Dara’s Dugout: Next Man Up


Dara Avi

What a week! The Royals just completed a wild sweep of the Chicago White Sox and have taken sole possession of first place in the AL Central. The Omaha call-ups brought some magic with them to the majors.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Next Man Up”, but I don’t think I’ve seen a better display of it then what’s happening for the Royals right now. When I found out that Alex  Gordon was put on the 15 day DL with a broken wrist and Mike Moustakas is out for the season with a torn ACL, my heart dropped into my stomach. Next, came the news that Kendrys Morales had a sprained middle finger. Fortunately, that turned out to only be a minor issue. But then, Salvador Perez was injured in a collision with Cheslor Cuthbert. Even more “good” news there, it looks like Salvy will only be out 7 to 10 days. For most teams, these types of injuries could turn a season into a nightmare. For the Royals, it has brought a renewed energy

Don’t look now, Whit Merrfield has a hit in all 8 games that he’s started as a Royal. He is batting .361 with 13 hits in 36 at bats. Don’t even get me started on Brett Eibner! My goodness! He looks like he’s been on this team as long as Eric Hosmer. In 3 games, he has 5 hits in 11 at bats. He’s batting .455. He has shown an absolutely incredible amount of plate patience. During his MLB debut on Friday night, he delivered a double that was the start of a Royals comeback win in the 7th. Then, on Saturday, he singled to give the Royals an INSANE walk off win. I’m still fired-up from Saturday’s game. It was one of the most exciting, regular season games of my life. On Sunday, Eibner had another multi-hit game, including the excellent plate appearance where he drew a walk in a bases loaded situation. Cheslor Cuthbert made his own mark when he drove in the go-ahead run. For the Royals, it was another comeback win…one that gave them sole possession of first place in the AL Central.

The comeback kids are at it again! Is it magic? I don’t even really know what to call it, but what I do know is that Cheslor Cuthbert, Brett Eibner, Whit Merrifield and Drew Butera are giving this Royals team life. They’re taking the opportunity they’ve been given and making the most of it. When we look back at the end of the season, this type of magic could be the turning point. It could be exactly what the Royals needed to get rolling. Of course, I would never wish injury on anyone, but I’m happy to see the weapons that the Royals have in their arsenal.

Looking Ahead: Tonight, the Royals begin a 3-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. It will be Ian Kennedy (4-3. 3.38 ERA) facing Matt Andriese (3-0, 2.63 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:15.

Weekly Cy Young pick: Jake Arrieta

Sock 101 Giveaway

Congratulations, Ashley Homan,  you’re the winner of my Sock101 giveaway! Message me for details.

ICYMI: Here are some of the best creations from @ConradMcGorkin  during the last week:

Questions? Comments? Leave one below or stalk Dara on @sprotstakes  or @sportswithdara

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