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The Royals had an active week to open the second half of the season.
In the span of just a couple of days, they called up Bubba Starling, traded away Homer Bailey, and swapped Martin Maldonado for former Royals draftee Mike Montgomery.

And on top of that, they also won three of their first four games (and won on the night we recorded as well). Brad Keller and Jakob Junis had key early second-half performances and the team is scoring some runs, too.

Not a bad way to head towards the trading deadline. Speaking of, we also talked about who might be next to be dealt before July 31st…and who’s less likely to go.

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At the all-star break, the Royals haven’t been all that good, but there are a few bright spots.

We made a lot of predictions before the season started, and every year at this time, we like to hold ourselves accountable, so we looked at how the first half went compared to our expectations. We were right on for some predictions and way off on others.

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http://twitter.com/michaelengel

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And remember to rate and subscribe on iTunes or any other podcast app you like.

This week, we finally caught up with Clint Scoles to talk about the Royals 2019 draft and the state of the Royals’ farm system. Clint’s insight and knowledge is unmatched, and we’re always glad to have him on. He discussed Bobby Witt Jr., college players in the draft, named a few of his favorite picks, and then talked a bit more about the Royals minor league topics like the struggling lineup in Wilmington and the sudden pitching depth in the system.

You can read Clint’s work at RoyalsAcademy.com and by following him on Twitter at @ClintScoles.

We also talked about All-Star news, some returning players (and departing ones), plus a little look at the news that the Royals might use openers later this year.

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http://twitter.com/ClintScoles
http://royalsacademy.com

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And remember to rate and subscribe on iTunes or any other podcast app you like.

The Royals did some roster movement this week, sending Adalberto Mondesi to the IL and calling up Humberto Arteaga to cover shortstop. Meanwhile, they sent Hunter Dozier on a rehab assignment in Springdale (and should be back in Kansas City soon). That’ll lead to another move. And Ryan O’Hearn got sent to Omaha to get his mojo back with Jorge Bonifacio returning to KC.

And through all that, the Royals might be fielding phone calls for some trade targets.

We got caught up on those moves AND the unexpected magic of Homer Bailey.

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http://twitter.com/TheJeffReport
http://twitter.com/michaelengel

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KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com

And remember to rate and subscribe on iTunes or any other podcast app you like.

While we were away, the Royals added a lot of talent to their organization by way of the MLB Draft. This year, the Royals had the second overall pick in a draft with two huge prospects at the top of the draft. With a team-record bonus, they’ve signed high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.

We discussed his profile along with the rest of the Royals’ draft, in particular their focus on college players (for the second year in a row). Aside from Witt, we talked about a few other names selected by the Royals and how things might shake out.

We also discussed Jorge Soler and all-star potential, trade rumors, and career highs. Plus some discussion of Bubba Starling and why we think he’ll reach Kansas City sooner rather than later.

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http://twitter.com/TheJeffReport
http://twitter.com/michaelengel

Email us!
KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com

And remember to rate and subscribe on iTunes or any other podcast app you like.

This week, the Royals didn’t play much, due to off days but they made some moves, others were speculated, and they got a couple of improved starts from Danny Duffy and Brad Keller.

Pitching – and many times starting pitching – has been a low point in 2019, but there may be some hope if a few starters can rebound and adjust. If not, well, it’ll be a tough season the rest of the way.

It may not need to stay like that though. Maybe not this year, but down the line, the Royals could see a lot of help in the pitching staff. Last year’s draft really reloaded the farm system, and the Royals first six picks from 2018 have all performed well this season and most are pushing for promotions. All that, and the Royals will soon make the second pick in the draft (and THEN they can make some international signings). So it’s not great right now, but it might get better very soon.

NOTE: We’ll be out for the next two weeks with travel getting in the way with Mike out first, then Jeff the next week. We’ll be back after the Royals have made their 2019 MLB Draft selections.

Follow us!
Twitter:
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http://twitter.com/TheJeffReport
http://twitter.com/michaelengel

Email us!
KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com

And remember to rate and subscribe on iTunes or any other podcast app you like.

The big news this week was the call up of infielder Nicky Lopez, one of the more intriguing prospects in the Royals system right now.

We discussed how Lopez will fit in the lineup and what he provides for the players he’s hitting around, plus the general makeup of the team today and going forward.

We also talked about the team’s recent inconsistency, both in scoring runs and from the starting pitching holding games together.

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Twitter:
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http://twitter.com/TheJeffReport
http://twitter.com/michaelengel

Email us!
KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com

And remember to rate and subscribe on iTunes or any other podcast app you like.

The Royals offense has been clicking lately. A mix of patience, power, and speed has pushed them into the top five in runs scored in the AL.

Unfortunately, the pitching has not done much with that offense, as the Royals entered Wednesday with the worst record in the league, despite a Pythagorean projection closer to .500.

It mirrors some trends we’ve seen before, with some teams 20 years ago that had lots of talent at the plate … and not as much on the mound. We looked at what might be sustainable as we approach the quarter post, as well as what lessons might be learned from this team.

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http://twitter.com/TheJeffReport
http://twitter.com/michaelengel

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KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com

And remember to rate and subscribe on iTunes or any other podcast app you like.

We recorded this episode on a pretty darn good day for Royals baseball, just after they swept a double header against Tampa Bay. That performance really helped out the numbers of the starting rotation, which had been faltering more than the bullpen for a change. Much of this season has seen the Royals bullpen blow leads or be more gas on the fire than fireman, but the script was flipped up until Jakob Junis and Glenn Sparkman dominated the Rays.

But that’s the micro level. On a bigger scale, the Royals are walking and hitting for power, a shift from the organization’s usual offensive profile. After a month, they’re in the middle of the pack in walks and homers (when usually they’re at the bottom of the list). Hunter Dozier is leading the charge, but others are chipping in, and it definitely seems like most of the lineup has a good plan at the plate so far.

We discussed walks, some minor leaguers, Adalberto Mondesi continuing being awesome, Bubba Starling, Kelvin Gutierrez debuting, and a lot more.

Follow us!
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/KCBaseballVault
http://twitter.com/TheJeffReport
http://twitter.com/michaelengel

Email us!
KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com

And remember to rate and subscribe on iTunes or any other podcast app you like.

The 2019 season hasn’t gone quite as hoped for the Kansas City Royals. They’ve missed opportunities, blown leads, and generally, haven’t played well.

But there are bright spots. The key parts of the lineup have been productive, and there are even a few very fun surprises. The starters have generally been effective (which has limited the bullpen).

But despite a recent strong run, the bullpen has been rough with a couple of exceptions. The bottom of the lineup has struggled. It hasn’t been fun.

Slowly, though, we’re seeing some relievers develop into trustworthy options. Some batters are coming around. And, as we discuss in this episode, the Royals are getting Danny Duffy back in the rotation, which should help.

SPOILER ALERT: In the last 10 minutes or so, we get on a tangent talking about Game of Thrones and the MCU. There are spoilers. We do warn you when that part comes up. Once that part starts, we don’t talk baseball, so you can tune out and we won’t be angry. ­čÖé

Follow us!
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/KCBaseballVault
http://twitter.com/TheJeffReport
http://twitter.com/michaelengel

Email us!
KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com

And remember to rate and subscribe on iTunes or any other podcast app you like.

Since our last episode, the Royals haven’t won a game and the bullpen continues to be an issue.

The Royals made a number of moves, including sending Kyle Zimmer to Triple-A and calling up Richard Lovelady. But the veterans in the bullpen have struggled while the starting rotation and offense have been mostly okay.

We discussed what might be next for this struggling group and how it lines up with the big picture.

Of course, it’s not all gloom. Lovelady dealt in his debut. Ryan O’Hearn and Hunter Dozier are hitting the ball hard. Adalberto Mondesi has adjusted after a bad road trip, and the big story is Whit Merrifield’s hitting streak, which reached a franchise-record 31 games after we went off air.

Will the Royals win a game by next week’s episode? Let’s hope so.

Follow us!
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/KCBaseballVault
http://twitter.com/TheJeffReport
http://twitter.com/michaelengel

Email us!
KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com

And remember to rate and subscribe on iTunes or any other podcast app you like.

The 2019 Royals season is officially underway and it’s – so far – a little exciting and a little underwhelming.

They won two games but the bullpen has been shaky, and the Royals have missed a couple of early opportunities for wins. Nonetheless, some, like Brad Keller, Adalberto Mondesi, Jorge Soler, and others have stepped up early.

Are the Royals doomed? Is this a brief glitch? Will Kyle Zimmer get a shot to shut down games?

Well, it’s too early to tell, but we’ll find out over the next 157 games.

Follow the Vault at @KCBaseballVault. Follow host Jeff Herr at @TheJeffReport, co-host Michael Engel at @michaelengel. You can also email feedback to KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com.
And remember to rate us and subscribe on iTunes.

The Royals found a replacement for Salvador Perez and did some juggling of the pitching staff as Opening Day approaches.

After catching up on the news of the day, we made some predictions. Using Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA projections, we picked a few players and stats and guessed at if a player would surpass or fall short of the mark. It’s one of our favorite shows to record every year, and this time was no exception.

Hear our thoughts on Adalberto Mondesi, Brad Keller, Whit Merrifield, Jakob Junis, and more.

And also, a programming note…at the top of the show we made the announcement that the 2019 season will be the final season of the Kansas City Baseball Vault podcast. We started this ride in March of 2011, but the time comes for everyone. We’ll spend 2019 catching up with old friends and going out having a blast talking baseball. We plan on doing a few events this year to celebrate, and keep an eye on our Twitter account for information about such gatherings.

Follow the Vault at @KCBaseballVault. Follow host Jeff Herr at @TheJeffReport, co-host Michael Engel at @michaelengel. You can also email feedback to KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com. And remember to rate us and subscribe on iTunes.

The baseball free agency market is finally shaking loose. Manny Machado is getting his big payday. Mike Moustakas landed another one-year deal. Alcides Escobar will be an Oriole.

The Royals snagged some free agents as well, all to bolster the 2019 pitching staff.

After an AL-worst bullpen in 2018, how will the additions of Brad Boxberger, Jake Diekman, and Drew Storen shake out? Is there anything left in the tank for Homer Bailey? How strange will future offseasons become?

We discuss it all this week on the Vault.

Follow the Vault at @KCBaseballVault. Follow host Jeff Herr at @TheJeffReport, co-host Michael Engel at @michaelengel. You can also email feedback to KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com. And remember to rate us and subscribe on iTunes.

So far this offseason has been very quiet, but one of the milestones each winter is the publication of prospect rankings. Two of the big ones – Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America – recognized some Royals prospects, though, interestingly different groups.

In the here and now, we also discussed the new contract for Whit Merrifield, including what it means for the roster, the minor league rising stars, and the Royals contention window. Mostly, it’s a nice payday for Whit and allows him to avoid the arbitration process. The Royals, in return, get to bank on a young player but have some cost certainty in place.┬á

Follow the Vault at @KCBaseballVault. Follow host Jeff Herr at @TheJeffReport, co-host Michael Engel at @michaelengel. You can also email feedback to KansasCityBaseballVault@gmail.com. And remember to rate us and subscribe on iTunes.