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Game XCIX: Royals at Yankees

Kansas City invades the Bronx and leaves Benny there

Kansas City Royals v San Francisco Giants Photo by Michael Urakami/Getty Images

As Nick Pratto struck out to end last night’s loss to the Angels, the Royals went back to the locker room, got cleaned up, and prepared for a flight to New York. Andrew Benintendi was among them. The only difference was that Benny would be the only Royal not on the return flight.

It’s nice, really. Just a couple of teams being very energy conscious, not wanting to waste a flight. Not only was Benintendi traded away for three minor league pitchers, he will likely make his debut against the very team that traded him, in a stadium that served as the home of his arch rivals for the longest duration of his career.

The response to the trade has been, well, mixed. The initial response was anger. Benintendi was Kansas City’s best trade asset and he failed to net even a top-10 Yankees prospect. This after the Royals traded the #35 overall pick for Drew Waters, who was ranked the #1 overall prospect in the Braves system by MLB.com, along with two other minor leaguers. But to be fair, Fangraphs had him as the Braves #10 overall prospect. But it certainly looked as though the Royals could have gotten more for Benintendi.

But after further review, it looks pretty fair. Benintendi is a good player, but not a legitimate star. His fWAR checks in at #61 overall. Kansas City might have been able to garner more for Benintendi had they waited until the deadline, but it couldn’t have been much more. And this surely won’t be the final trade the Royals make with a log jam of young players pushing their way onto the major league roster.

With all that said, Kansas City still has a baseball game today, and they won’t have to wait to face their old friend with Benny leading off for the Bronx Bombers. Brady Singer heads to the mound in the midst of a pretty significant hot streak. He is coming off one of the best starts of his career last week, striking out 12 Rays and giving up just a single run. It was the first time he had recorded double digit strikeouts and he needed just six innings to do it.

Further, since June, Singer has posted a 3.61 ERA across 47.1 IP with 51 strikeouts. He’s face a lineup with a 5/4 righty-lefty split as well. A lefty-heavy lineup at Yankee Stadium is likely the scene that gave scouts nightmares about Singer.

As for the Royals, MJ Melendez is back in the lead off spot, with Vinnie Pasquantino batting third. Ryan O’Hearn is in right field and Kyle Isbel takes Benny’s spot in left. Maikel Garcia is back in Kansas City and starting at shortstop as Bobby Witt Jr. is once again out, along with Nicky Lopez. They’ll face former Pirate Jameson Taillon who has had a brutal July, giving up 14 runs in just 19 innings of work.

Here are your lineups: