Royals win third straight. Rumors circulate

RC has been really impressed with the Royals the last few days. OK, maybe not really impressed, but they've looked pretty good, particularly after playing so poorly for two weeks. Tonight the Royals topped the Twins 8-5, as Jose Lima picked up his second victory of the season. Lima actually pitched pretty well, keeping the ball down and working the corners nicely. Jimmy Gobble was excellent in relief, as he appears to be a completely different pitcher than he was during his "pitch-to-contact" days as a starter.

Offensively, the Royals did a nice job taking advantage of their opportunities. Angel Berroa added four hits to the effort, although RC is convinced that we've never seen a luckier two-game stretch than what Berroa has experienced the last two games (in which he has 7 hits -- including two bloopers and three infield hits). John Buck celebrated his 25th birthday with a big two-run single in the seventh inning that pushed the Royals lead to 7-3, and Tony Graffanino had a great night by going 1-for-2 with three walks. In fact, the Royals actually out-walked the Twins, which is impressive when you consider that the Twins pitchers had walked nearly 40 fewer batters than any other team in baseball.

  • Justin Huber had a great night for Wichita. Huber went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three walks, hiking his BA to .344. Huber's been playing well since his return to Wichita, and he should be back in Kansas City as soon as the Royals start making some July trades.

  • There are ample rumors floating around that Royals closer Mike MacDougal may be traded soon. RC is very excited about this. Frankly, RC just isn't convinced that MacDougal will ever be a consistently good pitcher, so if Allard Baird can flip him right now for a legitimate prospect, RC would be ecstatic. The latest rumor we've seen had Mac going to the Cubs for outfield prospect Matt Murton. We are convinced that such a trade would be a complete steal, as Murton is a solid player with good speed and excellent plate discipline and power.

  • RC really likes this column by Clark Fosler. Clark has run some interesting numbers on Berroa and Shane Costa, and we highly recommend that you check it out.

  • While we're plugging other blogs, we should point out the fine work that Ken at The Pipeline has done. Ken has created a Royals organizational depth chart, which is really cool.

  • We've officially run out of quality Billy Butler photos. However, here's a somewhat cool photo we snapped of Kila Kaaihue prior to the Carolina/California League All-Star Game.


    At 7/08/2005 2:17 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

    That "somewhat cool" photo of HI-14 is probably my favorite photo among the ones you've posted here at the blog. There's something very awesome about the intended focal point being offset just a little bit, staring straight ahead at a decorated outfield fence.

    At 7/08/2005 2:25 AM, Anonymous Brian S. said...

    Dave, You're just a little off on the MacDougal opinion. Maybe you haven't seen Mac pitch much on TV over tha last two months. He has finally put it together. He has a 3to1 KtoBB ratio since you filed your taxes. Ever since he has added the cutter, his confidence has soared.

    We finally have an effective closer (first time since Monty) I say we hold on to him and deal Affeldt before he gets hurt again. Where there is smoke, there is fire, but I strongly doubt they're seriously talking about MacDougal. I bet in the end, it is Affeldt to go.

    At 7/08/2005 8:24 AM, Blogger Dave said...

    Brian, there's no doubt that Mac has been very good this season. I have watched him closely the last couple months, and if he didn't have such a streaky track record, I'd be legitimately excited about him.

    But the problem is that we've seen this kind of performance out of Mac before, and it never lasts.

    Admittedly, his K/BB ratio is better than it has ever been, and that's a good sign. But it's also rare for a pitcher who has struggled so much with his control in the past to suddenly figure things out.

    While I'd be happy to keep Mac around to see if the new Mac is real, I still think Baird must jump at an opportunity to trade him for a legitimate prospect, if one presents itself...strike while the iron is hot, if you will.

    At 7/08/2005 9:45 AM, Blogger cfos said...

    I'm torn on trading Mac. I think he may very well be for real, but with all the power arms in the pen/system I would not be adverse to making a trade for a legitimate prospect.

    At 7/08/2005 1:44 PM, Blogger Bart said...

    As consistent as Mac has been, I still cringe every time I see him enter the game. He's a head case and I believe it's only a matter of time until he returns to his inconsistent form. The rumors for affeldt have picked up. Rumor is he and Stairs to FLA. I'm not opposed to trading affeldt and mac, stairs I'd like to see stay around, but if the deals right...


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