Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
It seems all the Royals need to get their offense going is a crucial error by their opponent in the 9th inning of a close game. You may remember the hot stretch from last month started thanks to an error by Jose Reyes, and the Royals have now won two straight games following a botched double play between Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick. The Royals may want to look into how they can force those errors more frequently, since it appears to be a sound strategy for success. Another sound strategy for success? Reading these stories about the Royals from the last few days. (You may not actually be successful after reading these, but I needed a segue. Deal with it.)
– As Jeffrey Flanagan notes in this article from FOX Sports Kansas City, Royals’ first-round pick Brandon Finnegan thinks he could contribute to the big league club this season. He’s probably right, but we’ll have to see how the team handles him once he debuts at High-A Wilmington in another week or two. Since he’s already thrown over 100 innings this season, they may choose to take it slowly in 2014, hoping for a chance to climb the organizational ladder next year.
– The Kansas City Star’s Pete Grathoff discusses a few Royals prospects in his Ball Star Blog, including Whit Merrifield, who has been making a mockery of Triple-A pitching since his promotion a couple of weeks ago. Also of note: Lane Adams is doing some crushing of his own, and Christian Binford hasn’t walked anyone since Raul Ibanez‘s professional debut (technically May 25th, but who’s counting?).
– Craig Brown of Royals Authority gives a few notes on some positive things from around the Royals, although they pertain more to off-field stuff. First, the team had a great moment during the first pitch ceremony last week. The video is embedded in that link, and it’s imperative that you watch it. Don’t be alarmed if a cloud of dust suddenly appears around your computer.
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Also, a great Royals fan from South Korea – SungWoo Lee, in case you don’t know him – is getting a chance to come to Kansas City next month for the first time ever. I know I complain when I stay up until midnight for games on the west coast, so I can’t imagine consistently waking up at 3 am to watch the Royals from the opposite hemisphere. That’s some dedication, and I’m extremely happy that people are already offering to show SungWoo how great Kansas City really is.
– In the…well, less flattering section of Royals news, Deadspin has an article (warning: language may be NSFW) on Bruce Chen and Yordano Ventura allegedly acting foolish in a Minnesota strip club. I’m not really sure how to comment on this, but there it is.
– At The Hardball Times, Jeff Zimmerman has the first of a two-part series on Tommy John surgeries. This post covers the effects of the surgery on velocity and results, and it uses data from basically the entire catalog of pitchers who have undergone the procedure. It’s very fascinating research, and something that has been a hot topic around baseball this season, with so many prominent players falling victim to a torn UCL.