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Royals Rumblings - News for September 2, 2021

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Mondi’s back with a bang!

Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for September 2, 2021

Adalberto Mondesi is back, and you’ll see him mostly at third base, writes Anne Rogers.

“What Whit and Nicky have been able to do, you’ve got to respect the consistency and what they’ve been able to accomplish,” general manager Dayton Moore said. “We want them to finish strong at those positions, and they’ve earned it.”

Moore comments on Jakob Junis landing on the Injured List.

“I like Jake. I’ve always liked Jake,” Moore said. “He’s got an impactful pitch in that slider when he’s throwing it with conviction. He has always been able to command his pitches. I think he’s a pitcher that really helps a team be successful over 162 games. I’m hopeful that he gets through this. I know that it has been a frustrating year for him, but we still believe in Jake.”

David Lesky thinks Junis may be at a career crossroads.

But here’s the problem for Junis. He turns 29 two weeks from tomorrow. He’s in his first year of arbitration this year and is making $1.7 million. I can’t imagine he’s in line for much of a raise and he has options left, so he’s got a chance to stick around on a pretty cheap deal next season in his second go-round in arbitration. But he’s been pretty clearly passed by Daniel Lynch, Carlos Hernandez, Brady Singer, Brad Keller and maybe Jackson Kowar (we’ll see about that tonight and hopefully for the next few weeks before the season ends). Others like Alec Marsh, Jon Heasley, Austin Cox and maybe even some surprises could pass him quickly.

Craig Brown also takes a look at Junis’ start.

Alec Lewis writes about Salvador Perez’s evolution as a power hitter.

Some might say the answer lies in cages at Florida International University. That’s where, during the 2019 offseason, Perez hit with Tosar, whom the Royals hired that offseason as a special-assignment hitting coach. They would meet nearly five days a week. The focus for Tosar, above all, was helping Perez feel what the right hitting positions were for him.

“Staying behind the baseball was really, really key for him,” Tosar said last year. “He does occasionally get out on that front side. Some of the drills that we do make him get behind the ball and tightened up the swing a little bit. Arms closer to the body. Not letting the arms get away from the body too early.”

Sam Mellinger also writes about Salvy’s breakout performance.

Perez has opened his stance a bit and exaggerated his leg kick. He has consistently complimented hitting coach Terry Bradshaw with providing him data that’s helped him lay off certain pitches in certain situations, and unload on others.

But it would be a lie to say Perez is a drastically different hitter. He’s still among the game’s most aggressive swingers — the most aggressive this season, actually — with a walk rate that nearly matches his career numbers and a strikeout rate that’s tracking for his worst.

The biggest obvious difference is unsatisfying as an explanation: he’s simply hitting the ball harder, and more often.

Mike Axisa at CBS Sports writes about Salvy’s great season.

The Royals are too far out of the postseason race for Perez to get serious MVP consideration (plus Ohtani is having a transcendent season), though he doesn’t need MVP votes to validate this incredible year. Perez is in the middle of an all-time great offensive season for a catcher, particularly in the power department. A catcher going deep 40 times is rarified air, and Perez has a chance to hit more home runs than any other catcher in history this year.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter looks at whether Carlos Santana can turn things around in September.

Former Royals minor leaguer Jack Lopez is called up by Boston.

MLB proposes a plan to the union to make players eligible for free agency at 29.5 years of age, regardless of service time.

John Smoltz and Al Leiter won’t appear at MLB Network studios after refusing to get vaccinated.

Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda will miss 9-12 months following Tommy John surgery.

Nationals front office advisor Bob Boone will resign rather than comply with a vaccine mandate.

Mets acting GM Zack Scott was charged with a DWI.

The best and worst trade deadline pickups.

Why baseball should not expand its playoffs.

The position players that most helped their Hall of Fame chances this year.

A look back on the game 50 years ago when the Pirates fielded an all non-white lineup.

Dave Parker has a new memoir out, and an excerpt details his time with the 1989 Athletics.

What’s more important in quarterback development - nature or nurture?

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks the men’s career international scoring record.

The FTC will investigate why McDonald’s McFlurry machines are always broken.

There is a conpiracy theory that the internet is “dead” and filled with bots.

The Ted Lasso backlash was inevitable.

Your song of the day is Nick Lowe with Cruel to Be Kind.