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Weekend Rumblings - News for September 1, 2018

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Brad Keller is stellar.

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend Rumblings - News for September 1, 2018

Grant Brisbee looks at how the Orioles and Royals fell so far, so fast.

Whit Merrifield is the only current contributor who was drafted since Hosmer was selected in 2008. Other players are still contributing somewhere (Wil Myers in San Diego, Sean Manaea in Oakland), but the post-Hosmer draftscape has been startling dry. The Royals this season are historically bad instead of regular bad because they’ve received almost zero help from their drafts.

If you’re feeling overly generous, you can explain the lack of recent draft success away as bad luck. If you’re feeling rightfully cynical, you can look back at how the Royals built their championship team and realize something disturbing: All of those good players were picked near the top of the first round, and it’s possible that they were so talented, they were Royals-proof.

Whit Merrifield talks about his home run total being down due to Kauffman Stadium.

“It’s hard, this being your home park, to hit a lot of homers,” Merrifield said. “You see guys come in here, hit balls, put their heads down like ‘What the heck just happened? How is that an out?’

“You gotta really get into a ball here for it to be a homer. We understand that. So you can’t get frustrated if you hit balls that aren’t going out. I’m still driving balls. They just haven’t gone over the fence quite as often as they did last year.”

The statistics bear that out. It’s not as if Merrifield lost his power early in the year. The home runs were simply turning into doubles.

Rustin Dodd talks to Brad Keller about his development this season.

Keller, for instance, spent the first two months of the season in the Royals’ bullpen. He recorded a 2.01 ERA in 21 appearances. He used a four-seam fastball and two-seam sinker to confound opposing hitters. He settled into his role in the major leagues and impressed teammates with his potent arsenal. Yet he also struck out just 13 hitters in 22 1/3 innings, an underlying statistic that suggested his performance was not sustainable.

So Keller went to work on his slider, seeking to use the breaking pitch more often. He did not tweak his arm slot or his grip, he said. He only sought to make the pitch look more like his fastball.

“It’s just about getting guys off the heater,” he said.

Rustin Dodd and Rany Jazayerli compile an all-time Royals franchise 25-man roster.

Lee Judge reports on how players filter out the wealth of information they are provided.

Tyler Dierking at Kings of Kauffman thinks the Lucas Duda experience was a failure.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report looks at Royals prospects having a hot August.

Omaha handed out awards.

The Kansas City T-Bones are looking for a new owner.

Old friend Ryan Madson is dealt to the Dodgers.

Is it time to get rid of September expanded rosters?

The Wall Street Journal has a radical plan to fix baseball - give the team that takes the lead just two outs per inning.

What American League team made the best deadline deal?

White Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez will file a grievance for service time manipulation.

Japan wins the Women’s Baseball World Cup.

A baseball collector is helping the family of former Royals outfielder Ryan Freel remember the ballplayer after his death. (h/t Gross(est)

Which Browns quarterback from the last 20 years would you choose if you had to?

Alize Cornet gets a code violation from the US Open for trying to change shirts during a match.

The online gig economy’s race to the bottom.

A review of the surreal documentary about triplets separated at birth.

With one Blockbuster remaining, what do we lose when video stores shut down?

Your song of the day is Miles Davis and Charlie Parker with A Night in Tunisia.