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Royals Rumblings - News for June 27, 2018

Salvy has a way to go in All-Star voting.

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Gatorade All-Star Workout Day Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for June 27, 2018

Ned Yost is searching for answers.

Yost, of course, is a manager who is loathe to admit any form of surprise. Is he surprised that rookie pitcher Brad Keller is this good? “No.” Is he surprised that Whit Merrifield, a 28-year-old utility player, led the American League in stolen bases last season? “No.” Does it surprise him that his team is on pace to lose 113 games?

“Does it surprise me?” Yost says, repeating the question. “It does.

“I for sure, and still, believe: We’re going to hit better. I think our pitching is right about what I expected. Our defense is right about what I expected.”

In his Mellinger Minutes, Sam considers who will represent the Royals at the All-Star Game.

Might end up being Sal Perez.

He’s fourth in voting, and a namebrand ballplayer in a way that Moose isn’t. Perez is having the worst offensive year of his big league career, but he’s made the game five years in a row and I’m not sure anyone would put up a fuss if that turned into six.

Wilson Ramos is winning the vote at the last update, and Gary Sanchez is second. Both are having better seasons than Perez, but after that the drop-off is pretty drastic. If there’s room for three catchers, Perez might be your best choice anyway.

Salvy remains far back, fourth in voting.

Paul Sporer at Fangraphs writes about Brad Keller’s success.

As you can see, Keller is consistent with that groundball rate and gets them off all three pitches.

That’s obviously his calling card. That’s the only way he remains at all successful here barring a sharp improvement in his strikeout and/or walk rates. At the end of the day, this feels like a right-handed Ty Blach and you should prepare accordingly. There have been 109 starters with at least 100 innings of a 10% or lower K-BB from 2015-17 and only 19 of those managed a sub-4.00 ERA. Of the 24 who were at 6% or lower, only Andrew Cashner’s super weird season last year netted a sub-4.00. Keller’s ERA is going up at least two runs.

Eric Longenhagen at ESPN looks at the breakout prospect for each team.

Utilityman D.J. Burt. Little 5-foot-9 Burt has been a scout favorite for a while because of his fundamental competence and hustle. His tools limit his ceiling, but Burt can really run, he plays all over the field and he has great feel for the strike zone. He is looking like a high-energy big league bench piece.

Emma Baccellieri at Sports Illustrated hands out grades to AL Central teams and gives the Royals an “F”.

Kris Medlen will be the color analyst for the Facebook-only Royals broadcast today.

The Royals are in on Dominican shortstop Omar Florentino, ranked the 18th best international prospect this summer.

The spirit of Buck O’Neil helps the Negro League Baseball Museum cope with vandalism.

The AL Central is historically bad.

Rustin Dodd writes about what it’s like to be traded mid-season.

Josh Donaldson has a setback in his rehab from injury.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson steps aside temporarily with health concerns.

Rays pitcher Sergio Romo holds a grudge that leads to a bench-clearing incident with the Nationals.

Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley once pitched with poop in his pants.

A dead body turns up in a freezer at SunTrust Park in Atlanta.

The cotton candy hot dog will kill us all.

Will Michael Porter realize his dreams in the NBA?

How the NCAA is trying to destroy AAU basketball.

Patrick Stewart may be near a deal to return to Star Trek.

A Youtube star holds an anti-VidCon convention that was an epic disaster.

China blocks HBO because John Oliver said mean things about their president.

Your song of the day is Brenton Wood with The Oogum Boogum Song.