KC Royals Midweek Musings: Just two weeks to go…

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

This week’s KC Royals Midweek Musings covers some thoughts about the upcoming season, former Royals, and other tidbits.

Some KC Royals Midweek Musings while contemplating the fact that Opening Day is just around the corner:

Opening Day at long last.  Opening Day for the KC Royals is just over two weeks away–the Royals begin their 60-game regular season with a July 24 night contest at Cleveland. It will be the fourth time the club has opened against the Indians; the Royals won 4-2 in 1991, then lost by identical 8-3 scores in 1994 and 2012.

If it seems like we’ve been here before, we have–baseball began its pandemic-driven suspension March 12, two weeks to the day before the season was originally scheduled to begin. No one knows what the next two weeks will bring, but the prospects for a start to the campaign seem good.

COVID-19.  At this writing, two key Royals have joined the three previous Royals known to have been directly impacted by the coronavirus. All-Star and Gold Glove catcher Salvador Perez was, until Tuesday, the only known player to be sidelined with a positive COVID-19 test, but the club announced Tuesday afternoon that starting pitcher Brad Keller and first baseman Ryan O’Hearn have also tested positive.

Manager Mike Matheny revealed recently that he contracted the virus during the time baseball was suspended, and 65-year old coach Rusty Kuntz, among a high-risk group by virtue of his age, elected to step away from the field for this season after consulting with team personnel but will help the club in an off-field role.

Former Royals make Player Pools.  Former KC Royals made several other clubs’ 60-man Player Pools. Most prominent among established reserve players are Christian Colon, who made the Reds’ Pool, and Cheslor Cuthbert, who landed with Kansas City’s AL Central Division rival White Sox.

A good number of other KC reserves, and players who didn’t spend much time with the Royals or played in the club’s minor leagues without making it to Kauffman Stadium, landed on other big league Player Pools, including catchers Drew Butera (Rockies), Erik Kratz (Yankees) and Martin Maldonado (Astros).

Pitchers Trevor Cahill and Trevor Oaks join outfielder Billy Hamilton with the Giants. Several other pitchers found themselves named to Pools, including Mike Morin (Milwaukee), Sam Gaviglio (Toronto), Tim Collins (Rockies), Ryan Buchter (Angels), Brad Boxberger (Miami), Scott Alexander (Dodgers), Liam Hendriks and Jake Diekman (A’s), and Luke Farrell (Rangers).

The Tigers named infielder Frank Schwindel and outfielder Jorge Bonifacio to their Pool; Bonifacio’s older brother Emilio Bonifacio stuck with Washington. Infielder Jose Martinez stayed with Tampa. Other outfielders making Pools include Jon Jay (Arizona) and Brian Goodwin (Angels).

More prominent former KC Royals playing elsewhere include Eric Hosmer and Matt Strahm (Padres), Mike Moustakas (Reds), Joakim Soria and Sean Manaea (A’s), Lorenzo Cain (Brewers), Zack Greinke (Arizona), Johnny Cueto (Giants), Edinson Volquez (Rangers) and Jarrod Dyson (Pirates).

Baseball-Reference simulation.  The simulated major league season continues at baseball-reference.com. The Royals went 3-3 since our last update to crawl out of the AL Central cellar; they’re now in fourth place, a game ahead of Detroit but 25 games behind first place Cleveland.

Whit Merrifield‘s .313 average is best on the club. Ryan O’Hearn leads with 13 home runs and Brett Phillips has 12. Jorge Soler has knocked in 42 runs.

Jorge Lopez continues to pace the pitchers with a 7-3, 3.35 ERA record. Ian Kennedy has 11 saves; Richard Lovelady is next with five and has a 2.02 ERA and 2-0 record in 38 appearances.

Cleveland, Oakland, the New York Yankees, Washington, St. Louis, and the Los Angeles Dodgers lead their divisions.

Baseball-Reference uses Out of the Park Baseball 21 for its sim and updates results and statistics around noon every day.

Next. 2020 season schedule set. dark

That’s it for this week. We’ll be back next week with more KC Royals Midweek Musings. Until then, stay safe and healthy.