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Royals Rumblings - News for May 14, 2019

Nicky Lopez: big leaguer.

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MLB: Kansas City Royals-Media Day Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nicky Lopez is gonna be a big leaguer.

It will be interesting to see where Lopez ends up playing. The Royals already have Adalberto Mondesi at shortstop and Whit Merrifield primarily playing second, although Merrifield can play all over the field. Dayton Moore urged patience with Lopez in addressing the media last week, with Rustin Dodd writing “the Royals do not see an obvious way for Lopez to receive everyday at-bats in the major leagues” and that Merrifield moving to the outfield raised concerns about the possibilty of injury.

See also: Nicky Lopez promoted from AAA Omaha.

Or also: Royals call up No. 8 prospect Nicky Lopez.

And last but not least: hot-hitting Lopez promoted to KC Royals roster.

There were some very interesting circumstances surrounding Nicky Lopez’ call up, including an apology from General Manager Dayton Moore to the Royals’ beat writers:

Most of that stems from an interview Dayton did this weekend, in which he basically said the Royals wouldn't be calling up Nicky Lopez any time soon ($).

Some of those pieces are still in the minor leagues, and some could be in Kansas City soon. Nicky Lopez has a .463 on-base percentage at Triple-A Omaha and could debut later this summer. But the timeline might be later rather than sooner.

There’s a specific reason for this: For now, the Royals do not see an obvious way for Lopez to receive everyday at-bats in the major leagues. The club has Mondesi and Merrifield at shortstop and second base, respectively, which are Lopez’s two main positions, and they have incentive to keep Merrifield at second base.

Last night, Rustin wrote an inside look at the Royals decision to promote Lopez ($).

The Royals did not want to move Whit Merrifield to the outfield on a full-time basis, fearing the role would put too much pressure on his legs. They have Adalberto Mondesi entrenched at shortstop. They did not want to call up Lopez to play three or four times per week.

The decision, Moore said, had little to do with Chris Owings, the struggling utility player whose batting average had dipped below .150. The club had stated earlier this month that Owings’ playing time would be reduced to a part-time role. To put Lopez on the roster required more than replacing Owings. It also demanded an every-day opening in the infield.

(If you haven’t subscribed to The Athletic yet, what’re you doing?)

In non-Nicky Lopez news, Jeffrey Flanagan did his inbox over at yesterday.

K.C. would be more apt to try Glenn Sparkman in the rotation. Scott Barlow has been an incredible find for the bullpen, and there’s no need to mess with that. Remember, the Royals are trying to find pieces for a shutdown bullpen again, which is what made them such a menace to the league from 2013-16. It’s way early, but Barlow looks like he could be a Wade Davis-type addition -- he has made hitters look silly lately.

Over at Royals Farm Report .com:

Our own Craig Brown thinks it’s time to address the Chris Owings situation.

Perhaps the most amazing part of the previous paragraph isn’t the fact that Owings ranks at the bottom of nearly every preferred offensive metric. It’s that the Royals have given him enough plate appearances that he is “qualified.” This is a problem that has been systemic in the Royals organization ever since Dayton Moore arrived nearly 13 years ago, particularly in the middle infield. Tony Pena, Jr. Yuniesky Betancourt. Willie Bloomquist. Chris Getz. Alcides Escobar. And now Owings. It’s a who’s who of offensive ineptitude.

Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar is back on the IL with a labrum injury.

A’s get term sheet approval for ballpark.

The White Sox lost a pair of pitchers to the IL for the season.

The A’s DFA’d Kendrys Morales.

Dustin Pedroia had a setback in his rehab.

The Yankees are haven’t slowed down during wave of injuries ($).

Several have died after two planes collided in Alaska.

Bill Nye: “The planet’s on (expletive) fire.”

Video evidence suppressed in Robert Kraft case.

Jury returns $2B verdict against Monsanto for couple with cancer.

Study says glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%.

First assessment blames Iran for Middle East ship explosions, per officials.

Child discovers $40,000 worth of meth inside box of legos.

On this day in history in 1804, Lewis and Clark depart St. Louis to explore the Northwest.

Also on this day in history, in 1904, the first American Olympiad opens in St. Louis.

Your song of the day is “Desperado” by the Eagles.