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Gamethread LXXXVIII: Royals at Cleveland

Can anything awaken the slumbering Royals bats?

Salvador Perez Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

The Royals will play their sixth consecutive game against a team from Ohio tonight. That’s about the most interesting remark that can be made about them right now. They’ve lost three in a row and five of their last six. They are in the AL Central basement. If you’re hoping for a hot second half to jump them into playoff contention I will tell you that even the 2014 Royals which were receiving calls to fire Dayton Moore and Ned Yost were 48-46 at the All-Star Break. It would take a miracle for the team to compete for the playoffs now.

Mike Minor will get the start for the Royals. He signed a two-year contract last off-season to provide some veteran stability for a rotation the Royals hoped to otherwise fill with young, talented arms. Minor has held up his end of the bargain; despite the inflated ERA his peripheral numbers are similar to those he put up while starting for Texas successfully in 2018 and 2019. He’s also put up by far the most innings by any Royals’ starter in a year where the Royals’ problems have often been compounded by short outings from their rotation.

Cleveland will send Cal Quantrill to the mound. In case you’re wondering, yes, he is related to the former major league pitcher Paul Quantrill; in fact, his middle name is Paul. Cal has faced the Royals three times in his career, all relief appearances, and hasn’t yet allowed an earned run. He started the year in Cleveland’s bullpen with some success but has had mixed results since joining the rotation. He struggled to get strikeouts and has allowed at least three earned runs in each of his last three starts. He has not yet pitched six innings in a start, this season.

The Royals now have two All-Stars in their lineup tonight as Whit Merrifield was voted by the players as an alternate.