The only role the Kansas City Royals have left is spoiler. Like so many things, they failed at that last week, as the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals took five of six from the boys in blue. The Royals found struggles in many ways, but the offense was a particular source of frustrations, as they managed more than four runs just twice and were blanked by the Cardinals on Friday.
During last week’s Royals Weekly podcast, my co-host and I asked the Royals to give us the gift of spoiling a playoff push for the Yankees, but they responded with a couple of less-than-stellar performances and a series loss. They followed that up with a sweep at the hands of the Cardinals who (despite the affection of Inside the Royals’ editor-in-chief Jordan Foote) are pretty despised locally.
In half-good news, Brady Singer returned to the rotation early in the week to face the Yankees, who promptly punished him for continuing to not have a third pitch. In 3.2 innings, he gave up five earned runs, 10 hits, and three walks with only two strikeouts.
While Singer struggled, Carlos Hernandez continued to build on a run of good form with a 6.2-inning, one-run effort. That and a patient approach at the plate gave the Royals a fighting chance, but unfortunately, the bullpen couldn’t keep them in the game. They took an 8-6 loss and Hernandez got a no-decision.
It was a rough week all around, but none of the Royals took it on the chops to the degree outfielder Edward Olivares continues to from the Royals’ front office. Despite the team trading Jorge Soler, they continue to treat Olivares like a non-prospect. They brought him up for all of 11 days this time around before he was unceremoniously demoted to bring up a bullpen arm. Ryan O’Hearn, meanwhile, continues to receive playing time in right field. While many considered the rest of this season as Olivares’ opportunity to sink or swim in the big leagues, clearly Dayton Moore has other plans.
On the Farm
The big story on the farm this week was the promotion of M.J. Melendez to AAA. That puts Melendez, Bobby Witt Jr., and Nick Pratto on the doorstep and poised to compete for the major league roster to start 2022.
The big question surrounding Melendez now is: Where will he play when he’s ready for the big leagues? With Salvador Perez anchored at the catching position, people are discussing a rotation between Perez and Melendez at designated hitter and catcher or Melendez moving positions altogether. He has played some third base in the minors and may have enough athleticism to make it as a corner outfielder.
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