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Royals Rumblings - News for July 26, 2022

TRADE RUMOR SZN

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Shohei Ohtani #17 of Japan of the Los Angeles Angels is checked on by the bat boy at second base after taking a ball off the knee then hitting a double during the 3rd inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 25, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Shohei Ohtani #17 of Japan of the Los Angeles Angels is checked on by the bat boy at second base after taking a ball off the knee then hitting a double during the 3rd inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 25, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for July 26, 2022

Buck O’Neil is finally in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, something that should have happened a long time ago. The Negro League Museum is celebrating it.

“Ever since that announcement that he’ll be inducted, since Dec. 5, the museum has been ushered into what Bob and I refer to just as the next phase of growth,” community engagement manager Kiona Sinks said.

“You couldn’t live here in Kansas City and not know who Buck O’Neil was. It’s like not knowing who Ollie Gates is,” Sinks said, referring to the local legend who owns Gates Bar-B-Q in Kansas City. “Those are two, when you talk about Black history, are iconic individuals, Buck O’Neil is on the top-tier list. If you’re Black in Kansas City, you must know who Buck O’Neil is. He’s the reason why we’re able to have this great heart of Kansas City here at the museum.”

Just a few years ago, Nick Pratto was struggling through a terrible 2019 season. But he turned his career around and is in the big leagues. Alec Lewis has the lowdown how it happened.

Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore and general manager J.J. Picollo shifted Alec Zumwalt into a role as director of hitting performance. The club also hired Drew Saylor as its new hitting coordinator and Keoni DeRenne as its new assistant hitting coordinator. Mike Tosar joined the fold as the club’s special assignment hitting coach. Their first task: corral the young hitters and introduce them to the new program. They called the event “skills acquisition camp.”

Pratto was a guinea pig of sorts. He showed up uncertain about what he would be doing, whom he would be meeting and what types of training they had in mind. During the first few days, Zumwalt, whom Pratto already knew, explained that the hitters were going to walk out to the George Brett Field, stand in the box and hit pull homers as hard as they could.

“I’m like, ‘OK, say less,’” Pratto said this spring. “But you’d be surprised. An external cue like that can clean somebody’s mechanics up in certain ways.”

Jim Bowden outlines what he think Whit Merrifield is worth on the trade market. Would you take a deal like this?

To get Merrifield, who is signed through next year with an $18 million mutual option in 2024 ($500,000 buyout), an organization would probably need to send the Royals a top-12 prospect with a top-35 type thrown in. Brandon Drury (.274/.332/.517 slash line, 18 home runs, 54 RBIs) and Happ (.279/.366/.441 slash line, nine homers, 44 RBIs) can play second base. Marlins utilityman Jon Berti (20 games played at second base) is available and makes sense for a team looking to add speed. He leads the majors with 28 stolen bases. Beyond them, the position is pretty thin with journeymen such as Rougned Odor of the Orioles and Jonathan Schoop of the Tigers the only other second basemen on the trade market.

In case you missed it, the Yankees have seemingly reversed course and are serious contenders for the services of one Andrew Benintendi.

With the Royals out of the race and Benintendi heading towards free agency, he should be a relatively low-cost addition for some contender this trade season. Even considering his strong season (128 wRC+), acquiring Benintendi would cost only a shade of what it would take to acquire Soto.

Salvador Perez is going on a rehab stint with the Omaha Storm Chasers (yes, already) and it could actually lineup with a rehab stint against Jacob DeGrom. Man, the Mets had DeGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard at the height of their powers and still lost to the Royals in 2015. Love it.

Kansas City Royals star catcher and team leader Salvador Perez is expected to take the field for the first time in more than a month with the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers as part of a minor-league rehab assignment on Tuesday night.

...Perez, who has been on the injured list since June 24 following surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, is set to join the Storm Chasers as they begin a six-game stretch in Syracuse, N.Y., against the New York Mets Triple-A affiliate. The Mets announced on Monday that two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom will begin a rehab assignment with Syracuse on Wednesday.

Polygon is celebrating the computer lab and educational video games this week. What educational video game did you play? Was it Lemonade Stand? Oregon Trail? Maybe (but probably not) Typing of the Dead?

Song of the Day

Cabin Down Below by The Royal Concept