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The defending champion Royals are under .500 thanks to a four-game losing streak. They’re 9.5 games back of the AL Central-leading Indians, and 7.5 back of the Red Sox for a wild card spot. While they’re 31-19 at home, their weak lineup and rotation has led them to just a 17-32 showing on the road. Even their vaunted relievers have started to betray them, as the bullpen is allowing a .320/.377/.471 line in July that’s led to a 5.93 ERA — it’s no coincidence that Kansas City is just 6-15 this month and looking like a team getting ready to sell before this weekend’s trade deadline.
They have just had too many injuries, too many disappointments, and not nearly enough pitching. The Royals seem aware of it, since they’re reportedly shopping — or at least listening to offers for — their impending free agents such as Kendrys Morales, Edinson Volquez, and Wade Davis. They’re not just going to give them away, though, with the price for Davis seen as "steep" and a report coming out saying the package that brought Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs wouldn’t have been sufficient. Plus, the Royals want MLB-ready players back, not prospects, so if anything, they just plan on reloading and seeing what happens.
There is still a lot of 2016 left, but the Royals have a well below-average lineup, no Mike Moustakas the rest of the year, and a rotation that needed a reliable offense and tremendous bullpen to support it even before things started to go awry for their starters. Preparing for 2017 while figuring out what still works from 2016 isn’t the worst idea — they could still turn it around, as the talent is certainly there, but with seven teams in front of them just for a wild card spot, looking toward next year without punting entirely seems the way to go.
- The Blue Jays won on a walk-off wild pitch, which sounds like precisely the kind of madness the Royals are missing in 2016.
- Baseball at the stadium is a completely different experience from how we consume baseball the majority of the time. Let Patrick Dubuque explain.
- The Baseball Hall of Fame is exclusive, with just 1 percent of players making it. Cooperstown is also an exclusive venue for fans, as it’s not cheap nor accessible for most.
- There are apparently Ryan Howard trade rumors in this, the year that is three years after the Year of Luigi.
- The Royals called up Raul Mondesi, and Mike Bates thinks they’re just setting the 21-year-old up to fail.
- ESPN named Yoan Moncada the most untouchable player in the Red Sox organization. He might be the most untouchable prospect, but three former prospects likely rank ahead of him in terms of value and importance to the Sox.
- The Tim Lincecum Experiment doesn’t even involve the Giants this year, but it’s still depressing Grant Brisbee.
- This fan wore the throwback jerseys Chris Sale refused to. If Sale’s was this poor of a fit, we understand why he took a knife to them all.
- Ichiro Suzuki is now just three hits shy of 3,000, and you can watch number 2,997 here.