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Royals Rumblings - News for April 16, 2019

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More like Brad Lossberger, amirite?

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Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

This Brad Boxberger experiment needs to end, like, ASAP.

It has been a rough start to 2019 for Royals reliever Brad Boxberger.

On a more positive note, Alex Gordon está en llamas.

To start 2019, though, Gordon has come out firing on all cylinders. Through his first 57 plate appearances, he’s put up an excellent .356/.456/.667 line with three home runs, seven walks and just five strikeouts. His 1.0 WAR is the fourth-most in baseball, as is his 198 wRC+. Even in a small, 13-game sample, Gordon is at a level that he hasn’t reached since August 2016.

Staying over at FanGraphs, Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel released their top 27 Royals prospects list.

7. Nicky Lopez, SS

Lopez is a slick defensive shortstop who walked more than he struck out at Double- and Triple-A last year. Those traits make him very interesting and perhaps someone we aren’t properly enthused about. He’s small and has very little raw power, but Lopez’s feel for contact is so good that he ends up with sneaky, in-game doubles pop. His three-year ZiPS projections have him at nearly two annual WAR, which means he arguably belongs on our Top 100 list. His realistic ceiling is that of an average regular, something that may be harder to accomplish if Adalberto Mondesi‘s presence forces him to second base, where the offensive bar is higher.

Over at The Athletic KC, Alec Lewis wrote a great piece on Hunter Dozier’s hot start ($).

Through 15 games early in this 2019 season, Dozier has hit the ball harder than any other Kansas City Royal. Average exit velocity tells that story. Dozier is averaging 93.6 mph when he puts the bat on the ball, which is good enough for 20th in all of Major League Baseball.

Our Bradford Lee takes a look at the second best Royal of all time.

#4 – Alex Gordon – Has there ever been a player who came to Kansas City with higher fan expectations? It’s a short list. Maybe Clint Hurdle. You must give it up for Gordon. He earned this the hard way, going back to Omaha, early in his career, to learn a new position. His batting numbers are impressive enough, 1,461 hits with 173 home runs and 662 RBI, and counting. He’s a three time All-Star and six-time Gold Glove winner. He hit one of the biggest home runs in team history, the World Series changing drive off Jeurys Familia, but his defense is what sets him apart. The man is very simply one of the best left fielders I have ever seen. Will 2019 be his last as a Royal? I don’t know, but it has been gratifying to watch him have a resurgence.

Over at Royals Farm Report, Drew breaks down the past week from the NWA Naturals, the Royals AA affiliate.

Conner Greene had the next best week for the starters throwing 11.0 innings over 2 starts. Greene gave up 3 ER on just 4 hits, 4 walks, and 16 strikeouts. Greene posted a swing and miss rate of 12.4%.

Danny Duffy flew in his old high school baseball team to face some local competition and to see Kansas City ($).

The Cabrillo High School baseball team is spending this week in Kansas City, playing three games against local high schools and visiting the town where their favorite son plies his trade. The trip will include: tours of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Kauffman Stadium; a televised game against Blue Springs High School at famed Satchel Paige Stadium on Wednesday (tape delayed locally on Spectrum Sports); and a Thursday afternoon matinee against Joplin (Mo.) High School at the K. The schedule and logistics were put together by Duffy and Cabrillo High School coach Jon Osborne, who is coaching his 25th and final season at the school.

Rob Whalen’s retirement an example of how some MLB teams are failing to address mental health issues.

“I couldn’t look them in the eye, and I felt like I was just telling them what they wanted to hear,” Whalen told Yahoo Sports. “I was trying to convince myself that I was excited.”

Which is how he found himself at the 11th hour, literally about to head out the door for his flight, calling Jerry Dipoto to tell Seattle’s general manager that he was retiring from baseball. Dipoto didn’t answer, so he called Andy McKay, the Mariners director of player development. McKay didn’t pick up either, but he did text back.

ESPN confuses Sam Jethroe for Hank Aaron.

Why Eric Sim would never play professional baseball ever again.

Yasiel Puig took Clayton Kershaw deep.

Francisco Lindor is set to go on a rehab assignment.

Live updates on the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Gambler wins $1.2M on Tiger Woods’ Masters win.

On this day in history, we remember the 32 lives lost during the shooting at Virginia Tech University.

Also on this day in history, Vladimir Lenin returns from exile to lead the Russian Revolution.

Your song of the day is “Wish You Well” by George Strait.