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Royals Rumblings - News for June 11, 2018

Mike Moustakas, first baseman?

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Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for June 11, 2018

Rustin Dodd notes that Royals pitchers are on pace to give up a ton of home runs.

Whatever the case, it is likely that the debate over drag coefficients will not make the Royals feel any better about this 2018 season. The team’s pitching staff is on pace to allow the most homers in the history of the American League. The unit is being battered by the day. The horrendous numbers piled up again in a 7-2 loss to the A’s on Friday night.

“If you make mistakes,” Royals manager Ned Yost said, “big-league hitters are going to hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

Rustin also looks at the changes Danny Duffy has made that paid off on Saturday.

He has leaned on his fastball, trusting his four-seamer. He has returned to his changeup. He has lessened his usage of a slider that burned him across his first nine starts.

“My changeup was really good today, and Salvy saw that,” Duffy said, complimenting catcher Salvador Perez.

He also looks back at the Sean Manaea trade.

As the trade deadline approached, Moore continued negotiations with A’s general manager Billy Beane. Moore had admired and coveted Zobrist for years. The price came down to one name: Manaea.

“Billy Beane was persistent,” Moore said.

So what’s up with Mike Moustakas playing first base over the weekend?

“I didn’t have another first baseman,” Yost said. “Simple.”

Yost said he wanted to play Whit Merrifield at first, but he preferred Merrifield in center field. With Jon Jay being dealt earlier this week, Yost is giving multiple players a look in center. He could have also used Hunter Dozier, who played first on Friday, but Dozier is in right field after Jorge Soler fouled a pitch off his foot in Friday’s game and needed a day off.

So Moustakas, who Yost said has taken grounders at first, is the only option left.

”He’ll be fine,” Yost said.

David Laurila also talked to Duffy about how veterans taught him a thing or two.

“I got my slider by seeing how Greg Holland threw his slider,” explained Duffy. “This was three years ago during the 2015 ALCS. I used to grip mine with my pinky off the ball, and I’d manipulate it with my middle finger. Now I just kind of offset the four-seam, put more pressure on my middle finger, and just rip it down through like I’m throwing a football. That’s exactly what he did, and it’s what I do now.”

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City thinks this season has gone pretty well, all things considering.

All in all, I think there’s a pretty good argument to be made that the 2018 season has gone about as well as could be. They’re horrible, so they’re not going to be in some weird middle ground of 75 to 84 wins. Their current prospects have mostly performed well enough to be considered potential cornerstone players in a few years. Many of their trade chips have performed well enough to get back a decent or better return in trades. And a lot of their younger big league players have performed well enough that you have to think they have a few pieces already up. Jakob Junis, Brad Keller and Jorge Soler all have showed plenty already this season. Add in Whit Merrifield who fits in either the trade chip category or the potential piece of the future playing very well again this season, and I think 2018 has been a pretty big success to date.

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