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Royals Rumblings - News for July 22, 2022

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MLB: SEP 29 Indians at Royals

Royals Rumblings - News for July 22, 2022

Anne Rogers contributes to an piece about a trade candidate on each team.

Merrifield’s name has circled trade rumors for years now, as several teams think his versatility could be helpful in the postseason, but the Royals have been reluctant to move him and his veteran voice. The tune has changed this year.

Alec Lewis gets the inside scoop on the Royals’ draft strategy.

The draft, as a whole, outlined the Royals’ strategy: select college players with proven track records who are athletic; build a group of starters and a group of relievers; and add a couple of high-upside players at the beginning or end, if possible.

“If we didn’t get the high-ceiling high school guys early,” Ontiveros said, “my mind was going to be set to build a rotation, build a bullpen and get some impact middle-of-the-field players. And we accomplished that.”

David Lesky at Inside the Crown looks at the numbers that defined the first half.

The Royals strength was supposed to be their defense, but they are at -19 defensive runs saved this year. That was their identity. They had three shortstops on the infield and two Gold Glovers in the outfield. It hasn’t worked out. Part of that is injuries. When they had Witt at third, Adalberto Mondesi at shortstop and Nicky Lopez at second base, it was impressive to watch that infield work. But since Witt has moved over to shortstop full time and third base became some combination of Emmanuel Rivera and Lopez, it hasn’t been especially pretty. They do fare better in OAA, the Statcast stat where they’re +5, but even so, that’s not what they expected to be.

Anthony Franco at MLB Trade Rumors looks at the best fits for a Whit Merrifield trade.

The Giants are in a similar boat as their archrivals. They have a handful of second base-caliber players, and righties Wilmer Flores and Thairo Estrada are playing well. Tommy La Stella is off to a rough start after opening the year on the injured list, and the Giants have already been tied to Brandon Drury. That suggests they’re open to adding another righty-swinging versatile infielder. Merrifield doesn’t have Drury’s power, but his high-contact game may be a better fit for Oracle Park.

Down on the Farm talks to Royals hitting coordinator Drew Saylor.

Down on the Farm: You mentioned a change in vision with that group of coaches, can you talk about what’s changed since you started in Kansas City? What has been implemented that wasn’t there before?

Drew Saylor: The first thing is implementing a player-centric model. We want to make sure that every rep our guys are taking is helping them move forward in their careers. It’s a daunting task, but that’s the way you are able to accelerate developmental timelines. The tough part is the preparation piece to prepare for those reps. I think John Wooden was way ahead of his time in that process — taking the necessary time to prepare to practice. Understanding what the practice plan is for that day. I think that’s one of the things we’ve been able to do here fairly consistently, we’ve over emphasized being prepared for that hour and 15 minute cage routine. We want to make sure that 45 minutes to an hour of batting practice is preparing us for the game that night. For us that’s where it all really starts. From there, it’s using all the information, taking an individual approach with all of our players, and then being able to put that all back together in a team environment.

Jordan Gish at Royals Farm Report considers Nicky Lopez’s role.

But the mid-June turnaround for Nicky got me thinking…

What do we do with Lopez if he’s still not hitting at season’s end? Where does he fit with the team going forward? And, most importantly, is Nicky engrossed in one of those weird baseball coincidences we see from time to time?

In the past month he has started seeing time at third base, making him a bona fide defensive Swiss Army Knife on the infield. He’s not a realistic long term option at third, but as an infield utility option Lopez could be a valuable bench piece – so long as the bat is able to provide something with reduced ABs.

Jake Brentz had elbow surgery, ending his season.

Kevin O’Brien at Royals Reporter predicts what will happen in the second half to the player who did not get vaccinated in Toronto.

Trey Donovan at Inside the Royals marvels at Michael A. Taylor’s season at the plate.

Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman wonders what Andrew Benintendi’s legacy in Kansas City will be.

Bo Jackson donated $170,000 to pay for the funerals of victims of the Uvalde shooting.

The Diamondbacks designate Dallas Keuchel for assignment.

The Rays sign former Royals minor league outfielder Roman Quinn.

Boston is looking for a first baseman and may be interested in Dominic Smith of the Mets.

Assessing the state of Rob Manfred’s tenure eight years in.

The top baseball stories over the final months of the season.

The Yankees are well positioned for the second half.

Who are the top candidates to go #1 in the 2023 MLB draft?

Pablo Sandoval regretted signing with the Red Sox.

There is a new documentary on fireballer Nolan Ryan.

The MLB All-Star game draws record low ratings.

The sponsorship for MLB’s “official vodka” may be with a product that doesn’t exist.

The best rookies from the NBA Summer League.

Amazon is buying One Medical for $4 billion.

The U.S. has its first polio case in nearly a decade.

Top Gun: Maverick becomes the ninth-highest grossing movie in domestic box office history.

Your song of the day is Nick Drake with One of These Things First.