Royals Rumblings - News for July 20, 2021
The MLB.com beat writers profile who are going to be buyers and who are going to be sellers at the trade deadline. Anne Rogers thinks that the Royals aren’t going to be classic sellers.
The Royals are too far out of the AL Central race to be true buyers at the Deadline, but they’re not going to be true sellers, either, because they believe they can contend in the coming years and aren’t going to be willing to trade away their top Major League talent for prospects. There’s thought that the Royals could use some veteran players as trade chips, like Carlos Santana and Mike Minor, but Kansas City also places a value on those players to help the younger core that should be the next wave of Major League talent soon. So there’s a balance to strike at the Deadline, and the Royals are going to examine the deals that will help them make the turn toward contending in the next few years.
Rogers also profiles Nicky Lopez, who has quietly been a very productive player and a nice fill-in at shortstop.
There is a saying that Nicky Lopez has gone back to over and over this season. He says it when he’s deciphering his approach. He remembers it when he finds himself struggling at the plate. He uses it when explaining why he’s had the season he’s had so far, full of consistent production.
“Be the best Nicky Lopez I can be.”
It’s a widely used phrase in baseball. But for Lopez, it’s the best explanation as to why he’s been one of the bright spots offensively and defensively all year for the Royals — after he was originally slated to start the season in Triple-A.
“It sounds so cliché,” Lopez said. “But I felt like I wasn’t really him. I was swinging at balls out of the zone. I was trying to hit balls in the air. I shouldn’t be doing that.”
Hunter Dozier discussed his disappointing season so far and how his thumb injury early in the year caused a domino effect of bad hitting.
“I’m to blame,” he said. “Opening day, when I blew up my thumb, I know I only missed a couple games, but it was bugging me for a couple weeks and I didn’t do a good job of dealing with it.”
“I kind of created some bad habits,” he added, “because I was trying to protect (the thumb).”
So he started “flying open” in his stance and looking as if he were trying to pull everything even when he was actually trying to take a pitch the other way.
“But I guess in the back of my mind I was thinking, ‘Don’t get blown up …’” he said, adding that it all got into his head. “When I wasn’t having success, I started searching. So it all falls on me (and) how I just didn’t really handle the situation well. And I kind of got away from what makes me a good player, makes me a good hitter.
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We all have an answer to this one thanks to COVID (though the answer does not have to be COVID-related): what is one thing that you weren’t able to do or experience that you weren’t expecting to miss so much once it was gone?
Song of the Day
Musician by Porter Robinson