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Royals Rumblings - News for September 10, 2019

Will Whit get 200 hits?

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Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for September 10, 2019

In his mailbag column, Jeffrey Flanagan looks at who will be protected from the Rule 5 draft.

The Royals already have added Erick Mejia and Gabe Speier to the roster, both of whom they wanted to protect from the Rule 5 Draft anyway. Chances are that speedy outfielder Nick Heath would have been added by now as well, but a wrist injury shelved him. Heath likely will be added to the 40-man simply because the aforementioned addition of a 26th man to next year’s rosters make him easier to stash on a big league roster. And here’s an interesting name that is on rival scouts’ radars: right-hander Andres Sotillet, who was 6-1 with a 3.35 ERA at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. One told me, “He’s the perfect guy to stash, because he can throw strikes. If you’re going to roll the dice with a Rule 5 guy, he’d be it.”

Alec Lewis profiles Jimmy Govern, who went from Eastern Illinois to smacking home runs in Triple-A in a few months.

When Jimmy was called into Peña’s office, Jimmy hoped and believed he would be moving up, but had no clue where he’d be going. The Royals’ rookie club in Burlington, NC, was headed to the Appalachian League playoffs, so he did not think he’d land there. Class A Lexington’s season was ending, as was High-A Wilmington’s, so neither was an option. Double-A Arkansas’ season was ending, but he thought there was no way he was ready for that level anyway. Playing for the Pioneer League (rookie) club in Idaho Falls, Idaho, made the most sense.

He walked into Peña Jr.’s office, and the manager told him the news: The Royals wanted Govern at Triple-A Omaha.

“I was like, ‘Whaaaaaat? No way. Shut up, dude,’” Govern says.

Whit Merrifield is trying to reach some lofty goals this season, writes Lynn Worthy.

“I’m just trying to get to 200 hits,” Merrifield said. “Two hundred hits is my goal. That was a goal from the beginning. If it so happens that that leads the league, great. But 200 hits has always been a goal of mine. I feel like I have a pretty real chance of accomplishing it this year. I can control that. I can’t control if guys go 5 for 5 everyday from here on out.”

Dan Szymborski at Fangraphs reviews the Royals’ 2019 season.

The Royals claim to be repeating the blueprint of their World Series victory, but this rebuilding has started even more haltingly than the previous one. There’s no Zack Greinke to trade to kickstart the next generation. Whit Merrifield’s a nice player and all, but he has nowhere near the trade value that Greinke had back in the day. Mondesi’s still young, but a lot of Kansas City’s “young” core isn’t actually young enough to build around. Merrifield is already 30, Dozier just turned 28, and Soler will be 28 in 2020 and a free agent after 2021. Years of incompetent drafting — Merrifield, taken in the 2010 draft, is the most recent Royal draftee to amass five WAR for the Royals — have left contention a long time in the future, short of unexpected developments. By Eric and Kiley’s rankings on THE BOARD, KC’s farm improvements this year have only bumped them from the 29th-best farm system to 26th. Contention is a long way off. More than any team other than perhaps the Colorado Rockies, the Royals could have used a completely new direction, starting with a clean sweep of the organization.

Mike Podhorzer at Fangraphs looks at Jorge Soler’s power surge.

The positive I see behind his HR/FB rate spike being driven by exit velocity and distance is this is purely the result of increased power, rather than change in approach. This now opens the opportunity in the future for him deciding to try pulling more of his flies, which would help him to maintain or even increase his true talent HR/FB rate level.

Ryan Sikes at Kings of Kauffman wonders what the 2020 bullpen will look like.

The Red Sox are unlikely to retain J.D. Martinez and/or Mookie Betts.

Javier Baez is out indefinitely with a thumb fracture.

Noah Syndergaard is upset the Mets won’t let him have a personal catcher.

Swinging a bat is painful for Mike Moustakas.

David Ortiz returns to Boston to throw out the first pitch.

Are these divisional races lacking drama?

What causes a pitcher to overperform or underperform his FIP?

Travis Sawchik at FiveThirtyEight wonders if teams will begin paring down their minor league affiliates.

Select AMC theaters will air select out-of-market NFL games.

The NBA bans “ninja-style headware”.

Youtube videos are a goldmine for health researchers.

People are freaking out over a shortage of White Claw, a hard seltzer.

A Face/Off reboot is in the works.

Your song of the day is Donovan with Sunshine Superman.