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Royals Rumblings - News for June 30, 2022

Is this a rebuild or just a bad team?

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Texas Rangers v Kansas City Royals Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for June 30, 2022

Salvador Perez doesn’t regret how he handled his thumb injury.

“Every time we take that decision (for surgery), it’s going to suck, because we tried to do the last thing we can do to (not) have surgery,” Perez said. “At that point, it was completely torn, so I don’t have any choice.”

The good news, Perez said, is that he believes this procedure will completely fix his thumb issue. His previous hope when coming back was to make it through the rest of 2022 before getting treatment.

“I never think it (re-injury) was going to happen here during the season,” Perez said. “That’s why I tried to play with the brace — I tried to see if I could finish the season.”

Craig Brown at Into the Fountains sees the Salvy injury as the catalyst for change.

With a recovery timetable of at least eight weeks, Perez will be lost for most, if not all, of the rest of the season. I would be willing to wager that this, not the fact they’ve been pacing for 100 losses since May, is the catalyst for this front office to begin to revamp this offense. They seem to operate in a different reality at times. It’s not outside the realm of probability that they have been clinging to the hope that Perez could elevate this offense and carry it to maybe 70 wins. Or at the very least, another strong September finish. What better way to sell their brand of offseason optimism heading into 2023?

Zach Crizer of Yahoo Sports wonders if the Royals’ rebuild is just plain losing.

Detroit held on to the stars of its previous contenders too long — squeezing out minimal returns for Justin Verlander, J.D. Martinez and others. Avila declined to trade pitchers Matthew Boyd and Michael Fulmer at the peak of their powers. Kansas City has played the same (losing) waiting game with Whit Merrifield.

What’s missing from the equations in Detroit and Kansas City are the opportunistic gains of churn. The Astros unearthed and polished Jose Altuve and Dallas Keuchel. The Cubs sanded away the rough edges of Jake Arrieta. Other teams like the Padres accumulated such a glut of appealing prospects they traded them for established stars like Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove to speed up their return to contention.

Who, in other words, have the Tigers and Royals made better during their lean periods? What payoff are they seeing from half a decade with virtually no opportunity costs discouraging them from trying to maximize every shred of talent they can get their hands on?

David Lesky at Inside the Crown reviews the Carlos Santana trade.

I don’t know that the Royals handled the Santana situation the best way possible on the whole, but given where it ended up, I think they did a fantastic job. I don’t know that they didn’t handle it the best way possible either, for what it’s worth. I’m just not sure either way. When they signed him, it’s important to remember that Nick Pratto was coming off a .191/.278/.310 season in A-ball the last time the Royals saw him play and Pasquantino was great, but as a 21-year-old in rookie ball. The Royals understandably didn’t feel terribly confident in their first base options for at least the next couple of seasons. So, as can happen, the young guys proved their worth in the minors and Santana seemed to hit a wall.

The Phillies could be eyeing Andrew Benintendi.

Benintendi’s name was among the ones mentioned by Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia on his list of hitters whom the Phillies may have their eyes on. He also included Nationals first baseman Josh Bell, who will likely be desired by multiple offense-needy clubs, as well as other lefty bats such as Benintendi and the D-backs’ David Peralta.

Alec Lewis gives an update on pitching metrics.

The Royals’ pinpointed approach led to the club displaying its 2022 first-pitch strike results on screens inside the clubhouse. The team also printed the percentages after games and placed them on players’ chairs. Though the Royals identified the first-pitch strikes as important, they rank 30th again this season (57.4 percent) — a 0.1 percentage year-over-year uptick.

“Still not where we want to be,” Matheny said of the Royals’ standing in early May. “We not only chart it and get reports on it, but we send it out each day. How we did. We’ve got a scale of how we’re measuring. Also, the 1-1 count. As well as free bases whether it’s defensively or giving up stolen bases or wild pitches. Those go in categories, and we’re keeping a running total with goals we’re looking to do with the guys and giving updates.”

Jordan Foote at Inside the Royals writes that the Santana trade was overdue but the right call.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter wonders if the Royals’ struggles with pitching analytics explain the coaching staff’s lack of success?

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman thinks Michael Massey should be the next to get the call.

A quirky rule allows the Pirates to score a run when the runner doesn’t tag and leaves early while the third out is recorded.

Blue Jays outfielder Jonathan Davis may have made the catch of the year.

Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez is carted off the field after a scary collision.

Rob Manfred wants you to know he doesn’t hate baseball.

Shohei Ohtani is up for an ESPY for Best MLB Player along with...Jorge Soler?

MLB would not charge the Athletics a relocation fee if they move to Las Vegas.

The Orioles aren’t good, but they are interesting.

Agent Casey Close denies he withheld information from his client, Freddie Freeman.

The mayor of St. Petersburg is reopening talks on a site for a Rays stadium.

Rays minority owners are suing principal owner Stu Sternberg over “fraudulent transfers.”

Several potential draftees turn down the MLB combine and the guaranteed slot money that goes with it.

Josh Naylor and Triston McKenzie are carrying on baseball’s Jamaican legacy.

James Harden declines his $47.3 million option to become a free agent.

Three trades the Chiefs should consider before training camp.

Astronomers are rethinking how planets are made.

Taco Bell is rolling out menu items with giant Cheez-Its inside.

Sci-fi and fantasy stories deserve scrutiny because they are the dominant fictional narrative.

Your song of the day is Miami Sound Machine with Bad Boy.