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Weekend Rumblings - News for May 18, 2019

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I thought Angels were supposed to be nice.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Royals drop the series opener to LA Angels, 5-2.

Failing to create any kind of rally late, the Angels shut the door to claim their second straight victory over the Royals. Tomorrow, Jakob Junis will be asked to halt the three-game slide. Los Angeles will go with Griffin Canning. First pitch is another late one at 9:07 CT.

Josh Keiser hands out first quarter grades for our Royals.

Lucas Duda was added at THE last minute before the season to be a left handed power bat that played good defense. Instead, he’s been slightly better in the field and slightly worse at the plate than O’Hearn for $1M more. And he’s been hurt for the last 3 weeks. D+

Chris Owings is actually ahead of his projections in home runs, walk rate, stolen bases, defensive rating, and (since yesterday) innings pitched! The issue lies in the fact that his bat has been one of the worst to start a season in history. D+

Alex Gordon “leaning” on playing in 2020.

Interestingly, too, is what might happen with Gordon at the Trade Deadline. A recent poll by MLB.com revealed that numerous baseball executives and general managers around baseball considered Gordon possible trade bait.

But the reality is that there is almost a zero percent chance Gordon will be dealt, primarily because as a 10-5 guy, Gordon can veto any deal. And Gordon has no interest in playing for another team.

“I don’t want to play anywhere else,” Gordon said. “Yeah, I want to retire as a Royal. I’ve established my family here with my kids. This is home.

It seems like the Royals are guaranteed to get a great fit in the draft, regardless of who Baltimore selects ($).

So perhaps it’s too early to know who the Royals will take next month. Yet it’s not too early to wonder. Moore and club officials likely will make few public comments on the subject. What they will say will traffic in the unspecific.

Moore is on record as saying that he would prefer not to be picking second overall. In one sense, it means he didn’t do his job well in 2018. Yet even he recognizes the value in a top-two pick and the importance in nailing it.

Nicky Lopez and the Royals’ path to contention ($).

This is the hope for Lopez, of course, that he could pair together in the infield with shortstop Adalberto Mondesi for the next half-decade, and they will compliment each other in all the right ways. Mondesi, 23, is one of the most exciting young talents in the game, a five-tool shortstop with elite speed and emerging power. Lopez, 24, is a former shortstop from Creighton with intangibles, instincts and a preternatural ability to make contact.

Nick Vitolano breaks down the Wilmington Blue Rocks’ (the Royals Advanced-A affiliate) past week.

Best Pitcher:

As always, there were a few good candidates for this one, but the most deserving….

Brady Singer on 5/16/19: (6 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 10 K): By far his best professional start to date, an absolutely incredible performance for so many reasons. With plus command, it’s a little surprising how few bats he has been missing this season, especially with his off-speed pitches. That changed on Thursday night; sending Frederick batters packing with his sliders and fastballs off the plate.

Over at Royals Farm Report, I wrote about..........

Royals former 2nd round pick, Evan Steele, close to returning to action in Lexington.

The talented Chipola JUCO lefty has worked just eight innings since joining the organization after tossing 143 pitches in his final start of the JUCO World Series. From the sounds of it, his stuff as returned with fastball working 92-95 mph and his secondary pieces returning to old form.

The Royals sent Kelvin Gutierrez to AAA Omaha, and recalled Heath Fillmyer to fill his spot.

Nicky Lopez was once a draft sleeper.

On this day in history, in 1896, the Supreme Court rules in Plessy vs. Ferguson.

Your song of the day is “Coming’ Around” by Josh Thompson.