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Royals Rumblings - News for April 9, 2019

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“........not four, not five, not six.........”

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Seattle Mariners v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Royals lost their seventh game in a row last night.

From the moment the lead vanished for the second time in the night, the beat down commenced. A questionable decision to send Bailey back out on 90+ pitches for the sixth inning resulted in a leadoff home run by Edwin Encarnacion and ultimately chased Bailey out for good. Tim Hill first entered from the bullpen but wound up hitting a batter and giving up an RBI single to Dee Gordon while only facing three batters. When Kevin McCarthy cam into the game, however, the floodgates burst open as an RBI double by Santana and a second home run by Encarnacion in the same inning, effectively put an end to the Royals hopes of winning their first game in April.

The good news from the game was that Whit Merrifield extended his hitting streak to 29 games, a streak that he’s very much aware of ($).

Six months later, the streak can no longer be ignored. Merrifield, the Royals’ super-utility man and leadoff hitter, collected three hits Sunday in a loss to Detroit, extending it to a 28 games. On Monday, he wasted no time pushing it to 29, singling in the first inning off Seattle’s Felix Hernandez at Kauffman Stadium.

Before that though, they sent Kyle Zimmer back to Omaha because...well...because.

Zimmer is a former first-round pick who impressed in spring training and made the Opening Day roster. He made his Major League debut this season and was impressive in his first outing against the White Sox on March 31 with a scoreless inning, but struggled with his command in his second outing, walking three straight hitters against the Tigers. He pitched a scoreless innings in his third outing, but walked two and gave up a hit.

Over at The Athletic KC, Alec Lewis does a quick minor-league breakdown for KC’s farm system ($).

High-Class A Wilmington Blue Rocks

Rotation candidates: RHP Brady Singer, RHP Jackson Kowar, LHP Daniel Lynch, LHP J.C. Cloney, LHP Daniel Tillo, RHP Nolan Watson

Bullpen options: LHP Holden Capps, RHP Daniel Duarte, LHP Robert Garcia, RHP Rito Lugo, RHP Tad Ratliff, RHP Collin Snider, RHP Tyler Zuber

Catchers: MJ Melendez, Sebastian Rivero

Infielders: Nick Pratto, Dennicher Carrasco, Ricky Aracena, Angelo Castellano, Marten Gasparini, Cristian Perez

Outfielders: Kyle Isbel, Blake Perkins, Seuly Matias, Brewer Hicklen

Flanny weighs in on Whit’s streak.

Merrifield’s hitting streak also is the longest in the Majors since Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman’s 30-gamer from August-September of 2016.

Drew Osborne weighed in with his opinion on the Royals fifth starter.

I really thought Fillmyer was going to be a shoo-in for the spot because of how Ned Yost and Cal Eldred talked about their plans for Fillmyer in spring training but he didn’t perform up to par. I still think he is the first option. Fillmyer made 13 starts for the Royals in 2018. His season stats show a 4-2 record with 4.26 ERA, 4.60 xFIP, and 1.34 WHIP. Fillmyer only posted a 6.23 K/9 rate which is rather low.

Trump administration ends MLB/Cuba baseball deal (Washington Post).

“The U.S. does not support actions that would institutionalize a system by which a Cuban government entity garnishes the wages of hard-working athletes who simply seek to live and compete in a free society,” National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said. “The administration looks forward to working with MLB to identify ways for Cuban players to have the individual freedom to benefit from their talents, and not as property of the Cuban state.”

Trump administration ends MLB/Cuba baseball deal (CNN).

“The agreement with MLB seeks to stop the trafficking of human beings, encourage cooperation and raise the level of baseball. Attacks with political motivation against the agreement achieved harm (to) the athletes, their families and the fans,” the state-run Cuban Baseball Federation said in a statement to CNN.

Updates on Severino, Kershaw, Lester, and Ohtani.

It’s sunny in Philly, but even sunnier in LA, writes Jonah Keri ($).

Chris Davis is 0 for his last 49.

The Royals didn’t come in last on ESPN’s power rankings.

The Virginia Cavaliers won the NCAA Men’s National Championship last night.

Rick Barnes is going to stay at Tennessee now, apparently.

Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scam.

Allison Mack of ‘Smallville’ pleads guilty in alleged NXIVM sex cult case.

On this day in history in 1865, Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, effectively ending the Civil War.

Also on this day in history, in 2003, United States forces took the city of Baghdad.

ALSO ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, in 1969, the “Chicago Eight” plead not guilty to federal conspiracy charges.

Your song of the day is “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan. The song took its first turn at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1995.