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Royals Rumblings - News for August 16, 2021

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Whit Merrifield sets the club consecutive games played mark.

Kansas City Royals v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for August 16, 2021

Salvador Perez, who became the first Royals catcher to hit 30 home run in a season, reflects on a tough series.

“We just need to flush the toilet, come in tomorrow and try to win the game again and play hard. Whatever happened, it’s over. We’re not going to change that. So the mentality now is throw today’s game away, come in tomorrow and [concentrate] and try to win the game tomorrow and start a new series against Houston.”

Whit Merrifield talks about setting the franchise consecutive games played record.

“I mean, who wants to come out of the lineup,” Merrifield said. “I don’t really understand people’s fascination with giving guys a day off. I’ve never understood that. Unless you’ve got something nagging, you’re a catcher playing a day game after a night game, then I could understand, but besides that I’ve just never understood the fascination with giving guys a day.

“It’s just never been something that I’ve understood. Why would you ever want to come out of the lineup? If you’re here to play baseball, don’t you want to play baseball and not watch it? You could watch it when you’re not playing.”

Adalberto Mondesi hits a snag in his rehab and returns to Kansas City.

Matheny said shutting down Mondesi for the rest of the season was not on the table at this point.

“That hasn’t been talked about,” Matheny said. “I think this is one of those where we’ve made so much progression that when you have a little bit of a setback, let’s not just keep pushing to where you have to go back to square one. Is there something we can do here, one, for peace of mind of the player, and, two, for peace of mind for the organization?”

Luke Hooper at Fangraphs writes that Whit Merrifield may not be the fastest base-stealer, but he may be the smartest.

What’s particularly interesting is that, despite a 90th percentile Sprint Speed of 28.7 feet per second, which is about a half a foot per second off of his peak, Merrifield is far from elite when it comes to his short distance split times, which is a good way to gauge a player’s acceleration. His 90-foot split has gone from a peak of 3.89 seconds in 2018 to 3.97 this season, or from the 79th percentile to the 68th. Other elite thieves like Trea Turner, Byron Buxton and Tim Locastro have splits in the 99th percentile. Even Starling Marte, a fellow high success-rate stealer in his early 30s, is in the 81st percentile.

Jordan Foote at Inside the Royals notes Hunter Dozier is hitting better, but isn’t all in quite yet.

Cautious optimism is probably the best course of action. Because of his recent four-year, $25 million contract extension, it remains unlikely that the Royals will be able to part ways with their formerly struggling player. Dozier doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, and his defensive value is a clear negative. In order to justify his contract, he needs to perform well with the bat. His recent run is a start, although it has to continue throughout the rest of 2021 for it to be worth hanging any hats on.

Clint Scoles at Royals Academy considers next year’s lineup.

Going after Starling Marte as a centerfield option would be the best for the Royals, but the cost it would take for him to pass on other teams is likely too large to make financial sense. Going to a platoon system in the outfield would fit also. The Rays do a pretty good job of using platoon options, which the Royals should be looking at implementing, given their financial restraints. Using Mondesi and Nicky alongside Emmanuel Rivera and Hunter Dozier in the infield makes sense with Whit Merrifield. In the outfield, Olivares and Dozier fit well with Benintendi. Implementing Mondesi in the outfield would help with Taylor’s weak offense, though it exposes his hamstrings.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter thinks the Royals need to shut down Mondesi and think creatively about his future.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman would like to see Ryan McBroom traded this winter.

Diamondbacks lefty Tyler Gilbert throws a no-hitter in his first MLB start.

Zack Britton asks to be removed from the closer’s role with the Yankees.

Padres lefty Drew Pomeranz has season-ending surgery.

The Red Sox claim infielder Travis Shaw off waivers from the Brewers.

An investigation finds Trevor Bauer was previously the subject of another protection order.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly discusses his battle with COVID upon returning.

The National League East is suddenly very interesting.

A look at the logistics of moving Fernando Tatis, Jr. to the outfield.

How an astrophysicist is helping the Athletics refine their pitches.

The Diamondbacks face a decision on Chase Field soon.

You can now build ballparks and conduct home run derbies on Minecraft.

The winners and losers from the first Chiefs preseason game.

Naomi Osaka pledges to donate Western & Southern Open tennis tournament prize money to Haiti earthquake relief.

What’s wrong with the new Twitter font?

The college dorm shopping industrial complex is real.

All your favorite shows within a show are on “Nestflix.”

Your song of the day is Scandal featuring Patty Smyth with The Warrior.