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The contrived melodrama of the MLB All-Star Game is a far cry from the pomp and circumstance of the World Series, but the Royals didn't need a big stage to perform like defending champions on Tuesday night. Amid a controversial rendition of the Canadian national anthem and David Ortiz's emotional farewell, Royals' sluggers Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez combined to drive in all four runs during the American League All-Stars' 4-2 win.
Despite their impressive showing in San Diego, the Royals are still mired in third place heading into the second half of the season. Injuries and rotation missteps have kept them out of first place, coupled with a rock solid performance by the division-leading Indians. Although they aren't the only winning team to suffer some setbacks this season, they'll need to deepen their reserves and stabilize their pitching staff to keep their heads above water as the playoffs approach or consider cutting their losses to prepare for a 2017 championship run.
It's a tough call for the defending champs, who have one of the worst rotations and offensive drives in the majors but are still sitting just above the .500 mark in July. With the trade deadline looming, it shouldn't be difficult to find affordable upgrades around the league, but signing a couple of veteran pitchers could cost them the few viable players left in their farm system.
Should the Royals choose to preserve their internal options, they'll have to hope that the rotation turns things around in August -- or that the offense finds a way to cover for the rotation's collective 4.99 ERA. It'll take more than a couple of interleague home runs to clinch the AL Central, but if they can replicate the poise and dominance they exhibited during the All-Star Game, they just might find themselves with a winning record by season's end.
- Pokemon Go has taken over the internet, the world, and now, Coors Field.
- The Mariners’ winning record in the first half of 2016 is both cause for celebration and a cautionary tale.
- With Yan Gomes’ struggles at the plate and poor defense behind it, it might be time for the Indians to elect a new starting catcher.
- Which players can help the A’s work up to their next championship finish?
- The Red Sox and top draft pick Jason Groome still have some kinks to iron out, but that doesn’t mean a potential deal is off the table.
- Aroldis Chapman might be the reliever the Indians are looking for, if they can piece together a decent return package for the Yankees.
- Julio Teheran is off limits this trade season, according to Braves’ GM John Coppolella.
- If only trading for Andrew McCutchen were this easy.