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...]

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...]

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...]

Vegas has spoken: Royals face long odds to win it all in 2017

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After a disappointing 2016 campaign that saw the Royals finish a mediocre 81-81, fans in Kansas City have tempered hopes that 2017 might be the season that gets this team back on track. Much of the thinking is the Royals were simply out of gas after two straight seasons of reaching and eventually winning the World Series. With the goal having been achieved, it would be natural to find it hard to carry on the same motivation the following year, thus the simple explanation for the Royals decline. There were, of course, many more reasons than just that. Disappointing performances from many offensive players. A decline in the Royals other worldly bullpen and of course the inability to find a capable fifth starter. The question now of course is can the Royals over come these deficiencies in the upcoming year after losing even more pieces this offseason after the departures of Edinson Volquez, Wade Davis and Kendrys Morales? Can this core of players once again play at a level more on par [Read more...]

How the New CBA Affects the Royals – new QO Rules, International Cap

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It was announced late Wednesday that Major League Baseball and the Players Union have agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Amid several rumors and speculations leading up to the final product, it remains mostly in tact from the previous CBA. Some changes of note include the increasing of the Luxury cap and a restructure in the penalties for going over the cap. Beginning in 2017, teams will begin paying luxury taxes on payrolls over $195 million. A number that certainly should not have any impact on the 2017 Royals. They have also placed a cap on the amount teams can spend on international spending at $6 million. ($5 million being reported by some sources). While the Royals have been active in the international market in the past, they have never been lavish spenders, so this may actually be to their benefit, if anything. With the Royals having a number of free agents coming up at the conclusion of the 2017 season, one particular area of interest was the topic of draft [Read more...]

Computers Continue to Hate The Royals

Eric Hosmer and the Royals have put the rest of the American League on notice...the computers aren't sold.

Its that time of year again, when we all sit back and digest our teams chances of making the playoffs. The only problem is, there are dozens of varying opinions on just how legitimate of a shot any given team has. The saber driven websites such as Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs base their percentages on a more scientific approach geared towards an objective interpretation of what a team is and how they got there. They use numbers, trends, expected player performances, scheduling and many other variables that can be quantified by simple numbers. This often leads to things like the Royals being projected as a measly 72-win team in the PECOTA preseason projections. A win total that almost any human could tell you was most likely false. But, there the Royals were, at 51-58 just 22 games ago. A lot of things have changed since then, with the Royals going 18-4 since, climbing within 2 games of the second Wild Card spot. But, for a number of reasons, MOST computers do not like the [Read more...]

When it rains, it pours for Billy Butler

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After enduring a week of criticism and backlash regarding the thumping he took at the hands of Danny Valencia, Butler finds himself in an ongoing battle in the media and with fans alike. A number of former teammates have come to the defense of Danny Valencia, including Eric Hosmer, and Mike Sweeney was added to the list of those going on the offense toward Billy. “When I saw that Billy and Danny got in a fight, it did not surprise me. Billy is a great-hearted guy. He’s like a 31-year-old kid that can hit, that wakes up and says I’m going to go out and get two hits today. Sadly, whether we win or lose, it wasn’t at the top of the list for Billy, as far as my experiences with him. But he’s a great-hearted guy, he’s just not a team guy. I felt the same with Danny.” Valenica himself, a known clubhouse cancer, as Sweeney alluded to - and multiple teams giving up on him despite producation is proof of that - but for whatever reason, Butler is the victim of mob mentality attacks, not [Read more...]

Royals call up top prospect Raul Mondesi, Jr, option Whit Merrifield

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The Royals announced that top prospect Raul Mondesi Jr has been called up to the big league club. In order to make room for Mondesi, it was announced that Whit Merrifield has been optioned to AAA Omaha. The Merrifield, the once-rookie sensation labeled "2-hit Whit" - 24 multi-hit games in his first 42 games, demotion is a bit of surprise due to his versatility. The Royals could have sent down Christian Colon or Brett Eibner, but Merffield, in a current 1-17 (.059) slump and slashing .170/.241/.245 in July, is in a slump, so it makes the decision much easier. He hit .339/.356/.496 through 27 games, but hit a wall and has hit .189/.245/.242 since (26 games). Mondesi, the middle-infielder and the organization's consensus No. 1 prospect, is hitting .268/.322/.469 with 7 HR, 30 RBI and 24 SB in 52 games in minors in 2016. The switch-hitter was suspended for 50 games by Major League baseball in accordance with the leagues Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program earlier this season when [Read more...]

Give up on these Royals? Please…

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Most Royals fans have felt disappointment with the 2016 season thus far. There has been good reason, but please, just sit back for a moment…and think about perspective. Imagine if you will the Royals are a team together pulling a sled in a race. The sum of all the parts being the speed they are capable of reaching. Only the fastest teams move on to the next leg of the race. Last season they almost to a man found a way to provide to the group effort as a whole. Omar Infante and Alex Rios were possible exceptions. Jeremy Guthrie found himself out of gas as he limped towards the twilight of his career, but all in all, it was a united effort. Whenever one or two found themselves struggling to keep up, there were always plenty of other doing more than their part to make up for the slack.  The 2016 season has proven different. As the year started, all Royals players shot out of the gate with the intentions of doing their part. Some lagged behind. Infante stumbled alongside the sled and [Read more...]

Playing with NL rules, Ned gets creative with lineup, sticks Morales in RF

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Royals normal DH Kendrys Morales will get to try his hand playing outfield tonight when the Royals face the Cardinals in St. Louis for an interleague game. In an attempt to keep his hot bat rolling in the Royals lineup, where he is hitting third, Ned has gotten creative. Lets just hope it is not at the expense of a usually superb outfield defense. There was some talk last year about Morales possibly being able to play in the outfield after Rusty Kuntz observed him playing there while shagging fly balls and remarking that he looked surprisingly capable. For what it is worth, this isn't a COMPLETELY alien position for Morales, as he does have 18 games there in his 10 seasons of Major League Baseball, compiling a total of 76 innings and has played them without recording a single error. But, he has not played there since 2008. Morales also was a center fielder during his time in Cuba, thought that was a few pounds and several years ago. The Royals find themselves short one less [Read more...]