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Royals Rumblings - News for August 19, 2019

When will Duffman return?

Kansas City Royals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for August 19, 2019

Danny Duffy will throw another simulated game on Tuesday, writes Lynn Worthy.

“Everything is right on schedule,” Royals manager Ned Yost said on Saturday. “It was less than two weeks ago. His effort, according to the Rapsodo, on his sides is game-like. We just need to get him up to around 60 pitches and then he’ll be ready to go.”

Yost said sending Duffy on a rehab assignment was a consideration, but it didn’t make a lot of sense with both the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates on the road.

Sarah Langs breaks down how Jorge Soler is having a career season.

So, how is he doing all of this? It sounds simple -- he’s absolutely crushing the ball. But let’s dig into that concept a little further.

He has 52 barrels this season -- that’s batted balls with an optimal combination of launch angle and exit velocity, which typically result in extra-base hits. That’s the most by any Royals player in a season tracked by Statcast (since 2015). The prior most was 48 by Kendrys Morales in 2016. And for Soler, it’s still August.

How’s this for a career arc? Soler has 314 batted balls this season, and 52 have been barreled. From 2015-18, he had 629 batted balls, and 62 barrels.

The Royals may want to see all their pitchers in high-leverage situations this year.

In his Friday notes, David Lesky writes about all those home runs.

It really seems like the Royals give up a lot of home runs. But the problem is that everyone gives up a lot of home runs. Most teams hit a lot too, but I think the Royals not hitting that many (outside of that crazy road trip) makes it seem like they’re giving up a ton. In reality, they’ve allowed nine fewer than league average and only four American League teams have given up fewer. It also probably doesn’t help that only one of their starting pitchers has been actually good at limiting the home run ball, but the bullpen, if they do one thing well, is just that. Ian Kennedy, Scott Barlow, Kevin McCarthy, Tim Hill and Richard Lovelady have all been above average at limiting home runs. So it actually seems that the strategy in building the staff might have been not so bad given the 2019 offensive environment, but the pitchers just haven’t really executed beyond limiting home runs.

Marc Hulet at Fangraphs writes that the Royals have the second-best minor league pitching depth.

I won’t delve too much into this team because I’ve already written about the Royals’ outstanding 2018 draft but the team continues to see unprecedented results from the arms selected just over a year ago. The club could have a starting rotation made up entirely of arms selected in the 2018 draft by the end of 2021 — and some might even have to start out in the bullpen. Like the Tigers, the Royals organization could be very interesting in the next couple of years if it can get some hitting.

The Red Sox are charging $5, with kids admitted free, for the Thursday suspended game against the Royals.

Nearly every free agent reliever from last winter has been a disaster.

Is this a golden age for young hitters in baseball?

Ronald Acuña Jr. is benched for a lack of hustle.

The Tigers may be historically bad.

Carlos Carrasco faces live hitters for the first time since being diagnosed with leukemia.

Breaking down Aaron Judge’s slump.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone thinks a mercy rule in MLB is worth exploring.

MLB options can be a bit of a headache.

Yasiel Puig imitates a bizarre hitting stance from a kid in the Little League World Series.

Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias gets a 20-game suspension for domestic abuse.

Rocker Jack White catches a few innings of a baseball game, has a concert, then returns for extra innings.

The rock band Slayer is denied a NASCAR sponsorship.

A look at the world’s only bobblehead museum.

A contractor with Facebook reportedly pressured counselors to leak information on sessions with employees.

A lot of futuristic sci-fi stories are set in our past.

The end of the Game of Thrones television series has been freeing, says writer George R.R. Martin.

Your song of the day is Grouplove with Ways to Go.