Royals Rumblings – News for October 22, 2018

Royals Rumblings – News for October 22, 2018

Royals Rumblings – News for October 22, 2018

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City is concerned about Hunter Dozier’s glove.

He was worth -13.3 runs last season between mostly first and third. You can’t be that rough defensively and hit .229/.278/.395. And even with the optimism over his last couple months, he still hit just .256/.293/.467 in his final 48 games. Dozier is in a big time important season in 2019 for him if he wants to have a big league career, with the Royals or elsewhere. He did look smoother at third as the season went on, but defense is very important to the Royals and their infield defense appears to be more important than ever before as they began getting more and more groundballs from their pitching staff. He’s in the crosshairs this year.

Craig Brown responds to Dayton Moore’s press conference.

Nick Heath is flashing his speed in the Arizona Fall League.

“Over the course of my time playing, I kind of understand my role, understand what I’m capable of doing and try to capitalize on it,” Heath said. “For the most part, I just try to pay attention to the [pitcher] when I’m in the dugout, find something he might have, he might be a leaner or drop his back shoulder a little bit. For the most part, when I see them move, I move. So far it’s been working out and I’m doing my best to help my guys win.”

MLB.com provides a team-by-team summary of AFL action.

Dayton Moore’s son is turning into a baseball prospect of his own.

“My dad has taught me a lot, but it’s mainly my mom [Marianne] that got me into baseball, to be honest,” Robert Moore said Sunday morning. “My mom kind of introduced me to the games, because my dad wasn’t totally around the first few years. It was my mom and my grandpa. But my dad since then has really taught me where to be, and basically how to play.”

Mike Norris at KC Kingdom looks at the most disappointing players of the season for the Royals.

Alex Gordon beat the drum before the Chiefs game last night.

The Royals are looking for a “content producer.”

The Angels hire Brad Ausmus to be their new manager while the Reds hire David Bell.

Manny Machado and Yasiel Puig are embracing the villain role.

The Red Sox might have an all-time outfield.

Chris Sale blames his hospital visit on a belly-button ring.

The Brewers don’t have to act like a superteam to be one next year.

The Marlins sign top Cuban player Victor Victor Mesa and his brother Victor Jr.

The Indians could be making changes in their lineup.

Former Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis doesn’t blame himself for getting fired.

How Jon Gruden has been a hilarious, expensive disaster for the Raiders.

Sporting Kansas City clinches the top spot in the Western Conference.

100 websites that shaped the internet as we know it.

Adult contemporary music is the hottest radio station format.

Netflix cancels Marvel’s Luke Cage.

Your song of the day is Phil Collins with Two Hearts.

Carrasco and Bauer stifle Royals' bats in Indians' 2-1 win

Carrasco and Bauer stifle Royals' bats in Indians' 2-1 win

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Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor celebrates as he crosses the plate after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer combined for a five-hitter, Francisco Lindor homered and scored twice, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 2-1 on Sunday.

Carrasco (16-10) was working with a limited pitch count in a tuneup before an anticipated start in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against Houston on Saturday. He went five innings, allowing one run on three hits, walking two and striking out six.

Carrasco finished the season with a 3.38 ERA.

Bauer took over in the sixth, hurling four scoreless innings of relief while striking out two for his first career save.

Bauer ended the season with a 2.21 ERA, second in the American League to Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell.

Carrasco struck out 231 on the year, leading the Indians. Bauer struck out 221.

The Indians opened the scoring after Lindor led off the game by reaching on an error when Eric Skoglund (1-5) fumbled his grounder. After stealing second, Lindor then stole third and scored when Alcides Escobar failed to catch the throw to third for the second error of the inning.

Lindor drilled a 1-0 pitch into the stands in left-center field to lead off the third, extending the Indians’ lead to 2-0. He hit seven of his 38 homers this year against the Royals.

The Indians finished the season 91-71, their sixth straight year above .500. It is their longest streak since they had winning records eight years in a row from 1994 through 2001.

Skoglund allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks, striking out three over five innings.

The Royals got on the board in the fifth when Brian Goodwin led off with a hit and stole second, then scored on Meibrys Viloria’s single.

Whit Merrifield closed the season with a single in the eighth, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 20 games. The streak was also the longest of the year in the majors.

Merrifield finished the season with 192 hits and 45 stolen bases, leading the majors in both categories.

Kansas City’s attendance fell by 555,213 from the previous year – nearly 7,000 per game – and finished at 1,665,107, its lowest since 2010. The club stumbled to its worst season since 2005, when it set a team record for most losses at 106. The 104 losses this year matched the 2004 team for the second-worst record in franchise history. This was the fifth time the club lost at least 100 games.

Manager Ned Yost will be back in 2019, however. The Royals announced a one-year extension before the game.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: C Yan Gomes’ hand injury required two stitches but is not expected to prevent him from being available for the playoffs. ”The doctors and trainers all think he’s going to be OK,” manager Terry Francona said. ”That’s really good news.” … OF Tyler Naquin is returning from rehab in Arizona to join the team in time for Tuesday’s scrimmage. … OF Lonnie Chisenhall has been running the bases and hitting, but will not join the team, instead returning to his home in North Carolina as his family deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

UP NEXT

RHP Corey Kluber takes the mound for Cleveland in the first game of the ALDS at Houston on Friday.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Indians vs. Royals – Game Preview

Indians vs. Royals – Game Preview

Cleveland right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who is expected to start Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros on Saturday, will start the Indians’ final game of the regular season Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Carrasco isn’t expected to go more than 70 or 80 pitches, as manager Terry Francona wants to keep the 31-year-old right-hander fresh for his start in Houston.

“We need to get Carlos ready,” Francona said.

Trevor Bauer will follow Carrasco to the mound. The Indians have yet to decide whether Bauer will be used as a starter or reliever in the postseason.

Carrasco’s last appearance came as a reliever Sept. 25, a 5-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Carrasco in that game relieved Bauer in the fifth inning, as the two starters were getting limited work in preparation for the postseason.

In that relief stint, Carrasco pitched four scoreless innings on one hit before giving up a walk, three consecutive singles and three runs in the ninth inning. In 4 1/3 innings overall, he allowed three runs and four hits, with eight strikeouts and four walks.

“Carlos was very good until the ninth inning,” Francona said.

Carrasco’s last win came Aug. 28. He is 0-3 with a 3.62 ERA in five appearances (four starts) since.

His last start against Kansas City, his only outing against the Royals this year, came in his second start of the season, a 3-2 win on April 6. In that game, Carrasco pitching six innings, allowing two runs and five hits, with four strikeouts and one walk. In 23 career appearances (18 starts) against the Royals, Carrasco is 10-6 with a 3.55 ERA.

The Indians go into Sunday’s game with a record of 90-71. It’s the third time in team history that they have had three consecutive seasons with 90 or more wins. The other two times were from 1999-2001, and from 1950-1955.

The Indians’ starting lineup Sunday will probably be the one they use in Game 1 of the Division Series against Houston, which will include Jason Kipnis in center field.

Kipnis was moved from second base to the outfield after the Indians traded for third baseman Josh Donaldson at the end of August.

Donaldson’s arrival pushed Jose Ramirez from third to second base, and Kipnis from second to center field, where he’s played well offensively and defensively. Kipnis is hitting .275 as a center fielder after hitting .228 while at second base.

“He looks more comfortable out there in center. He looks pretty good,” Francona said.

The Royals (58-103) will conclude the season with left-hander Eric Skoglund on the mound. Skoglund (1-5, 5.40) will make his 13th start of the season. He missed three months with a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.

His last start was an abbreviated one. On Sept. 25, he got no decision in a 4-3 Royals win over the Cincinnati Reds. Skoglund pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and giving up one hit but left the game after a long rain delay.

Skoglund’s only win of the season came April 28. In nine appearances (eight starts) since then, he is 0-3 with a 4.98 ERA.

His last start against Cleveland, on Aug. 27, 2017, was ugly. In 1 1/3 innings, he gave up seven runs and seven hits, with one strikeout and two walks.

In two career appearances against the Indians, Skoglund is 0-2 with a 29.70 ERA, having given up 11 runs, 11 hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.

Indians vs. Royals

Indians vs. Royals

Cleveland right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who is expected to start Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros on Saturday, will start the Indians’ final game of the regular season Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Carrasco isn’t expected to go more than 70 or 80 pitches, as manager Terry Francona wants to keep the 31-year-old right-hander fresh for his start in Houston.

“We need to get Carlos ready,” Francona said.

Trevor Bauer will follow Carrasco to the mound. The Indians have yet to decide whether Bauer will be used as a starter or reliever in the postseason.

Carrasco’s last appearance came as a reliever Sept. 25, a 5-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Carrasco in that game relieved Bauer in the fifth inning, as the two starters were getting limited work in preparation for the postseason.

In that relief stint, Carrasco pitched four scoreless innings on one hit before giving up a walk, three consecutive singles and three runs in the ninth inning. In 4 1/3 innings overall, he allowed three runs and four hits, with eight strikeouts and four walks.

“Carlos was very good until the ninth inning,” Francona said.

Carrasco’s last win came Aug. 28. He is 0-3 with a 3.62 ERA in five appearances (four starts) since.

His last start against Kansas City, his only outing against the Royals this year, came in his second start of the season, a 3-2 win on April 6. In that game, Carrasco pitching six innings, allowing two runs and five hits, with four strikeouts and one walk. In 23 career appearances (18 starts) against the Royals, Carrasco is 10-6 with a 3.55 ERA.

The Indians go into Sunday’s game with a record of 90-71. It’s the third time in team history that they have had three consecutive seasons with 90 or more wins. The other two times were from 1999-2001, and from 1950-1955.

The Indians’ starting lineup Sunday will probably be the one they use in Game 1 of the Division Series against Houston, which will include Jason Kipnis in center field.

Kipnis was moved from second base to the outfield after the Indians traded for third baseman Josh Donaldson at the end of August.

Donaldson’s arrival pushed Jose Ramirez from third to second base, and Kipnis from second to center field, where he’s played well offensively and defensively. Kipnis is hitting .275 as a center fielder after hitting .228 while at second base.

“He looks more comfortable out there in center. He looks pretty good,” Francona said.

The Royals (58-103) will conclude the season with left-hander Eric Skoglund on the mound. Skoglund (1-5, 5.40) will make his 13th start of the season. He missed three months with a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.

His last start was an abbreviated one. On Sept. 25, he got no decision in a 4-3 Royals win over the Cincinnati Reds. Skoglund pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and giving up one hit but left the game after a long rain delay.

Skoglund’s only win of the season came April 28. In nine appearances (eight starts) since then, he is 0-3 with a 4.98 ERA.

His last start against Cleveland, on Aug. 27, 2017, was ugly. In 1 1/3 innings, he gave up seven runs and seven hits, with one strikeout and two walks.

In two career appearances against the Indians, Skoglund is 0-2 with a 29.70 ERA, having given up 11 runs, 11 hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.

Mondesi's 3-run HR lifts Royals to 9-4 win over Indians

Mondesi's 3-run HR lifts Royals to 9-4 win over Indians

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Kansas City Royals’ Adalberto Mondesi (27) celebrates with Alex Gordon (4) after hitting a three-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Adalberto Mondesi hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 9-4 win over the Cleveleand Indians on Saturday night.

Corey Kluber gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings in his final regular season start for Cleveland. Working with a short pitch count in his tune-up for American League Division Series against Houston, Kluber struck out six while throwing 80 pitches.

Indians catcher Yan Gomes left the game in the bottom of the third with an injured right hand after he was hit by Alex Gordon‘s bat on a backswing as he attempted to throw out would-be base-stealer Mondesi. The Indians’ training staff led Gomes off the field as Gordon was called out for interference and Mondesi sent back to first. Gomes was replaced by Roberto Perez.

Kluber finished the year fifth in the AL with a 2.89 ERA. He walked 34 batters in 33 starts for a league-leading walk rate of 1.42 per nine innings.

After reliever Andrew Miller (2-4) gave up a single to Alcides Escobar in the sixth and a two-out walk to Whit Merrifield, Mondesi hit the next pitch into the left-center stands to break a 3-3 tie. The Royals added another run with consecutive hits by Gordon, Hunter Dozier and Ryan O’Hearn.

Merrifield led off the bottom of the first with a sharp single to center, then stole second and third. He leads the American League with 191 hits and 44 steals. Merrifield, who also had a two-run double in the fourth, has a 19-game hitting streak, tying for the longest in the majors this year and matching his career best set last year.

Jakob Junis (9-12) went six innings, allowing three runs and eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Junis has walked just three in his last seven starts, over 56 innings, the best walk rate among American League starters over that span. Junis is 4-1 in 11 starts since Aug. 1, with a 3.38 ERA.

Mondesi has hit seven of his 14 homers in the last 15 games. Since August 25, he is hitting .322 (39 for 122) with 10 homers and 19 RBIs over 29 games.

Rookie Meibrys Viloria had three hits and drove in the Royals’ first run with a two-out, second-inning single.

Yonder Alonso and Melky Cabrera gave the Indians a 3-1 lead in the third with consecutive two-out, run-scoring singles.

Jose Ramirez, who had three hits, capped the scoring with a solo homer, his 39th, to lead off the eighth. Ramirez is hitting .177 (25 for 141) over his last 39 games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: INF Erik Gonzalez is under concussion protocol after getting beaned Wednesday. ”He’s doing better today,” manager Terry Francona said. ”He’s actually going to go do some stuff in the weight room, get the blood flowing.”

Royals: C Salvador Perez was held out of Saturday’s lineup due to nagging left thumb pain. ”It’s been sore all month,” manager Ned Yost said. ”It’s one of those things that he deals with and he’s still been very productive.” Perez is expected to be ready for Sunday’s season finale.

UP NEXT

RHP Carlos Carrasco (16-10, 3.42 ERA) closes out the regular season against LHP Eric Skoglund (1-5, 5.40). Francona expects Carrasco to throw about 80 pitches before giving way to RHP Trevor Bauer, who the Indians hope will finish from there.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Kansas City Royals, streaking Whit Merrifield set for matchup against Cleveland Indians

Kansas City Royals, streaking Whit Merrifield set for matchup against Cleveland Indians

Cleveland Indians (90-70, first in AL Central) vs. Kansas City Royals (57-103, fifth in AL Central)

Kansas City, Missouri; Saturday, 7:15 p.m. Eastern

PROBABLE PITCHERS: Indians: Corey Kluber (20-7, 2.83 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 216 strikeouts) Royals: Jake Junis (8-12, 4.42 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 158 strikeouts)

BOTTOM LINE: Whit Merrifield has notched a hit in 18 straight games for Kansas City. He’ll look to keep it going against Cleveland. The Royals are 12-17 in games started by Junis. Kansas City is hitting a collective .245 this year, led by Merrifield’s mark of .303. The Indians head into the matchup with a 14-game lead over the Twins in the AL Central. Cleveland’s lineup is averaging 4.9 RBIs per game this season. Edwin Encarnacion paces the team with 106 RBIs. In Friday’s game, the Indians defeated the Royals 14-6. Mike Clevinger got the win for Cleveland, his 13th on the season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Francisco Lindor has 127 runs and 91 RBIs for the Indians this season. Jason Kipnis has three home runs and 10 RBIs while slugging .667 over his past 10 games for Cleveland. Salvador Perez has 27 home runs and 80 RBIs on the year for the Royals. Adalberto Mondesi has 10 hits and is batting .227 over his past 10 games for Kansas City.

LAST 10 GAMES: Indians: 6-4, .288 batting average, 3.28 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs. Royals: 5-5, .230 batting average, 4.03 ERA, outscored by five runs.