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Royals Rumblings - News for July 3, 2018

July looks a lot like June so far.

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MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken

Royals Rumblings - News for July 3, 2018

Ned Yost has praise for young Brad Keller.

“That’s what you look for,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “You look for pitchers that can get ground balls. That’s important. Our park, we’ve kind of built it around fly ball pitchers because it’s a big park. But he’s a very strong ground-ball type and that’s exactly what you look for. That’s what you want.”

Rustin Dodd takes a closer look at the right-hander.

It is the pure stuff of a promising workhorse, his teammates say. And yet, the other peripheral numbers inspire a modicum of skepticism. Keller has struggled to induce swings and misses, striking out just 20 batters and issuing 11 walks in 33 2/3 innings since becoming a starter. He’s allowed opponents to hit .276 on balls in play, which suggests a small degree of luck. He’s also yet to allow a homer, which sounds like a positive until you consider that he allowed 31 homers in 478 2/3 innings from 2014 to 2017.

It is possible, of course, that Keller’s pitch mix has developed to the point where he will continue to suppress homers at this rate. It is just as likely, perhaps, that he is due for some regression.

Jeff Passan looks at the two worst teams in baseball.

It takes a truly special team to do what the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals are doing in 2018. The Houston Astros tried for three years and couldn’t muster it. The 1996 Detroit Tigers featured arguably the worst pitching staff in history and whiffed. The Marlinstore themselves down to the studs multiple times and never came close.

For a Major League Baseball club to win fewer than 50 games takes unique ineptitude, and yet here the Orioles and Royals are, primed to do in the same year what only two teams have managed in the 58 years of the 162-game schedule.

The 2018 season passed its halfway point last week, and the Orioles are on pace to win 47 games and the Royals 49.

The Royals sign supplemental pick Jackson Kowar.

Jorge Soler will not need surgery on his fractured left toe.

Whit Merrifield and Brad Keller were named Royals Player and Pitcher of the Month for June.

Khalil Lee joins the Top 100 prospect list for Baseball America, putting a Royals prospect on the list for the first time in two years.

Indians starter Danny Salazar is out for the year.

A Cardinals executive questions Dexter Fowler’s effort.

The Angels are encouraged by Shohei Ohtani’s batting practice session.

The Reds have some pitchers who rake.

Should MLB try to make their free agency more exciting like NBA and NFL free agency?

The next step for analytics is getting into the clubhouse.

Dodgers CEO Mark Walter may have purchased the team through funds obtained by fraud.

The Tigers fired pitching coach Chris Bosio for racially insensitive comments, but could he win a wrongful termination suit against them?

Boogie Cousins signs with the Warriors and this is getting ridiculous.

Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio laments won’t Neymar think of the children?

Astronomers capture one of the best photos of a newborn planet.

A notorious French gangster has escaped from prison a second time, this time with a hijacked helicopter.

There is a Broadway show about magic that’s not quite a magic show.

Your song of the day is Charles Bradley with The World (Is Going Up in Flames).