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Royals Rumblings - News for April 12, 2019

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2-0 seems so long ago

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals
Soler Power!
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Star’s Vahe Gregorian’s recap of yesterday’s game hit all the appropriate low notes of the team’s 10th loss in a row.

“That’s just kind of (the) bizarre season we’ve had so far, stuff like that …,” said Merrifield, whose franchise-record 31-game hitting streak was snuffed out. “So it’s got to turn, it’s got to. Hopefully sooner than later.”

Trouble is, with division leader Cleveland (8-4) coming to town, it’s easier to be reminded of manager Buddy Bell’s amazing assessment after the Royals had lost 10 in a row in early 2006:

“I never say it can’t get worse,” said Bell, whose team went 62-100 after a 2-13 start. It’s tempting to think that’s about where we are with this team, too.

An update on Billy Hamilton, who left yesterday’s game with an injury.

Superstitious Ned Yost appreciates that Whit had been able to talk about the hitting streak:

“I really admire the way he is able to embrace this,” Yost said. “It’s so foreign to me, because I’ve always been a guy who tries to stay away from talking about [streaks]. If Whit was a pitcher and he had a no-hitter after eight innings, he’d run into the dugout and yell, ‘Hey, guys, I got a no-hitter! Come on, I need three more outs!’

MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince had a nice longform piece where he caught up with a number of players who had a hit in their only major league AB. One of the featured players was the Royals Matt Tupman. There was even a nice little story about two less-than-popular Royals from that era.

A month into the ’08 season, John Buck’s wife prematurely gave birth to twins. Tupman was summoned again. And again, he rode the bench. But on May 18 -- a getaway day in Miami, with the Royals up 9-3 in the ninth -- Olivo and outfielder Jose Guillen, who had played with Tupman in winter ball, put a plan into action.

“Olivo faked that he was dehydrated,” Tupman says. “And Josey, being a leader on the team, went up to Hillman and said, ‘You’ve got to give the kid an at-bat.’ My relationship with Josey got me one chance.”

I love when I get to use print from a non-standard outlet. This time, it’s Columbia (SC)’s The State, with the headline “Former Gamecock Whit Merrifield breaks franchise record held by Hall of Famer”.

South Carolina baseball alums continue to rack up accolades on the next level. Several months after former Gamecock star Steve Pearce was named World Series MVP for the Boston Red Sox, USC alum Whit Merrifield has surpassed a Hall of Famer and posted an impressive franchise record. Merrifield connected for a hit in his 31st consecutive game Wednesday, a franchise record for the Kansas City Royals. That bests the previous mark of 30 games set by all-time great George Brett.

A couple of days ago, Eric Longenhagen, from Fangraphs, included a Royal in his “Daily Prospect Notes”.

Seuly Matias, RF, Kansas City Royals

Level: Hi-A Age: 20 Org Rank: 1 FV: 45+

Line: 3-for-4, 2B, 3B

Notes: Matias’ 34% career strikeout rate is a sizable red flag that ultimately is what kept him off our overall prospect rankings. With a few exceptions, even the most whiff-prone big leaguers struck out less than that when they were in the minors. But so gifted and physically dominant is Matias that we think he’ll be effective, even if it’s in a streaky, inconsistent way like Domingo Santana or Carlos Gomez. As a teen, he was already posting exit velocities on par with burly, Quad-A type hitters. We hope he learns to take a walk, but “Randal Grichuk with more raw power” is a good player, so we’re cautiously optimistic that the Royals at least have a good big leaguer here, and a potential superstar if there’s contact/approach refinement, which is admittedly easier said than done.

Here’s the Fansided roundup:

For the Royals content, last and also least, it’s listicles!

MLB.com’s Jason Beck lists “Five AL Central prospects worth watching

Royals: RHP Arnaldo Hernandez

The Royals have a few prospects at Triple-A Omaha who could be knocking on the door, including middle infielder Nicky Lopez (No. 8 per MLB Pipeline) and right-hander Hernandez (No. 26). The Royals won’t be afraid to call up prospects this season, as evidenced by their callup of No. 16 prospect, left-hander Richard Lovelady, on Tuesday.

Hernandez, 23, from Venezuela, has flown under the radar for most of his career since signing in 2012. But Hernandez began quickly rising through the system two years ago. He had a 3.55 ERA At Triple-A Omaha in 10 games in 2018. He has thrown four innings in one start this season and given up one run. Hernandez, who has a fastball that can touch 98 mph, impressed Royals manager Ned Yost throughout Spring Training.

“Got really good stuff,” Yost said. “Definitely on our radar.”

RJ Anderson at CBSSports has his “MLB Prospect Watch”:

The Royals are going to burn through some relievers this year. Expect to see Andres Machado get another look at some point -- he has a big-time fastball and little to go with it.


How about other news around the league?

One letter made all the difference in this game:

  • Chris Davis extended his hitless streak to 61 AB
  • Khris Davis has hit 2 home runs for the second game in a row.

*Trevor Rosenthal, in what must be a tryout for the Royals bullpen, retired his first batter of the season after allowing his first 10 on the season to reach safely.

Rosenthal entered the game with an ERA of infinity but lowered that to 72.00 on Wednesday.

*This may be old news by the time this is posted Friday morning, but I added this to Rumblings on Thursday afternoon when it was still true

Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated has a profile on Jessica Mendoza.

But one of baseball’s most fascinating developments is the role of women in the game, and Jessica Mendoza is determined to get more involved. “I won’t shy away from that,” Mendoza said. “I want to be a role model. Girls need to see it to believe.”

Clayton Kershaw is going to make his season debut Monday.

Apparently Nick Markakis doesn’t have a bank or safe. He had $20K in cash and five guns stolen from his home. I mean, I have like $20K sitting at home sometimes, too, but it’s been converted into car form and its value has depreciated greatly. Apparently, Brietling makes watches that cost thousands of dollars, too, so he also lost a watch that might be worth more than the aforementioned car.

I guess I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Luke Heimlich news. He made his Mexican League debut.


Unfortunately, as promised, another rerun. But it’s definitely a classic. Here’s the Hyrule Field theme from Ocarina of Time: