With 6 games to play before the end of the first half – which is technically well past the first half-mark, since every team has played more than 81 games already, but I digress – the Royals find themselves 3.5 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central. Four of the next 6 games will be played against those Tigers, and my basic math skills tell me the Royals have a chance to end the more-than-first-half in first place. That would be a good position to be in, so I suggest they do that. Here’s another suggestion: you should read these articles about the Royals and other baseball things. It’ll be good for you.
- Both Baseball Prospectus (subscription required) and Baseball America have released their midseason top 50 lists, and some Royals prospects have gotten some recognition. At BP, Raul Mondesi checks in at 28, one spot higher than his preseason ranking. Miguel Almonte is now ranked 50th after coming in at 46 before the season. BA has Mondesi at 22, Kyle Zimmer at 26, and Hunter Dozier at 39. Dozier started the season unranked, so it’s clear he’s opening some eyeballs this year.
- Jeffrey Flanagan of FOX Sports Kansas City makes a point many other people have made for a few weeks now: Eric Hosmer should be dropped in the batting order. Despite his “hot streak” – which consists of a handful of BABIP-singles and a couple of doubles – Hosmer’s production doesn’t merit receiving the 2nd most plate appearances on the team.
- On the heels of the biggest trade of the season so far, FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron compares and contrasts the Athletics’ acquisition of Jeff Samardzija for Addison Russell to the Royals’ trade of Wil Myers for James Shields. While I agree with Cameron’s premise that the two teams were in different positions and the trades are not identical, I do think the A’s overpaid for a marginal upgrade, considering they are already in a great spot on the win curve. He brings up some valid points worth discussing, though.
- Speaking of trades, ESPN’s SweetSpot Network has a nice little breakdown on what the AL Central teams may be doing come July 31st. David Schoenfield suggests the Royals could look at guys like Marlon Byrd, Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo, or Chris Carter. The baseball player, not the former football player who spells his name differently.
- At Yahoo!, Jeff Passan argues that MLB should lighten up and let Jeff Samardzija pitch for the AL after being selected to the game by the NL players. He also thinks Derek Jeter should unquestionably be starting. I’d have no problem with those stances if the game held no significance beyond a fun exhibition. Instead, MLB has created a game that rewards home field advantage in the World Series, while still displaying the feel of a spring training game with better players. I’d like to see the league take one path or the other, instead of throwing it all in a blender and pushing the button.