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Spring training approaches, so this week Mike invited Hunter Samuels (@huntersamuels on Twitter) on the show to discuss some questions ahead of the players reporting.
The theme was position battles, and featured thoughts on Omar Infante vs. Christian Colon, Drew Butera vs. Tony Cruz, and who will round out the bullpen. In the second segment, the focus shifted to what might play out with right field and the vast number of options on the 40 man roster and free agent market. Hunter provided some scouting reports on outfielders Brett Eibner, Jose Martinez, and Reymond Fuentes, and pitcher Miguel Almonte.
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The Royals finished May with some weak offense, and it’s led to a slight downturn, but we started out tonight talking about instant replay in baseball, focusing on the call that impacted the Royals in their loss against Cleveland on Tuesday, but expanded to talk about it generally and how it can improve.
But the Royals didn’t lose on Tuesday because of the replay call. They lost because they’ve had trouble scoring runs lately. Jeff and Mike talked about the slide and how worried it might make us, but also identified one opportunity for improvement: swapping Omar Infante with Christian Colon.
After break, we talked about some progress from John Lamb and Kyle Zimmer, and a brief guess at the path ahead for rehabbing Kris Medlen. Then we finished up talking about attendance, fan enthusiasm, and the voting for the All-Star Game that has seen Royals doing well at every position on the diamond.
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Matt, Reese, and Hunter talk about the Grilli/Frieri trade before moving onto Tim Lincecum’s no hitter.
Josh Byrnes was fired probably prematurely from the Padres.
They talk about Infante’s resurgence and the wonderful benefit that Jarrod Dyson brings to the Royals
They move into some prospect talk with the Futures Game, which selected the Royals’ Christian Binford to join an impressive U.S. pitching staff.
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In Episode 22, Ben and Audra finally – FINALLY! – get to cut their teeth on regular-season game analysis by dissecting the Royals’ Opening Day loss to the Detroit Tigers. Ben and Audra discuss whose fault it was, or whether it was anyone’s fault. Names that come up in the blame game discussion include: Ned Yost, Greg Holland, Wade Davis, Aaron Crow, Mike Moustakas, Omar Infante, Nori Aoki, and Salvador Perez. The middle segment contains a short bit of history on late Royal Dan Quisenberry. The final segment includes a discussion of pitching roles, more specifically the closer, and whether adherence to tradition is always the best strategy. Ancillary segments include: Who won Ben and Audra’s bet?, Are there spiders in Audra’s uterus?, and Is QuikTrip gasoline inferior quality?
Hunter, Matt and Reese argue about the new joint-drug agreement between MLB and the Player’s Association.
They go into detail about the huge new contract extensions for Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout. Miggy has become the highest paid player in the game and Trout will get out of his contract at 29 in plenty of time to become the highest paid player himself.
They discuss Omar Infante‘s health and Ned Yost‘s insistence on batting Alcides Escobar second.
We give our official predictions for this season’s division winners and playoff victors.
Josh Vernier joined the show with David Lesky to talk about the craziness that was the week prior to the GM meetings and the relative lack of moves during the meetings. Clint and David also talked about a possible Billy Butler trade to Toronto and that despite an uneventful week a signing or trade should be happening quickly. This weeks band Mikey Needleman Band check them out at mikeyneedlemanband.com