Royals Q&A: How likely is a late-season surge?

Two straight victories and...is it too late for the Royals to mount another run and make a postseason push?

That’s just one question from our latest question-and-answer exchange from twitter.

The Royals are 66-64 as they open a six-game trip tonight with the first of three games against Minnesota at Target Field. Then come three games in Toronto and four games at home against Seattle.

That’s 10 straight games against clubs with losing records before the schedule turns tough.

The postseason odds aren’t great. The Royals hit scorching Minneapolis still trailing Oakland by seven games for the American League’s final wild-card berth with 32 games remaining.

(And I meant that “scorching Minneapolis” stuff. It hit 99 degrees on Monday and is expected to remain in the mid-90s or above all week.)

So, can the Royals get hot? Who is in line for a September call-up? What are the possibilities of retaining pitcher Ervin Santana? There’s still much to talk about as the calendar nears September.:

@doug_maxwell: Odds of the #Royals re-signing Santana better or worse than 50/50?

A guess? Worse. Look, the Royals would like to keep Ervin Santana, and I think he’s very open to staying here. But this is business, and it’s likely to come down to money.

It all depends on where the market goes. I think — think — the Royals might be willing to go three years and something in the $40-plus million range. I can’t imagine them going higher than that.

Odds are at least one team will roll the dice, overspend and price him beyond the Royals’ financial comfort zone. That means the Royals, who seem certain to make a qualifying offer, will be owed a draft pick in compensation.

@MIZZ0U0123 is Duffy likely to replace Davis in the rotation?

Two things. One, Wade Davis’ spot appears to be in jeopardy. And, two, it’s hard to believe that Danny Duffy isn’t the first option, especially given his upside and the way he pitched against Detroit.

Duffy’s pitch day in the minors isn’t currently aligned with Davis’ day in the rotation, but I can’t believe that’s an issue that can’t be overcome.

@jrazz89 Do you watch baseball when not working?

When am I not working?

@Wimsatt82 Does Colon have a decent shot to be starting 2nd baseman next year?

It might be semantics, here, but I think Christian Colon comes to spring training next year and gets a real look. That’s all he can ask, right?

@matthewkrohne Playoffs aren't out of the question yet, right?

Well, it’s less out of the question than at any time in the last 10 years but, as pointed out in the intro, the math is pretty daunting.

@OldSoulTCas23 will Brian Fletcher get a chance to figure into mlb picture next year? Is Angel Franco consider a prospect by club officials

Brian Fletcher is an intriguing bat in search of a position on a club that emphasizes defense and already has an established DH. So it’s hard to see where he fits next year on the projected roster.

But Fletcher sure seems like a guy you keep around to see what develops.

Angel Franco is a second baseman who is having a nice year at Class AA Northwest Arkansas. So, sure, he’s elevated his status. Do I think he’s in the mix for next year? No.

@AB_melts what is Maxwell's numbers purely as a Royal?

Outfielder Justin Maxwell is batting .353 (18-for-51) with four homers and 11 RBIs in 19 games since joining the Royals in a July 31 trade with Houston.

@KCCCK94 4 man rotation if we're even just 5 back on Labor Day?

Really doubtful. The Royals have two open dates through the end of the season — Sept. 12 and Sept. 19. Now, could some guys stay on a fifth-day schedule around those dates? That’s possible.

@_MathewB what's your read on Grifol going into next year? Is that entirely dependent on who's managing come next year?

Lots of things change if the Royals change managers, but the general vibe I get is that folks are happy with Pedro Grifol as hitting coach.

@davidwlowe Has GMDM not learned a lesson from the Hochevar, Francoeur, Davies debacles? Regardless of investment, move Davis to the pen.

It could happen.

@whitebrad47 with Bonifacio's success any chance he becomes everyday 2B and if so whats that mean for Getz

Emilio Bonifacio is currently getting a steady look at second base. If he shows enough to hold the position, the Royals have little reason to retain Chris Getz, who doesn’t really project as a utility player.

If Getz isn’t seeing regular time at second base, I don’t know what reason there is to keep him around. But...I don’t think the Royals are at that point yet.

@infjdesign are you sure you want to do this? It's like not having had a root canal in a while

C’mon. We’ve got Royals’ fans talking ball in late August. Can you imagine if we tried to do this last year, or the year before that, or the year before that, or the...

@jbhusker15 does this current roster have the ability to make another 19-5 run?

You do it once, you can do it again. If you’re asking whether I think they’ll mount another 19-5 run...I think that’s unlikely. But I’ve been saying for several days that I believe they have another run in them.

An April-type run (14-10) or maybe a tad better.

@carterm86 Why hasn't Bryan Brickhouse pitched since early Summer?

Tommy John surgery.

@wade_luther: Who do the think that the Royals September callups will be? I would guess Duffy at least.

The safest bet is probably another catcher. My guess is Brett Hayes. I think it’s a slam dunk we’ll see Will Smith (presuming he goes back to Class AAA Omaha when Luke Hochevar returns from paternity leave).

Other possibilities include Everett Teaford, Francisley Bueno, Johnny Giavotella and Irving Falu. Those guys are all already on the 40-man roster. I’m guessing Felipe Paulino will also be activated from the disabled list.

It will be interesting to see if the Royals promote Yordano Ventura and Christian Colon. Both of those guys must be protected this winter on the 40-man roster to avoid possible selection in the Rule 5 draft.

@KCOracle Myers looked totally over matched by Coleman (less so with Guthrie).What is word on projection for him? Could Moore be right?

It was one game. But Wil Myers is sliding at the moment and appears to be going through that phase that nearly all players, even the really good ones, go through. The league has adjusted to him, and now he needs to adjust.

The word on Myers among those who played with him here in the minors was he could punish fastballs and bad breaking balls. But he was vulnerable to good off-speed pitches and showed no inclination to adjust his approach.

For what it’s worth, and from what limited looks I’ve had, I see Myers as a natural hitter who will make those adjustments. I think he will be a good player (maybe better than good) for a long time. It’s no guarantee, though.

The sophomore jinx is a real phenomenon, although it’s not a jinx as much as the league adjusting to a player. The player then needs to adjust back. Again, I think Myers will do so. But, again, no guarantee.

@huskerdkb wouldn't it make more sense to flip Gordon and Bonifacio in the batting order?

I can see where you’re probably going with this, but the Royals scored 17 runs in the last two games. I wouldn’t mess too much with that order.

@jbryanlarson Will Shields be approached about an extension this offseason? What is likelihood it is agreed to?

The Royals are likely to show interest in an extension, but I think it would have to an overwhelming offer for Shields not to play out his contract next year and test the market.

Assuming he has a typical Shields year, he should be able to do so at minimal risk because the Royals would likely make a qualifying offer. (That figures to be $14 million or more for one year.)

I just don’t see a lot of upside for Shields to sign an extension at this point unless he’s overwhelmed. And I don’t see the Royals overwhelming him.

@ColeClaybournMI Do you think Justin Marks will be a September call-up?

It’s possible because he’s on the 40-man roster, but I think it’s less likely than several other players.

@cyrusthevirus85 has there been any talk about plans for next year? I.E. additions or subtractions.Or is the focus all on completing this year

Not much talk in public yet about next year. But any fan can identify their main area of need: More pop. That probably means a corner outfielder. That doesn’t meant they find one, but I’d expect them to mount a strong search.

They also need to solve their hole at second base — although that could be Emilio Bonifacio. And if Ervin Santana departs, I’d expect them to look hard to add a starting pitcher.

If Santana signs elsewhere, that opens up some salary space. The Royals could pursue another one-year rental by taking on payroll that another team is looking to dump.

@foxxman531 Is the team going to call players up from AAA like Duffy Ventura if Omaha is in a pennant race or in play-offs?

I don’t think they’d hesitate to summon someone for if a need arises, but the Royals’ history (as it is with most clubs) is to support their affiliates in postseason.

So I don’t think they’ll strip players from Omaha just to have them sit the bench or occupy mop-up spots at the back of the bullpen.

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