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Royals Rumblings - News for July 2, 2018

What will the future of the Royals look like?

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Kansas City Royals v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for July 2, 2018

Rustin Dodd talks to Jorge Bonifacio about his return from suspension.

He apologized to his teammates and the organization in a brief interview at spring training. General manager Dayton Moore called him an “incredible person who just made a mistake.”

“It’s not going to happen again,” Bonifacio said Friday. “Nobody owes me (anything) in my case.”

Rustin also imagines a dispatch from the future on Turn Ahead the Clock Night.

The breakthrough would come in 2024 when the club snagged a Wild Card berth, its first postseason appearance in nine years.You know the rest of the story, of course. They lost the Wild Card game when young starter Yefri del Rosario allowed a homer in a rare relief appearance. The setback stunned the city. But the core of Lee, Singer, Mondesi, Melendez and Matias was only more motivated the next year.

Each one of those players had been welcomed to the major leagues by All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, who burnished his legacy by molding the new group. He served as a clubhouse sage and a model to follow; he eventually returned to the organization in an advisory after his playing career was over. Yet his biggest contribution came in the form of his lineage. His son, Johan, debuted at catcher earlier this season.

In his mailbag segment, Jeffrey Flanagan considers who may man first base later this year.

I’m guessing you’ll see Frank Schwindel at some point, and possibly Ryan O’Hearn, as well. Schwindel caught manager Ned Yost’s eye in Spring Training, and he has been raking the ball lately. Neither player is on the 40-man roster, but after the Trade Deadline, several spots should open up. But it might not be until September that either player gets here. With Jorge Bonifacio coming back from the suspended list, Jorge Soler coming off the disabled list in August, Rosell Herrera showing promise in the outfield and the need to develop Hunter Dozier at first base, you only have so many position openings, even with the DH

Prospect Khalil Lee had a scare over the weekend.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City writes about what’s next for Lee now that he has been promoted to AA.

The biggest question for Lee is if he can regain some of his power that has been sapped in a bad hitting environment for power. I don’t believe that’s entirely to blame, but it’s at least a good part of it. Now he’ll be in a better hitting environment and will likely have the benefit of better umpires, which I think actually matters with Lee. The other question is if he can handle center field. Clint Scoles has noted before that the organization believes he can, and with the acquisition of Blake Perkins, this move has to be at least partially about being able to keep Lee, Perkins and Donnie Dewees (with his promotion to Omaha) playing center field every day for the time being. I really believe Lee is headed for some big things, and now it looks like we might see him sometime next year.

The international free agent signing period begins today, here’s who Baseball America writes the Royals are in on.

The Royals have ties to a pair of switch-hitting shortstops from the Dominican Republic, including Omar Florentino. While Florentino is small, he has good actions in the field and as a hitter from both sides of the plate. The other high-profile Dominican shortstop the Royals are connected to is Wilmin Candelario, a graceful defender with slick actions. Both players are expected to land bonuses in the $700,000 area. Venezuelan outfielder Jose Freites is another Royals’ target for July 2.

Royals prospect Nicky Lopez made Carson Cistulli’s Fringe Prospect list this week.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report looks at pitcher Daniel Tillo.

How a Royals fan turned bobbleheads into a fundraiser for cancer.

A look at the best pitching performance in the history of each team.

That 2018 free agent class no longer looks as game-changing as it once did.

Juan Soto is one of the brighest stars in the league, but he’s not on the All-Star ballot.

How can we re-engineer the MLB post-season?

Tim Tebow is now an All-Star and generating some buzz over his play.

Scott Boras says defensive shifts are “discriminatory” against left-handed hitters.

The amazing story of Brett Gray, who once struck out 25 hitters in a Frontier League game.

Carlos Zambrano wants to attempt a comeback.

The Oakland Athletics want protection from environmental lawsuits over a new stadium.

What it’s like to work for a minor league baseball team.

Why soccer players take dives.

The winners and losers from the first day of NBA free agency.

A billion dollars is still missing from the biggest digital heist in history.

What petty posts on Nextdoor reveal about American communities.

The best episodes of The Office, ranked.

Your song of the day is The Kills with Impossible Tracks.