Royals are failing Mondesi, not the other way around

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Anyone can watch Raul Mondesi at the plate this season and realize he is not comfortable standing in against Major League pitching. Not yet anyway. This is no secret, no giant debate, no conspiracy or "hawt take." The guy just isn't quite ready yet. But we KNEW this……..Didn't we?  In 2016 in 150 plate appearances, Mondesi posted a batting line of .185/.231/.512 for an OPS+ of 36. It doesn't take Bill James running the numbers to figure out that he was not very good at the plate. Coupled with 48 strikeouts, he looked uncomfortable and not ready then, just the same as he has in his first 50 plate appearances this season. Flashy spring training aside, he is still the same struggling 21 year old prospect who some day will be a superstar, but has yet to master the final level of competition. So why the anger NOW? Why are Royals fans so upset with watching him flail as though it is something totally unexpected? Just how much expectation did fans have for a guy with 14 games of experience [Read more...]

Kyle Zimmer can provide the boost the bullpen needs

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After the Royals fell to 2-5 with a dismal offensive performance in a 2-0 shutout on Monday – the Royals first Home Opener shutout since 1971, the Royals sent down a man who shouldn’t have even made the roster, Terrance Gore, to NW Arkansas after he made his only appearance of the season pinch-running for Salvador Perez in the ninth inning. Another roster move came down yesterday, with the struggling Matt Strahm sent to Triple-A Omaha. After his performance through the first week, his demotion should come as no surprise. He’s 0-2 with a 47.50 ERA and 7.50 WHIP so far in 2017 (1.1 IP in 3 appearances), after dominating hitters in 2016 to the tune of a 1.23 ERA, 1.09 WHIP in 22 innings last year. Command has been a major issue, as has twice as many walks this year. “I just need to stay on top of the ball,” Strahm said after Sunday’s loss, where he walked two in a row for a literal Astros walk-off in the 12th inning. “I see the problem, but I need to correct it.” Manager Ned Yost said [Read more...]

Just cancel the season

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It's a matter of minutes before the Royals will take on the Twins in the third game of the season-opening series. But, after losing the first two games by a combined score of 16-2, walking 18 batters, allowed two 6-run innings and registering just seven hits (.122 AVG), they might as well not even play today. Or the rest of the season. Just, shut it down. As the seasons first series comes to a close, we reflect back and observe the first two games offering up what seemed like closure. It is true that they signaled the beginning of the 2017 regular season, but they just as definitively ushered in the swan song of a dying era. With a crashing thud, the Royals managed to dash the hopes and dreams of fans and front office alike. With not one single aspect of the club operating as it should, (sans "Bury Me a Royal" Danny Duffy's performance) the players have begun their victory lap much as a retired player far past his prime waves to the crowd before his final game. While the legend is [Read more...]

NFL First Round Mock Draft 1.0

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With the NFL draft just three weeks + one days away, it’s time for the first installment of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft. These picks based upon whom I believe these teams need to take, given their current roster and draft tendencies. Round 1, Pick 1: Cleveland Browns: EDGE rusher Myles Garrett (Texas A&M) The Browns need a QB, but there’s not one in this draft worth the top pick. Garrett has the tools to build a defense around, and maybe even a franchise. Round 1, Pick 2: San Francisco 49ers: DE Solomon Thomas (Stanford) Great defenses have great pass rushers. Thomas can be that man. Round 1, Pick 3: Chicago Bears: DT Jonathan Allen (Alabama) The Bears need a true presence in the middle, and Allen can stop the run while pushing the pocket as a rusher. Round 1, Pick 4: Jacksonville Jaguars: SS Jamal Adams (LSU) The Jags have dedicated a ton of cap space and draft capital to their defense, so why not replace Jonathan Cyprien with a hard-hitting safety to scare teams away from the [Read more...]

Projecting the 2017 Kansas City Royals

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Like every year during the Royals Golden Age other than 2015, Vegas and any other notable outlet, has projected the Royals to finish in third or fourth place in the AL Central and below .500. Despite that, let’s make no mistake about, the Royals are contenders in 2017. After the Royals traded Wade Davis, we wondered if the Window to Win was still open. Then, Yordano Ventura tragically died and something happened – its like the Royals decided it was time to go all in. They signed Brandon Moss and former Cubs pitchers Jason Hammel and Travis Wood. They’re going for it! All part of the original core, Eric Hosmer, Mike Mosutakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar could be gone after this year, but even if none of them return, the Royals are in much better shape in 2018 then we all anticipated at this time a year ago. But, for now, in their last year together, the Royals are primed to contend. How? Last year was a disaster for the Royals. Everything that could go wrong, did. But, despite [Read more...]

Kansas City Chiefs 7-Round Mock Draft 1.0

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With the combine over, Clark Hunt, John Dorsey and Andy Reid have work to do regarding the Chiefs roster. With needs at quarterback and inside linebacker, the future of the franchise could ride on 2017's selections. Last year, the Chiefs hit home runs in the 2nd round (Chris Jones) and 5th round (Tyreek Hill and Eric Murray), but are needing depth at guard and defensive tackle. Collaborating with Brandon Norris of Arrowhead Addiction, we took our dart-board shot at mocking the 2017 NFL Draft. Round One, Pick 27 My pick: QB DeShaun Watson (Clemson) Brandon's pick: QB Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) In both cases, the Chiefs get their man of the future. Alex Smith regressed in 2016, even though the team, particularly the offense, is loaded with playmakers. Mahomes is a gunslinger who can get outside of the pocket and make plays, too. He has inconsistent foot work, but possesses the arm strength and willingness to make plays down field, while Watson demonstrated an uncanny ability to [Read more...]

Mizzou moves on from the failed Kim Anderson experiment, turns to Cuonzo Martin; is top-recruit Michael Porter, Jr. coming, too?

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I wrote THIS when Kim Anderson was hired in April 2014. I so wanted to be wrong. Unfortunately, I wasn’t. And, it was much worse than I ever imagined. How bad was it? TWO 13-game losing streaks 0-30 in true road games 2-41 away from Mizzou Arena 8-46 SEC record Worst win percentage (.284) in Mizzou history First SEC program with three straight 20-loss seasons MOST losses EVER in a season by a SEC program (24) But that’s not all of it. Not surprisingly, attendance dropped. You have to win games, but you also have to put butts in seats. Kim Anderson did neither. He was also overwhelmed on the recruiting trail. As a former D2 head coach (he was no Bo Ryan), and a poor staff, its no wonder it turned out how it did in recruiting. He did land two 4-star’s – KJ Walton and Jordan Barnett. Barnett, however ended up at Missouri as a transfer, coming over from Texas as a semester transfer. He was Missouri’s best player the second he stepped on campus. During Anderson’s [Read more...]

Are the Royals REALLY interested in Brett Lawrie?

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According to ESPN Analyst Jim Bowden, the Royals are one of a handful of teams to express interest in free agent second baseman Brett Lawrie. Royals fans most notably remember Lawrie from his brush with the team in 2015 when he slid hard into second base and took out Alcides Escobar. Yordano Ventura then retaliated the next day by drilling Lawrie with a fastball. Lawrie then went on to criticize the Royals players and fans alike following the incident, galvanizing him as a villain in the eyes of Kansas City forever. This is of particular note if for no other reason than the Royals have had more of a personal reason to dislike Brett Lawrie than of the typical "bad apple" types discussed as possibilities to fill holes in the past. Kansas City fans genuinely dislike the guy. Which is why this news seems particularly strange given that the Royals front office has seemingly been very keen on building a team around chemistry and clubhouse character. They have made it a point to make it [Read more...]

Breaking down the Chiefs busy week

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During the week leading up to the Super Bowl, soon-to-be free agent safety Eric Berry said he would not play 2017 under the franchise tag. On Tuesday, the Chiefs eliminated the possibility of Berry, the 5-time Pro Bowler, sitting out the upcoming season, by signing him to a 6-year, $78 million deal. With $40 million guaranteed and a $20 million bonus, Berry, coming off a career year in 2016 and two years seasons removed from beating cancer, has the largest contract ever awarded to a safety. Berry’s contract details include: $5 million first year cap hit. It includes a base salary of just $900,000 and a workout bonus of $100,000 (bonus is same in each year). $13 million cap number in 2018 $16.5 million cap number in 2019 $13.5 million cap number in 2020 $16 million cap number in 2021 $14 million in 2022 Berry is the heart and soul of the team, locker room leader and fan favorite. While the franchise continues to wilt under pressure, Berry has risen above the [Read more...]

Predicting the Royals 25-man roster

MooreYost

It’s now March, but we're just four games into Spring Training and more than a month from Opening Day, but it’s not too early to start thinking about what the 25-man roster will look like. Like the year before it, and the year before that, most of the roster is already set. That’s what good teams do – they don’t have a lot of holes to fill. There’s always a chance that someone could Rey Fuentes themselves onto the roster. The last couple spots will be tough and good players will not make the team. Comes with the territory when you’re a contender. And make no mistake, the Royals are, despite Vegas handing them the second lowest win total in the AL Central (nothing new). After the Royals traded Wade Davis, we wondered if the Window to Win was still open. Then, Yordano Ventura tragically died and something happened – its like the Royals decided it was time to go all in. They signed Brandon Moss and former Cubs pitchers Jason Hammel and Travis Wood. They’re going for it! All part of the [Read more...]