KANSAS CITY -- The Royals certainly have had a past seven days to forget.Kansas City has lost six of seven, and in the process, it set a franchise record by being shut out for 45 straight innings. And the Royals have put themselves on the outer reaches of the second
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals certainly have had a past seven days to forget.
Kansas City has lost six of seven, and in the process, it set a franchise record by being shut out for 45 straight innings. And the Royals have put themselves on the outer reaches of the second American League Wild Card spot.
Now we'll see if this core group, perhaps playing together for the final time, has any magic left as it showed in 2014 and '15. With that in mind, let's get to the latest version of the Inbox.
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Manager Ned Yost told me Wednesday that the callups would come in two waves: One on Friday, and then one when the Minor League seasons are over. The guess here is speedster Terrance Gore, outfielder Paulo Orlando, catcher Cam Gallagher and infielder Ramon Torres are likely going to meet us in Minnesota in the first wave, just for depth purposes, although Yost offered no hints on Wednesday. And Gore, of course, can help win a ballgame late on the bases.
Market size. The Royals simply don't generate the revenue from their local television deal that medium-sized and large-sized markets do. Owner David Glass has subsidized team losses for years and has put any profits back into the team, but he isn't about to take massive financial hits. Kansas City has been setting franchise-record payroll marks year after year, but to keep Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jason Vargas, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Mike Minor would simply cost too much. Don't be surprised, though, if general manager Dayton Moore finds a way to keep two or three.
Jake Junis has been the Royals' best starter for a month, so he will be staying in the rotation. And if he keeps this up, he'll be in the rotation next April.
As we reported earlier this week, popular first-base coach Rusty Kuntz will not be coaching first base the rest of the season because of vision issues in his left eye. He had surgery on that eye recently, and he simply has had trouble seeing as that eye heals. Kuntz said it is like looking through a bottle of water. He will continue to perform his other duties, and he will be on the bench. As for long-term, every offseason, Kuntz pleads with management to become a roving instructor mainly to get away from the daily grind. And every offseason, Kansas City talks him into coming back. It probably won't be any different this offseason.
Hosmer. He's having a career year, he's a leader in the clubhouse, he cares about the community, and we still don't know his ceiling on the field. And every scout I have talked to picked Hosmer as the first guy to try and re-sign.
This question came in prior to Wednesday night's game, so the gap is four games now. The Royals have 30 games left, and it seems reasonable to suggest they'd need to win at least 21 or 22 to have a shot. That's a tall order, as you mentioned, with the pitching issues, especially with Ian Kennedy and Vargas struggling mightily, and with Danny Duffy on the disabled list. But one thing we have learned: Never count this group out.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.