Kansas City Royals
Things were a lot different the last time we saw the Kansas City Royals. Back in April, the M's were on a tear, upending all expectations to be nearly undefeated in the early season; their series in KC was the end of that run. Now, the Mariners have fallen off a very tall cliff and are among the teams with the worst records in the Majors. The Royals, however, are still worse, so there is hope for a good series here.
Kansas City is 4-10 in June thus far, and they are missing their starting third baseman and arguably best hitter, Hunter Dozier, who is on the injured list with thorax pain. But they do have some star power and otherwise interesting players—speedy outfielder Terrence Gore comes into the series with a line of .273/.347/.341, far above what was expected of him, and IF/OF Whit Merrifield has been fantastic with a .302/.351/.492 line to go with 33 extra-base hits and 11 steals. Lots of Royals have steals, in fact; KC leads the league in stolen bases by a decent margin, with shortstop Adalberto Mondesi leading the way with 26. Mondesi would be an elite threat if he had any plate discipline to speak of, but as it is the switch-hitter can be an easy mark for a strikeout—to date he has gone down on strike three nearly a third of the time, and despite a decent .272 batting average he has more Ks than hits.
On the mound, the Royals have a thoroughly mediocre staff, with 23-year-old Brad Keller their best starter despite his 3-8 record. Keller leads the starting rotation with 93 innings pitched, an ERA a hair under 4.00, and a 1.344 WHIP. He'll go on Wednesday, while Monday and Tuesday's games will feature veterans Danny Duffy and Homer Bailey (3-3, 4.38 and 5-6, 5.37 respectively). Bailey lost to the M's in April, giving up seven runs in five innings; Duffy and Keller have not seen the Mariners yet this season. Seattle counters with Tommy Milone, Yusei Kikuchi, and Marco Gonzales.
|vs. AL West||5-15|
Who’s Hot & Not
Last 10 games
.297/.366/.649, 3 HR, 9 RBI
.349/.378/.488, 4 XBH, 5 RBI, 3 SB
.111/.273/.111, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 11 K, 3 SB
.205/.222/.250, 2 XBH, 2 RBI, 14 K, 4 SB
.158/.220/.237, 7 XBH, 1 RBI, 15 K
.194/.286/.544, 2 XBH, 3 RBI, 1 SB
Last 3 series vs. Seattle
|4/11/19||SEA 7, KC 6|
|4/10/19||SEA 6, KC 5|
|4/9/19||SEA 6, KC 3|
|4/8/19||SEA 13, KC 5|
|7/1/18||SEA 1, KC 0|
|6/30/18||SEA 6, KC 4|
|6/29/18||SEA 4, KC 1|
|4/11/18||SEA 4, KC 2|
|4/10/18||SEA 8, KC 3|
|4/9/18||KC 10, SEA 0|
Ned Yost: Now in his tenth year as manager of the Royals, Yost has been here before—when he was first hired, KC was on its way to a last-place finish and followed that up with two 90-loss seasons before a rebuild brought them to consecutive AL pennants and a World Championship in 2015. Since then his club has slid into mediocrity and futility, once again primed for a rebuilding project. He's done it before and believes he can do it again given a few years' time.
A close friend of comedian Jeff Foxworthy, Yost has a reputation for being taciturn and gruff that is belied by Foxworthy's description of him as "one of the funniest people I've ever met." Yost's sense of humor leans toward the dry and the literal, which he often uses with the media "just to [mess] with people." Add to that, he has no patience for what he considers to be dumb questions and you end up with exchanges like, If a movie was made about the Royals, who would play you? "I'm not answering that shit."
Dale Sveum: The only player or coach on the current Royals to ever suit up for Seattle is KC's bench coach. Sveum played all of ten games for the Mariners in 1994, playing third base and DH (Edgar Martínez was injured that year), and spent over half of that season with Seattle's Triple-A affiliate. He didn't do well, batting .185 in the brief big-league stint, and found himself in the Pirates' organization the next year. His best season as a Major League player was as a utility infielder for Pittsburgh in 1997, when he posted a line of .261/.319/.451. He's since been both a manager—2012 and '13 with the Cubs, losing 101 and 96 games—and a coach, spending the past six years with the Royals in several capacities.
|Kansas City Royals||(1969 - present)|
|World Champions:||1985, 2015|
|League Champions:||1980, 2014|
|Division Titles:||1976, 1977, 1978, 1981 (split-season), 1984|