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Royals Rumblings - News for August 9, 2019

Welcome to the big leagues, Nick Dini!

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Kansas City Royals spring training John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for August 9, 2019

Lynn Worthy writes about Nick Dini, who talked about the adjustments he made this year offensively.

“I’ve tried to hit more balls in the air as opposed to just trying to slap balls all over the place,” Dini said. “I try to stay in my legs, create some leverage. I want the outfielders to field the ball, not the infielders.”

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report has more on Dini.

Dini’s bat in Omaha has spoken for itself. The kid is only striking out in 13.6% of his PA and he’s impressively raised his BB% from 3.9% at AA last year to 9.9% at AAA in 2019. The defense is where I think Dini’s chances at sticking will be hurt the most. Opposing base stealers have successfully stolen 49 bases off of Dini at Omaha this season out of 61 chances (80.33% success rate) in 56 games behind the plate. The Royals are widely known for valuing defense, especially behind the dish, so it will be interesting to see how Dini is utilized while filling in for Cam Gallagher.

Worthy also writes about how the Royals are impressed with Meibrys Viloria.

His first and most important job as a catcher will always be handling the pitching staff. That’s where he has made his biggest strides since being called up, the behind-the-scenes work that makes or breaks a big-league catcher.

“He’s an impressive kid,” Royals quality control and catching coach Pedro Grifol said. “He’s smart. He wants it. He’s fearless, completely fearless. That’s probably why he’s improving at such a fast rate. So I’m expecting good things from him.”

Writing at The Athletic, Rany Jazayerli asseses the state of the offense during the rebuild.

Realistically, the Royals will need to go out of the organization to sign one, if not two, quality free-agent hitters prior to the 2021 season if they’re serious about contending. The good news is, the way their payroll shapes up, they should have no problems doing exactly that...

Whether they’re just a hitter or two away, though, depends heavily on whether they can fix their biggest weakness from within: their pitching staff.

James Banks at looks at players who are better than their stats, and highlights Brad Keller.

Since the All-Star Game, however, the light has gone on for Keller. In five starts, he has gone 3-2 with a 2.29 ERA. Most importantly, he has walked only four batters in 35 1/3 innings, helping drop his WHIP to 0.96, while also increasing his K/9 from 6.26 to 7.39. He’s never going to be a big strikeout guy, relying instead on command and heavy pitches down in the zone to generate weak contact, but the good news is that he’s doing just that once again.

Clubhouse Conversation has an interview with former Royals GM Herk Robinson.

Alec Lewis of The Athletic profiles Ned Yost’s son, Ned Yost IV, a minor league coach.

The pitcher that earned a contract from the A’s after hitting 96 mph on a speed both radar gun at Coors Field is a local kid from Blue Valley High School.

The Mets and Zach Wheeler have failed to make progress on extension talks.

How the experiment to let players steal first base is going in the Atlantic League.

The Yankees and White Sox will play a game at the Field of Dreams site in Iowa.

What’s left for Mike Trout to conquer?

Can the Reds figure out Kevin Gausman?

How Charlie Morton became a Cy Young contender.

Should pitchers choose college or pro baseball?

Baseball Prospectus looks at how Puerto Rican draftees are at a signing disadvantage.

How elite high school basketball players are skipping college to play in the NBA.

The Argentina women’s basketball team brought the wrong uniforms and had to forfeit a contest in the Pan-American Games.

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D.B. Weiss and David Benioff’s controversial Confederate series is cancelled now that they’re moving to Netflix.

The Succession Season Two power rankings.

Your song of the day is Loverboy with Everybody’s Working for the Weekend.