Royals' Soler fractures foot, likely headed to DL

Royals' Soler fractures foot, likely headed to DL

Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has a fractured bone in his left foot and will be out for an extended period, manager Ned Yost confirmed Saturday.

Soler first injured his big toe after fouling a ball off his foot June 8. After two games as DH, Soler returned to right field on Friday night for the first time since, but he eventually left after six innings of the Royals’ 7-3 loss to the Houston Astros.

A CT scan on Saturday confirmed a broken fifth metatarsal. Surgery is not necessary at this time, but the team will re-evaluate his status in a week after a second CT scan.

“I’ve never seen him that upset,” Yost told reporters.

The Royals said his new injury happened as Soler tripped exiting the batter’s box on Friday and is unrelated to last week’s incident. He was on crutches after the game.

“If your feet hurt, it’s gonna be a while, so I’m not sure,” Yost told reporters after Friday’s loss.

Soler is hitting .265 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs.

Royals' Jorge Soler: Suffers toe fracture Friday

Royals' Jorge Soler: Suffers toe fracture Friday

Soler suffered a fracture of the first metatarsal in his left foot Friday against the Athletics after fouling a ball off his foot, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic Kansas City reports.

The foul ball seems to be the primary cause behind the injury, but Soler had been dealing with a toe injury earlier in June, and it’s possible the toe never fully healed. Soler will have to undergo further examination before we know exactly how long he will be out, but similar injuries (including one suffered by Jayson Werth last season) have cost players multiple months in the past. Expect Soler to be placed on the disabled list Saturday and for a timetable for his return to come together after doctors are able to get a look at the toe in the coming week.

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Astros' Keuchel looks to get on track versus Royals

Astros' Keuchel looks to get on track versus Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Four Houston Astros starting pitchers have won at least eight games this season. They are Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers.

The lone exception is left-hander Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner. Keuchel, who pitches Saturday against the Kansas City Royals, is 3-8 with a 3.71 ERA in 14 starts this season.

Keuchel has allowed 90 hits, including a dozen home runs, and walked 32 while striking out 81 in 82 1/3 innings. He has a 3-1 career record against the Royals in six starts. He had a no-decision against them last year, allowing two hits and one run in seven innings.

If Keuchel is the weak link in the Astros’ rotation, that is a fearsome five.

“The Gerrit Cole addition was great and Verlander was a great addition to them last year,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “The thing that is so important is they make these deals in hopes they can get them over the hump with a World Series, and it did.

“They’ve got a fantastic rotation. They’ve got a fantastic group of young talented, athletic players. They’re a good team. They’re a tough match.”

The Astros (46-25) reminded the Royals just how good they are with a 7-3 victory on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium. Evan Gattis, who drove in five Houston runs on Tuesday and Wednesday in Oakland, hit a sixth-inning grand slam.

The Royals (22-47) took a hit besides in the loss column when starting right fielder Jorge Soler left with a fractured first left metatarsal in the sixth inning. He stumbled out of the blocks while grounding out. It is the same foot Soler fouled a ball off last Friday in Oakland and then did not play again until Tuesday.

Yost said he did not know if the injuries are related. He said Soler would be out for an extended period. The Royals will make a roster move Saturday with Soler, who was on crutches in the clubhouse after the loss, headed for the disabled list.

Both clubs made roster moves Friday. Astros left-hander Reymin Guduan was placed on the paternity list. They recalled infielder Tyler White from Triple-A Fresno, where he was hitting .338 with a 1.023 OPS in 62 games.

The Royals purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Brandon Maurer from Triple-A Omaha. In his past seven outings, he ran off a scoreless streak of 12 2/3 innings while striking out 10 and holding opponents to a .163 batting average with one extra-base hit.

The Royals optioned rookie right-hander Jason Adam to Omaha. Adam had allowed six home runs, including a grand slam Wednesday, in 15 1/3 innings.

Left-hander Danny Duffy, who is 3-6 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 starts, is the Royals’ probable starter Saturday. He is coming off his best start of the season, tossing seven scoreless innings last Saturday in Oakland, allowing three hits and striking out a career high 10.

Duffy is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in eight outings, four of them starts, against the Astros. He owns a 2.08 ERA in his last two starts against the Astros.

The Royals will attempt to snap a four-game losing streak. They have dropped 10 of their last 11 and are 10-24 at home. They’ve scored just 26 runs in 13 games in June, when they are hitting .183.

The Astros have the best road record (27-11) in the majors. They have won their last eight road games, three shy of the club record set last year. They have logged at least a dozen hits in five straight games, the second longest streak in franchise history and trailing only a seven-game streak set in 2007.

Weekend Rumblings – News for June 16, 2018

Weekend Rumblings – News for June 16, 2018

Weekend Rumblings – News for June 16, 2018

Sam Mellinger makes the case for trading Salvador Perez.

The big-league team stinks, and the immediate future could be worse. The Royals are in desperate need of young talent. The very things that make Perez valuable make the potential return in a trade tantalizing.

The Royals are, at the moment, stuck. Their surest way out includes a move that would shake the fan base and worsen an already bleak next few seasons. A second rival scout said the Royals could expect “multiple top prospects” in a trade for Perez.

“He’s such a rare find,” the scout said. “Catcher, prime position, made himself into a hitter. Probably a fifth or sixth hitter on a championship team, pop, such a great leader.”

Lee Judge writes what you can learn from bringing in a draft prospect in for a workout.

And that bring us to a pretty good story about Wil Myers.

According to a Royals front-office executive, Myers and a kid named Brandon Jacobs were in the same pre-draft workout at Kauffman Stadium and Jacobs hit a couple balls into the fountains. It’s a mistake to try to hit home runs if you don’t have the power to do it, but Myers flipped the switch and hit some home runs of his own.

Myers was not going to be outdone by anyone else in the workout, and the Royals liked his competitive nature.

Kyle Zimmer is “aggressively training” at the Driveline Baseball facility.

The Royals don’t expect to assign Zimmer, who is no longer on the 40-man roster, to any affiliate this season.

”Our goal is more with 2019 in mind,” Picollo said. “Like I said, he has been very receptive to this and very excited.”

That fan that wrote Danny Duffy trying to fix his delivery is a 74-year old vet who has written several Royals players.

Leigh Oleszczak looks at what Jorge Bonifacio’s role will be when he returns from suspension.

Robert Murray at FanRag thinks the Phillies will be players for Mike Moustakas this summer.

Royals’ first-round pick Brady Singer wins the Dick Howser Award for top college baseball player.

Danny Duffy is one player listed as an AL Central player poised for a turnaround.

Miguel Sano was sent to A-ball, but there is a history of established players being demoted, such as Alex Gordon.

Attendance is down this year so far, and Travis Sawchik at Fangraphs looks into why.

Juan Soto is 19-years old and crushing it in the big leagues.

MLB denies reports that 18 of the top 20 Dominican free agents failed a drug test.

Why is MLB trying to scrub this colorful conversation between Mets manager Terry Collins and an umpire from the internet?

Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated has some ideas to fix baseball.

Things needed to change under new Marlins ownership, and Jon Heyman argues they are changing.

Minor league games will feature an in-game, on-bat sensor to gather more data.

How English-speaking announcers try to learn how to pronounce Spanish names.

A lot of big names miss the cut at the U.S. Open.

The winners and losers from a spectacular day two of the World Cup.

Wannabe Instagram stars are driving luxury hotels crazy.

After 27 years, The Jerry Springer Show halts production.

Jeremy Renner’s arms in the movie Tag are CGI, and now you can’t unsee it.

Your song of the day is Dave Brubeck with Unsquare Dance.

Royals' Jorge Soler suffers hand fracture

Royals' Jorge Soler suffers hand fracture

Royals outfielder Jorge Soler suffered a fracture of his left first metatarsal against the Astros, the team announced Friday.

It is unclear how much time Soler with miss with the injury.

Soler has been a pleasant surprise for the Royals this season batting .268 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs.

He was on pace for a career-high in walks when he went down with 28 in his first 60 games. He has never walked more than 32 times in a season. 

Royals Hot Stove Index

Royals Hot Stove Index

If you haven’t noticed, the Royals aren’t playing very well. They are on pace for 110 losses and the Orioles are the only team who has lost more games than the Royals 46. They do, however, have several tradable assets. Whether it was intentional or not, Kansas City holds several assets that have either trade friendly contracts (Whit Merrifield) or are perfect rentals (Mike Moustakas).

We are officially smack dab in the middle of June, leaving the Royals with roughly six weeks to work this for their benefit. They already dealt Jon Jay when he was at his highest value, but he was a stopgap. There will be more trades, but who is at the top of that list?

We are going to take a look today with our Royals Hot Stove Index. This index will be a mixture of my personal opinions on who the Royals should look to trade, as well as a realistic look at who they might actually trade, based on organization comments and history.

Let’s begin.

5. Salvador Perez

Yeah, this isn’t happening. Like, ever. Sal means too much to the franchise. With a lot of the guys on the Royals roster, the difference between a future in Kansas City or a future in another uniform could ultimately come down to how Dayton Moore views the rebuild.

Given his history and how he approached the last two offseasons, it’s apparent that he doesn’t want a prolonged rebuild. The writing on the wall, however, suggests that it will be a long rebuild. The rise of Seuly Matias and Khalil Lee have made the farm more appealing than it was even just a few months ago, but their roads to Kansas City are still long ones and the rest of the system is pretty thin.

Salvador Perez, meanwhile, is 28 and has caught more innings than any catcher in baseball since 2013. Do the Royals think Sal will be a contributor on their next postseason competitor? Maybe. Even if they don’t, they think that he’s a future Hall of Famer if he stays healthy. Given that the entire 2015 core will likely be gone after this season with the exception of Sal, it shouldn’t really surprise us that Moore wants to keep him around.

That doesn’t, however, change the fact that Sal is one of the Royals best trade assets, even in a down season. His value forces him on this list, but unless something changes, he isn’t going anywhere.

4. Jorge Soler

Here me out. Again, we have to consider the mindset of the front office while also considering a realistic view of the Royals next window.

Jorge Soler breaking out has been really fun. He hits baseballs far and walks often. But will he be around when the Royals next window opens up? 2018 is the seventh season that Perez entered as the presumptive starter, so it’s weird to think that he is just two years older (28) than Soler (26).

This is the first time Soler has produced at the Major League level but he isn’t exactly a young pup. It is also true that we probably haven’t seen the best of Soler, given his advanced understanding of the strikezone and his unearthly pop.

I wasn’t kidding when I said the fate of Royals like Soler rests on Moore’s view of the rebuild. If he thinks the Royals could compete again soon, Soler’s upside could make him a major piece. If the rebuild is going to be a long one, Soler’s team-friendly contract and somewhat wicked upside could make him the Royals most valuable trade asset.

3. Kelvin Herrera

Lost in the shuffle of a lot of losing and a lot of bad bullpening has been the vengeance of Kelvin Herrera. 2017 was without a doubt his worst season as a pro, but we all knew that he was not that guy. The 28-year-old has responded by being one of the most unhittable relievers in baseball.

Herrera hasn’t struck out batters at this low of a rate (7.71 K/9) since 2014, but he also hasn’t had a season where he walked batters at a rate even as remotely low as this season (0.70 BB/9). Only James Pazos has fewer walks than Herrera’s two. Oh, and both of those walks came in his last appearance. Before that, he hadn’t walked a hitter all season.

Most will remember HDH for Wade Davis and Greg Holland because they had all the saves, but Herrera has a long history shutting down batters. He will be an easy target.

2. Mike Moustakas

You will be hard pressed to find a better rental in the history of rentals than Mike Moustakas. Despite a recent slump, Moose is on pace for back-to-back 30 home run campaigns and is still a capable defender at the hot corner, all while playing on a ridiculous one-year, $6.5 million contract.

If we assume that teams pay $8-9 million per WAR, Moose has already outplayed his contract (1.2 fWAR) and we aren’t even halfway through the season. That also means that, going strictly off of value, Moustakas would more or less be playing for free if traded.

Not really, but you get what I‘m saying.

Moustakas will be a hot commodity because he is a legit power bat, but also because of his obscene contract. The only reason that he isn’t number one on this list is because he is slumping a bit and will be a free-agent again this winter after being cheated by the system.

Our own Max Rieper wrote about the urgency the Royals should feel to trade Moustakas. Moore has always been defensive of his players and after standing behind Moustakas through all of his struggles, we shouldn’t be surprised that Moore is hesitant to trade him. However, it is clear that the Royals need all hands on deck for this rebuild, and Kansas City would get a pretty penny in return for Moustakas’ services.

1. Whit Merrifield

Maybe this is controversial, but Whit Merrifield is the Royals best player. That is a nuanced claim, but when everything is considered, it’s hard to argue its validity. Whit was far better than anybody could have asked for in 2017. He hit 19 home runs after never hitting more than 10 during any minor league stop. He also led the American League in stolen bases and was a three-win player.

He has responded with an even better season. Through 65 games, he has accumulated 70% of his 2017 fWAR output with a 2.0 mark. At the moment, he is pacing that of at least a four-win player, as well as seeing an increase in BB%, OBP, OPS, wOBA, and wRC+. That’s not to mention that metrics like him as a defender more than they did in 2017. Yes, Whit is 29, but he is also a guy that is a legitimate value player who can play any position and who just happens to have four years of club control left.

Whit Merrifield is an asset. It is still yet to be seen if the Royals will deal him, but he is their best asset.