KC Royals: Can players hit key marks in final series?
Some KC Royals have offensive accomplishments to pursue this weekend.
When Whit Merrifield, master of the multi-hit game (he has 48 this year), hit two doubles against Cleveland Wednesday, he reached 40 doubles and 40 steals in a season for the second time in his six-season career. Merrifield’s second two-bagger gave him 41, only one behind Detroit’s Jeimer Candelario and J.D. Martinez for the major league lead. (St. Louis’ Tommy Edman is tied with Merrifield).
A good weekend could give Merrifield the doubles title, but that isn’t the only category Merrifield might lead the big leagues in. His 40 steals trail only Staling Marte’s 45. He was close in the hits race, but now finds himself 10 behind the Dodgers’ Trea Turner.
Merrifield will also be the only Royal to play every game this season if he sees action in all three weekend contests.
“Disappointing” is the only way to describe first baseman Carlos Santana’s first season with the Royals: his .211 average and .317 OBP are well below the .248 and .366 career marks he brought to Kansas City. But his 19 home runs are certainly respectable—if it weren’t for Salvador Perez, they’d be tops on the club. One more homer will give him at least 20 for the ninth time.
Rookie Kyle Isbel made the Royals’ Opening Day roster, collected his first big league hit in his first at-bat, and was hitting .265 when the club optioned him to Triple-A Omaha in late April. He made it back to Kansas City this month and is slashing .282/.364/.538 since. He’ll be looking for a few more hits against the Twins to finish the season well and force the club to keep him in their plans for 2022.