It’s been an eventful season for the Royals so far. A few weeks ago, the Royals were not in great shape. They were swept by the Astros at home, and it seemed like they wouldn’t have a single player with at least 10 home runs at the All Star break. Last week at this time, the team was in the process of securing first place in the division and in the midst of a 10-game winning streak. By the end of Sunday’s game, the Royals had lost 4 consecutive games and fallen 2.5 games behind the Tigers. Tonight, the Royals will face Clayton Kershaw after scoring 5 runs off of Zack Greinke last night, and it now looks like they might have three players with at least 10 first half home runs, so I have literally no idea what’s going to happen next.
If you look up the word “unpredictable” in the dictionary, you won’t find a picture of the 2014 Kansas City Royals. That’s not how dictionaries work. You will find an accurate description of this season, though. I’ve said this before, but baseball is a lot of fun. Something else that’s fun is reading articles from around the internet from the last few days, so here are some opportunities for you to do just that.
- At Pine Tar Press, David Lesky looked at several young pitchers who have signed contract extensions in recent years, in an effort to figure out an estimate on what it may take to lock up Danny Duffy. The Royals’ young lefty is having a terrific season thus far, and it may be in their best interests to attempt to avoid what could be an expensive arbitration process in the next three years.
- Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs wrote about Alex Gordon‘s phenomenal arm. Not necessarily about the throws he makes, mind you, but about the throws he doesn’t have to make. In an admittedly small sample size this season, runners are not challenging Gordon as frequently as many other outfielders, suggesting his arm is acting as more of a deterrent than it has in previous years. It may balance out as the season progresses, but Gordon’s on his way to winning another Gold Glove, and his arm is a big reason for that.
- In this article from FOX Sports Kansas City’s Jeffrey Flanagan, Ned Yost talks about how much he hates losing. I really enjoyed his quotes, and they do reveal a bit of Yost’s personality. He talks about how long the painful feelings last after a loss, but he seems to internalize those, because we don’t often see him lash out. Yost understands how thin the team’s margin for error is, which makes it feel like every loss is even more important.
- Over at Royals Review, Max Rieper discusses the struggles of Eric Hosmer, and what the Royals might need to do about them. Hosmer has been abysmal lately, so at the very least, Yost needs to drop Hosmer in the lineup. He may start to hit eventually, but his offensive production to date has done more harm than help, which makes batting him third a very poor choice. Hosmer also hasn’t drawn a walk since June 13th, which was a long time ago.
- This isn’t Royals-specific, but the Rangers appear to be willing to listen to trade offers on several of their “core-type” players, which could make for a very interesting market in the next month. Players like Elvis Andrus, Alex Rios, Adrian Beltre, and Joakim Soria might be appealing to contending teams, and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News even suggests the team could consider dealing Yu Darvish, although that does seem improbable right now.