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Royals Rumblings - News for July 8, 2021

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Salvy has an opponent in the Home Run Derby.

Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for July 8, 2021

Two-strike counts have been a problem all year, and Scott Barlow was the latest victim on Wednesday.

“I feel like I was getting ahead OK, but definitely the two-strike pitches weren’t what I wanted for sure,” Barlow said. “I definitely failed at execution, especially with two strikes.”

Each of those first three hits allowed by Barlow came with two strikes, including the India double on a 1-2 curveball that didn’t get to where Barlow intended.

“The fastball felt pretty good today, but both slider and curve were definitely not up to par,” Barlow said.

Mike Matheny saw a lost opportunity, writes Anne Rogers.

“We put ourselves in a position to win that game,” manager Mike Matheny said. “That’s just a game we felt slip away when we’ve got a well-rested ‘pen, we were able to give Scott some time to come in. We’ve asked a lot of a few of those guys in that ‘pen, and they’ve been really good. Today was one that slipped through our hands.”

Vahe Gregorian thinks it is time to look to 2022.

The Royals aren’t winning. And until proven otherwise, it’s hard to foresee them flipping the script after the break unless Adalberto Mondesi finally returns and stays healthy and Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier return from the Twilight Zone and the starting rotation establishes some reliability.

So what will they be learning the rest of the season?

There’s no one answer, and maybe no obvious answers at all. And the point isn’t that they should surrender or tank or force-feed prospects, etc. Maybe there are some fine moments ahead and even some decent streaks to be salvaged.

But they’re also in a strange limbo right now, stranded in a season that once had the earmarks of being their first meaningful steps forward since back-to-back 100-plus loss seasons before the COVID-warped 2020.

The bracket for the Home Run Derby is set, with Salvador Perez taking on Pete Alonso of the Mets.

MLB Pipeline’s latest mock draft has the Royals taking prep shortstop Kahlil Watson.

With well-above-average speed and the potential for solid tools across the board, Watson could form a dynamic double-play combination with 2019 No. 2 overall choice Bobby Witt Jr.

Jeffrey Flanagan gives some insight into Mike Matheny.

Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report has his final draft rankings.

Baseball America has them taking Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman considers whether or not the Royals should take Rocker.

Chris Henderson interviews Nicky Lopez about video games, music, and who he idolized growing up.

Five Rays pitchers combine to allow no hits in a seven-inning game.

Jacob deGrom will skip the All-Star Game.

The White Sox designate outfielder Adam Eaton for assignment.

Shohei Ohtani has already set the MLB single-season record for most home runs by a Japanese-born player.

The Rockies have their worst Coors Field hangover yet.

There are a lot more buyers than sellers at this year’s trade deadline.

Is it time to break up the Cubs?

Kevin Goldstein gives a peek behind the curtain on what happens in draft rooms.

Tampa Bay is your Stanley Cup champion.

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo may not have any fans.

What is killing birds in the mid-Atlantic region?

TikTok has a catfish problem.

A ranking of all the sketches on the second season of I Think You Should Leave.

Your song of the day is Living Colour with Cult of Personality.