royals Rumblings - News for May 2, 2018

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Is Soler here to stay?

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for May 2, 2018

Jeffrey Flanagan writes that this is the Jorge Soler the Royals traded for.

“I’m very intrigued by him,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Last year was such a struggle up here for him. But we sent him down [to Triple-A Omaha] and he put up really good numbers [with 24 home runs and a .952 OPS].

”I knew if we could just get him consistent at-bats up here he would do OK.”

Sam Mellinger considers how Soler fits long-term with the Royals.

Assuming he’s a good player, the Royals could still expect strong trade value after 2019, and even at the trade deadline in 2020. Home runs are being devalued, generally, but there’s always a spot for a good athlete who can get on base and hit it over the fence.

That final year of club control, 2021, could be the beginning of the next “window.” If Soler is a good player, he’ll make a lot through arbitration, but the old baseball line holds that there is no such thing as a bad one-year contract and if he fits the rest of the roster he could be a valuable piece.

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at how poorly the Royals are hitting with runners on base.

Jayson Stark notes the Royals’ ineptitude.

The Royals (on the road to minus-376) are actually on pace to break the modern record for worst run differential in a season (minus-349, by the 1932 Red Sox). And the Orioles (minus-312) also would wind up at negative-300-plus at this rate.

So, how rare is that? Only two teams – the 2003 and 1996 Tigers – have finished at minus-300 or worse in the 57 seasons since the ’62 Mets set the standard for post-expansion ineptitude (with a 40-120 record and minus-331 run differential).

Rustin Dodd talks to Assistant GM J.J. Piccolo about the farm system, and how they deal with plate discipline.

“Yeah, we don’t necessarily harp on the results as far as say walk or no walk, or no strikeout or strikeout, or hit or no hit. We’re focused more about the type of at-bat it was. Which ultimately, always comes back to your pitch selection.

“We ask: Where in this at bat did something go right to put you in a count that you’re able to do something, and where in this at-bat did something go wrong that could have been prevented? Sometimes pitchers make good pitches, and regardless of what the hitting chart would say, you weren’t gonna have a good result in that at-bat. But it’s minimizing the at-bats that you give away.

“So it’s more the process of the at-bat than the result. With that said, we’re always attentive to strikeout-to-walk numbers.

The Royals are having trouble selling tickets, and its not just because of the weather.

“I’m not authorized to give numbers, but it’s safe to say we start with a few thousand fans less each night to try to make up for in single-game sales each day or night,” said Toby Cook, Royals vice president of publicity. “Of course, as the weather gets warm and school is out, it’ll improve. But we’ve certainly struggled in April.”

Clubhouse Conversation talks to Royals prospect Nicky Lopez.

Kenny Lofton and Eddie Murray are among the “Hall of Game” inductees for the Negro League Baseball Museum this year.

There aren’t a lot of great options to replace Corey Seager for the Dodgers.

Matt Harvey reportedly was out partying the night before giving up a home run.

Trevor Bauer accuses the Astros of cheating.

A look back at the 2003 Tigers, who tanked hard but were in the World Series just a few years later.

The Nationals have been historically unlucky so far.

Travis Snider is still trying to get back to the big leagues from the indy leagues.

Rob Neyer is named Commissioner of the West Coast League, a collegiate summer league.

Which quarterback was drafted into the best situation in the NFL?

How did Ray Allen become Jesus Shuttlesworth in He Got Game?

Facebook is getting into the dating service.

Jeff Bezos thinks his fortune is best spent on space travel.

Do the fight scenes in Marvel movies suck?

Your song of the day is Led Zeppelin with When the Levee Breaks.