The trade deadline is over. Unlike previous seasons there will be absolutely NO trading from this point until the end of the season. This means that Whit Merrifield, Ian Kennedy, and everyone else are here for the duration with the possible exception of Billy Hamilton. Hamilton has been even worse than usual since moving to the American League and with Brett Phillips tearing the cover off of the ball in AAA and Bubba Starling holding his own at the major league level, so far, you have to think his days are numbered.
But this is Dayton Moore, so who knows.
In any case, the potential Brett Phillips promotion is about the only excitement to look forward to for the rest of the season. August is going to be much duller without the prospect of the waiver trade deadline looming and most of the more interesting players in the minors have debuted in the big leagues, already so September may not be much better.
Onto the links!
Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star wrote a summary of all of the Royals in-season trades from this year.
Alec Lewis at The Athletic ($) wrote about an interview with Royals pitching coach Cal Eldred about the challenges of working with mid-season acquisitions:
Eldred jokes about the strategy, saying for those Braves, the [fastball] down-and-away was “half of the left-handed batter’s box.” But he does agree with Yost in the sense that a pitcher who can hit the mark on a particular pitch more often than not is one who will be effective.
Leigh Oleszczak had a piece yesterday about how Alex Gordon wasn’t going anywhere (spoilers: She was right!)
Eric Liu has a profile on pitching prospect Jonathan Bowlan, currently pitching for Wilmington over at Royals Farm Report:
A few things have changed since then, including a promotion to Wilmington and more notably, my outlook. I originally pegged him as a lower ceiling, higher floor type of guy given that he did struggle with the long ball and walks, albeit small sample size, in 2018. Since then, he has done nothing but refine his game as he continues to markedly improve in all facets. Now, let’s take a look at his body of work so far in 2019 that’s got me going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
The Royals didn’t do any deals but old friend Martín Maldonado was on the move again. Lynn Worth reports that this time he returned to Houston.
Another former Royal will join him. Zack Greinke got dealt from the Diamondbacks for a load of prospects ($):
The Astros pulled off their blockbuster for Greinke by parting with two of the pitchers I mentioned — Bukauskus, who has a 5.25 ERA at Double A this season, and Martin, who recently underwent Tommy John surgery. They also sent the D-Backs first baseman Seth Beer and infielder Joshua Rojas while receiving $24 million from Arizona to help cover the remaining $77 million on Greinke’s contract.
Several baseball outlets offered recaps of the wheeling and dealing that got done yesterday:
Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports found three winners and losers.
CBS Sports broke things down with a list.
ESPN offered up quick takes on all of the deals.
Song of the Day
Ordinarily I’d drop a video game theme song of some sort on you, but sterlingice covers those pretty well and I’ve already given you all of my very favorites. So today I will give you one of my favorite anime theme songs, instead.
This is the ending theme to the anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The show follows a student named Kyon who gets dragged unwillingly into the bizarre world of his classmate, Haruhi Suzumiya, who appears to be able to make bizarre things happen whenever she is unhappy or bored.
One choice the creators of the show made was to intentionally air all of the episodes out of chronological order. When a second season was devised it was aired intermingled with episodes from the first season now shown in chronological order. This creative choice added to the atmosphere of bewilderment that Kyon often feels while dealing with Haruhi and helped the audience have a better understanding of just how wild spending time with Haruhi might have been.
Sadly, one of the co-directors from the second season was killed along with many of his co-workers during the tragic and deadly arson attack at Kyoto Animation on July 18 n one of the deadliest massacres in Japan since World War II. The studio is also known for many other anime including K-On!, Clannad, and Violet Evergarden.