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“Sauer Notes” Kansas City Royals 2016 Outlook

This week we will browse over the defending champions Kansas City Royals, and their outlook for the upcoming season. After losing out on in 2014, the Royals returned to the World Series where they would be taking it home for the second time in their storied 47 year history. trophy

The key to their success was the depth and strength of their bullpen. The Royals finished 3rd in the AL in ERA (3.73) and 1st in bullpen ERA (2.72) with the second most saves (56) in the American League. Wade Davis will take over as closer after RP Greg Holland had TJ surgery. Kansas City didn’t offer Holland a contract for 2016. RP Joakim Soria was added to replace him on the roster. They lost RP Ryan Madsen to the A’s. Their starting rotation will have a chance to have four strong starters – Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Kris Medlen, and Danny Duffy. Last season Ventura underachieved and Duffy didn’t appear to be healthy. Medlen should turn into asset after being limited over the last two years due to a pair of TJ surgeries. The 5th starting job looks wide open and there have been some reports of the Royals adding a 5th option via free agency. Their offense finished 6th in the AL in runs (724) and 14th in HRs (139). Kansas City’s starting lineup looks pretty much intact other than releasing OF Alex Rios and 2B/OF Ben Zobrist signing with the Cubs. They added C Tony Cruz to backup C Salvador Perez. All in all, the bullpen and offense takes a slight hit while still offering upside by continued growth by a couple of key players. Their starting rotation may need to squeeze an extra inning per game in 2016 to make another run at a World Championship.

Starting Rotation

  1. Yorduna Ventura- yoVentura fell short of expectations as he was off his game early in the year (4.68 after 12 starts with 54 Ks in 67.1 innings). He got himself in trouble in multiple games early in the season by drilling batters and acting like a punk. His lack off success led to a trip back to AAA where he made two starts (four runs and 12 base runners in 9.1 innings with nine Ks). When he returned to the majors, he was bombed in three of his next five starts (21 runs and 43 base runners in 28 innings) pushing his ERA to 5.29. Over his last 11 starts of the year, Ventura went 6-1 with a 2.38 ERA with 81 Ks in 68 innings. He had three double digit K games in his last eight starts. HIs arm had no value in the playoffs over five games (15 runs and 36 base runners in 21 innings with 22 Ks). He had a slight edge over RH (.240) and LH (.255) batters. HIs K rate (8.6) was a career high in the majors by one strikeout. His walk rate (3.2) was a career low but gained minimal value. Ventura’s fastball (96.3) remains elite with his curveball (.175 BAA) gaining value at the expense of his changeup (244 BAA) and cutter (.345). Batters had no problem with his four-seam fastball (.325 with a .563 SLG). Upside arm with high K ability, but he needs his command in the strikeout zone to take a step forward to becoming an elite arm. Excellent chance at 15+ wins due to the strength of the Royals bullpen with 175 Ks well within reach. His resume points to an ERA under 3.50 with whip risk. If he repeats his late 2015 thought process, a sub 3.00 ERA is very possible. With an ADP of about 176 he is guy you can look to nab as your 4-5, that offers some upside. Although, there are some names like Tajuain Walker and Carlos Rodon who are in that same vicinity that I would rather have.
  2. Edison Volquez- Volquez didn’t post a season as high as 2014 (3.04 ERA and 1.23 whip), but he did have a slight improvement in his K rate (3.2) and walk rate (7.0). He allowed two runs or fewer in 19 of his 33 starts. He had an ERA under 4.00 in each of the first five months of the season (3.27 ERA with 124 Ks in 165.1 innings). He faded in September (4.89 ERA). His best edge came against lefties (.240) with just above league average success against RH batters (.262). Surprisingly, his AFB (93.7) had the most velocity since 2009. His changeup (.194 BAA) and curveball (.212 BAA) rank pretty closely with his changeup gaining the most value in 2015. Volquez gets in the most trouble with his two-seam fastball (.297 BAA with a .467 SLG). Over five starts in the playoffs, he had 3.77 ERA with 23 Ks in 28.2 innings. In his major league career, he is 79-68 with a 4.29 ERA and 1,090 Ks in 1,243.0 innings. His secondary stuff has always graded highly, which was showcased by his 2008 season (17-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 206 Ks in 196.0 innings), but walks are his Achilles heel. Over the last two seasons, he’s thrown more strikes, yet his walk rate still ranks below the league average. He’s done enough in 2014 and 2015 for a Fantasy owner to trust that his game won’t have a huge regression without an injury. Sub 3.50 ERA with 150 Ks and low teens in wins. With an ADP of 255 you are really just hoping to strike some gold to round out your pitching staff.
  3. Ian Kennedy-  The Royals added Ian Kennedy to their starting rotation in mid January after signing a five-year $70 million contract. He had a tough start to 2015 when he suffered a left hamstring injury in his first start of the year (no runs in 2.1 innings). When he returned to the rotation two weeks later, Kennedy was lit up for eight runs and nine base runners in 4.1 innings. Over his first eight starts, he had four disaster games leading to a 7.15 ERA on May 28th (12 HRs allowed in 39 innings). Over the next three months in 16 starts, he pitched at a high level (2.63 ERA with 93 Ks in 95.2 innings). His success was real erratic in September (1st and last start > three runs in 13 iniannings with 23 Ks – in his other four starts > 18 runs and 38 base runners in 20.2 innings). His K rate (9.3) matched his career high with growth in his walk rate (2.8). His failure was clearly tied to the long ball (1.7 per 9). His AFB (91.8) was above his career average (90.4), but a step below his 2014 success (91.8). His mistakes were tied his fastball (21 in 341 at bats). Kennedy throws a curveball (.300 BAA) and changeup (.242 BAA) pretty closely as his second and third pitches plus a cutter. Decent major league arm with some K ability. Over 2+ seasons in San Diego, he had a 3.96 ERA. I have a hard time believing he will have a sub 4.00 ERA in the American League plus he tends to allow too many walks leading to some whip risk. Upside innings eater with a chance at 175 Ks. Normally, a move away from the friendly confines of Petco Park has a negative impact on pitchers (even though Petco had become more hitter friendly after they moved the fences in). But, it remains a pitcher’s park due to its extreme strikeout rate of 1.058. The move to Kansas City where Kennedy’s home starts will be in Kauffman stadium may bode well for his HR/9.  It is the third largest field in terms of square footage, so it  does not gave a lefty or righty batter any significant advantage in power. With an ADP of 244 I would have no problem snagging him really late as a bench player and use him as a streamable SP 5-7.
  4. Kris Medlen- Medlen wasn’t really worth the wait for the Fantasy owners that drafted him and carried him all season in 2015. His K rate was short in the majors (6.2) and the minors (5.9) while falling below his career resume in the majors (7.5). His walk rate (2.8) was worthy of the big leagues, but it fell below his previous success (2.2). He had two disaster games (13 runs and 22 base runners in 9.1 innings with seven Ks in 9.1 innings) in his eight starts with the Royals. Medlen was a better pitcher against LH batter (.239), but he allowed 16 of 18 walks to them. His AFB (91.0) was in line with his best seasons in the majors. Both his changeup and curveball had more velocity, which may have led to less results due to overthrowing his pitches. Medlen struggled the most locating his two-seam fastball (.321 with a .462 SLG). Kris has one and half seasons of plus pitching on his major league resume (26-13 with a 2.47 ERA), which was supported by his minor league success (16-12 with a 2.66 ERA and 295 Ks in 270.2 innings). Solid backend flier with his ERA and whip being his biggest assets. Double digit wins with a 3.50 ERA and a ceiling of 150 Ks. Holding an ADP of about 325, so if you are in a deeper league, Medlen is definitely a player you can take a shot on and have some possible return value if all goes well.
  5. Danny Duffy- dufftDuffy didn’t look healthy early in the season, which led to a 5.87 ERA over his first eight starts, with 20 Ks and 19 walks in 38.1 innings. He landed on the DL in mid May with a bum left shoulder that led to five missed weeks. It appeared he was over- throwing in April and May based on the plus velocity (95+) in his fastball. Over 13 starts in June, July, and August, Duffy had a 3.21 ERA with a weak K rate (42 in 75.2 innings). The Royals moved him to the bullpen after one start in September. As a reliever, his arm looked electric (no runs in 8.1 innings with 12 Ks and two walks). His AFB (93.8) was his highest rate since 2012. He bagged his curveball for a slider while his changeup remained his third pitch. His walk rate (3.5) continues to hurt his upside and his K rate (6.7) had been on the decline. He struggled with RH batters (.271 with 46 of 53 walks in 409 at bats). Batters couldn’t hit his four-seam fastball (.209) in 2014 with much more success in 2015 (.266). Overall, his changeup (.309 BAA with a .546 SLG) isn’t really an asset (2014 – .278 with a .537 SLG). Duffy did a much better job keeping the ball down leading to a career low FB rate (36.5 – 41.2 in his career). Solid lefty arm with a weak third pitch and command issues. His stuff had success in 2014 with the exception of a low strikeouts. Duffy was a highlight touted prospect, which still gives him a chance to become a front of the rotation arm. The Royals play solid defense with a strong bullpen so he really only needs to pitch six innings to have winning value. Really a coin flip for me, 3.50 ERA with a chances at 150 Ks with a bump in innings pitched.

Relievers/Closers

  1. Wade Davis (CL)- With Holland no longer in the picture, Davis has an explosive opportunity as a closer for the Royals this season. Over the lwadeast two years, he has a 0.969 ERA with batters only hitting .148 against him, with three HRs allowed in 481 at bats. His walk rate (2.7) was a career best, but his K rate (10.4) lost value after his elite 2014 season (13.6). His AFB (95.9) was a career best with batters only hitting .154 against it. He throws a plus cutter (.132 BAA) and high value curveball (.146). In eight appearances in the playoffs, Davis didn’t allow a run in 10.2 innings, with four SVs and 18 Ks. Exciting player in 2016 with league leading save upside, with a chance at 100+ Ks and an elite ERA and whip. Possible first closer off the board in 2016 even with a short resume in the 9th inning.
  2. Kelvin Herrera (RP)- Herrera continues to underachieve. His walk rate (3.4) has been trickling backwards over the last three seasons with a slight step up in his K rate (8.3). He dominates lefties (.151) with only a slight edge against RH batters (.256 with three HRs allowed in 133 at bats). His AFB (98.1) is one of the best in the game. His only other pitch of value is a changeup. Batters have a tough time hitting his fastball (.213) and changeup (.170) so Herrera could take a Wade Davis step forward if he throws more strikes. He’s more explosive than Soria so Herrera could earn plus wins in the bullpen in 2016. Future closer who still needs to work on his command.
  3. Joakim Soria (RP)-joa Soria went from draft day value to fools gold when he was traded to the Pirates in late July. He pitched at an elite level over the first two months of the year (1.27 ERA with two wins, 15 SVs, and 17 Ks in 21.1 innings). His game faded in June (six runs and 18 base runners in 10.1 innings) while losing his command in July (eight walks in 10.1 innings with a 3.48 ERA). Soria regained his form in the National League (2.10 ERA with 27 Ks in 25.2 innings). He struggled with lefties (.266 with five HRs in 124 at bats) while dominating RH batters (.177). HIs AFB (92.2) was a career high. His slider (.083 BAA) remained his number two pitch followed by a slow curveball (.175) and changeup (.156). His secondary pitches still grade as a huge edge so he still has closer upside if Davis has an issue. Soria has 202 career saves in his resume with a 2.57 ERA.

Projected Lineup

  1. Alcides Escobar (SS)- The Royals gave Escobar 131 starts as the leadoff hitter in 2015 leading to below par results (.259 with three HRs, 42 RBI, and 16 SBs in 549 at bats). He had a weak on base percentage (.293 – .298 in his career). His walk rate (3.9) is one of the weakest in the game. Escobar had less value in steals (17) with a low AVH (.1261) and CTBA (.292). His K rate (11.3) and RBI (16) were his only two assets. Escobar didn’t have one month in 2015 where he delivered impact stats. Over the first half, he hit .290 with two HRs, 33 RBI, and five SBs in 317 at bats. His bat lost value after the All Star break (.220 with one HR, 14 RBI, and 12 SBs in 295 at bats). His FB rate (29.9) remains short while falling in line with his career average. His HR/FB rate (1.9) barely has a pulse. His skill set is extremely weak for a leadoff hitter and Escobar should bat at the bottom of the batting order. His only real asset is speed and it hasn’t progress as expected. Last year a concussion, a finger issue, and an elbow injury led to 14 missed games. he would need 35+ steals to at least be a consideration for me.
  2. Lorenzo Cain (OF)- Cain spent almost all of the 2015 season as the number three hitter for the Royals where he hit .298 with 14 HRs, 66 RBI, and 27 SB in 557 at bats. Just like the top two options in the batting order, he looked misplaced as the third hitter in the batting order. His speed (28 SBs) remained a strong part of his skill set with growth in his RBI rate (18). His lack of RBI was due to low chances (343), created by low on base percentages by Escobar (.293) and Moustakas (.348). His K rate (16.2) gained 5.3 perccAINentage points from 2015 while his walk rate (6.1) came in at his career average. Cain was very good vs. LH pitching (.335 with seven HRs, 26 RBI, and eight SBs in 185 at bats) with solid success against righties (.292 with nine HRs, 46 RBI, and 20 SBs in 366 at bats). He only had one short month of production (May – .267 with one HR, eight RBI, and three SBs in 90 at bats). Over the last four months of 2015, he hit .311 with 13 HRs, 52 RBI, and 19 SBs in 379 at bats). Cain had growth in his FB rate (31.3) and a spike in his HR/FB rate (11.2 – 5.3 in 2014). Misplaced number three hitter and he could lose that opportunity in 2016. His game is trending upward and he has enough assets to offset some declines in some areas. His strong run rate (49) points to him moving up in the batting order. Overall, I see an edge in batting average with a 15/25 skill set, which is much higher than I thought headed into 2015.
  3. Eric Hosmer (1B)- Hosmer had a nice season in 2015, but he still lacks the components to be an impact hitter. His average hit (AVH – 1.545) remains well below the best power hitting first baseman in the league. He had growth in his RBI rate (17) while getting plus chances (457). His speed (seven SBs) has shown more regression than upside. His K rate (16.2) was above his career average (15.7) for the second straight year. His walk rate (9.2) is rising with a chance of being a nice asset in the near future. He was very good against RH pitching (.310 with 13 HRs and 63 RBI in 355 at bats – .501 SLG) with above the league average success vs. lefties (.279 with four HRs and 30 RBI in 244 at bats). Hosmer played his best ball over the last three months of the year (.303 with 10 HRs, 53 RBI, and three SBs in 327 at bats). His swing path still produces too many ground balls (52.2 – 51.9 in his career). This led to a career low FB rate (24.4). He had a bump in power due to a career high HR/FB rate (15.1). His bat was pretty quiet in the playoffs (.212 with one HR and 17 RBI in 66 at bats). He projects as the best bat on the Royals leading to him hitting 3rd in the batting order in the near future. It’s tough to predict a power spike without a change in his swing. Hosmer should hit over .300 with 20+ HRs. 90+ RBI, and 10+ SBs.
  4. Kendrys Morales (DH)ken – Morales was a key add by the Royals in 2015. He turned into a clutch hitter with high success with runners on base (RBI rate – 20). All of which were on display looking at the picture here as he rounds the bases after his homer that pretty much ended the ALDS. His K rate (16.1) was his best for a full season of at bats while showing growth in his walk rate (9.1 – career high). He had steady power (three HRs per months) over the first five months of the year with a nice spike in September (.316 with seven HRs and 16 RBI). His swing was productive against both RB (.284 with 18 HRs and 65 RBI in 331 at bats) and LH (.298 with four HRs and 41 RBI in 238 at bats) pitching. His FB rate (34.7) has been low in the last five seasons, but it is trending upward. His HR/FB rate (13.5) was well below his best seasons with the Angels (2009 – 18.1, 2010 – 21.6, and 2011 – 21.0). Morales has four seasons on his resume with 480 at bats or more. In each season, he had over 20 HRs. His success wasn’t a fluke. He has more underlying power with an uptick in his HR/FB rate and a few more fly balls. Solid chance at .280+ BA with 25+ HRs and 100+ RBI. His only strike is that he will only qualify at DH in most formats.
  5. Mike Moustakas (3B)- Kansas City had enough confidence in Moustakas’s upside to bat him second in the batting order for 94 games in 2015 (.280 with 10 HRs, 40 RBI, and one SB in 364 at bats). His success was driven by a much higher contact batting average (.330) leading to growth in his RBI rate (18). His K rate (12.4) was a career low while his walk rate (7.0) fell in line with 2014, but it remained below the league average. His bat was a slight edge vs. lefties (.282 with 10 HRs and 35 RBI in 206 at bats) and righties (.286 with 12 HRs and 47 RBI in 343 at bats). He hit over .280 in every month except July (.188 with three HRs and eight RBI in 85 at bats). His swing path has become more balanced over the last two years, but his HR/FB rate (11.2 – career high) still ranks well below the best homerun hitters in the game. In his short career, Moustakas has six career post-season HRs in 117 at bats. Developing skill set with a strong minor league resume (.284 with 85 HRs, 340 RBI, and 21 SBs in 1,767 at bats) pointing to more upside in power. His bat has enough strength to hit in the middle of the Royals lineup. Possible .300 batting average with 30 HRs and 100 RBI, with a middle of the lineup opportunity and growth of his HR/FB rate. Solid investment as the 12th third baseman off the board in 2016.
  6. Alex Gordon (OF)- Gordon was battling a wrist issue late in Spring Training leading to his price point falling in drafts with concern that he would start the year on the DL. His swing was pretty much empty over his first 10 games (.219 with no HRs and four RBI in 32 at bats) before catching fire over the last part of April (.382 with three HRs and nine RBI in 34 at bats). Gordon lacked upside over the next 10 weeks (.271 with eight HRs and 26 RBI in 192 at bats). He landed on the DL in early July with a strained left grgordonoin costing him seven weeks of the season. His September was pretty uneventful (.250 with two HRs and seven RBI). Over 54 at bats in the playoffs, he hit .241 with two HRs and six RBI. His K rate (21.8) had regression while his walk rate (11.6) remains an asset. In his career, Gordon has a .348 slugging percentage (.377), which is much stronger than Alcides Escobar. I believe he should bat higher in the batting order with the best available slot being leadoff. He handles himself well vs. lefties (.280 with five HRs and 17 RBI in 125 at bats). He had a career high HR/FB rate (13.0) and it has improved in each of his last three seasons. Neutral hitter with 20 HRs power and double digit speed. His runs tend to be an asset with more upside if the Royals bat him at the top of the lineup. Nice solid major league player with a fair price point in 2016.
  7. Salvador Perez (C)- Perez has been a steady RBI guy from the catching position over the last three seasons with growth in his AVH (1.667) leading to a career high in HRs (21). His batting average (.260) has been flat in back-to-back years after flashing upside early in his career. His K rate (14.8) is relatively low, but it was a career high while treading upward in each of the last three seasons. It appears he is trading average for power. His walk rate (2.4) was the lowest of his career with no signs of upside. He faded badly in his career vs. LH pitching (2012 – .358 with a .642 SLG, 2013 – .317 with a .518 SLG, 2014 – .226 with a .346 SLG, and 2015 – .215 with a .337 SLG). He did most of his damage against righties (.281 with 17 HRs and 53 RBI in 359 at bats). Perez had an empty power surge in June (.250 with seven HRs and nine RBI). He hit 15 HRs in 298 at bats before the All Star break (six in 233 at bats in the second half). His FB rate (37.4) has been above his career average (35.4) in the last two seasons with a spike in his HR/FB rate (12.4 – 10.3 in his career). He is a talented young catcher with developing power. His quest for HRs has hurt his upside in batting average, plus lefties have figured out how to get him out. For him to take a further step forward, he needs to be less aggressive at the plate while finding his early magic vs. lefties. Low runs with 20+ HR power due to high volume of at bats, with a chance of being an edge in batting average.
  8. Omar Infante (2B)- The Royals didn’t respect Infante in 2015 leading to a trade for Ben Zobrist. Infante set career highs in his K rate (15.2) and a career low in his walk rate (2.0). His swing was so weak that he hit only .261 when he put the ball in play. From May through Augomarust, he only hit .209 with one HR, 28 RBI, and two SBs in 359 at bats. He was worthless vs. lefties (.228) and righties (.217). His HR/FB rate (1.4) was the lowest for his career with over 400 at bats and his bar was never that high (2013 – 6.5). He had bone chips removed from his right elbow last November, which bothered him all season. He finished the year with an oblique issue and he started the season with a groin issue. Real tough to believe Infante is an every day player going forward. His only positive was that he had a strong RBI rate (17). Fading speed with no power means avoid at all costs on draft day.
  9. Jarrod Dyson/Paulo Orlando (OF)- With Rios no longer on the roster, the Royals have one opening in the starting outfield. I would imagine they sign someone in free agency before Spring Training. Dyson is a high upside in speed if he ever had a bump in at bats. His K rate (16.4) was a career best in 2015, but has walk rate (6.2) was a career worst. His bat had no value vs. LH pitching (.222 with a .278 SLG) and below average value against RH pitching (.256 with two HRs, 14 RBI, and 23 RBI in 164 at bats). Last year he had 50 at bats or fewer in each month, which makes him tough to time for speed in leagues with weekly moves. Dyson is a high volume GB hitter (58.9 in his career), but he hit the lowest amount of ground balls in has career in 2015 (53.9). His FB rate (22.7) was below his career average (23.7) while setting a career high in his HR/FB rate (5.7). Slap hitter with no real chance at getting full time at bats. Paulo Orlando was given 241 at bats in the majors in 2015 leading to seven HRs, 27 RBI, and three SBs as he seemed to jump Dyson as a long term injury fill in. Orlando is a journeyman player (30 years old) who hit .275 in his minor league career with 66 HRs, 431 RBI, and 209 SBs in 3,896 at bats. Based on 2015, he shouldn’t be dismissed as an option in right field if the Royals don’t add another bat.

Bench Options

  1. Christian Colon (2B)- With Infante at the end of his career, Colon may be an option for the Royals in 2016 at seconccd base. Over six seasons in the minors, he hit .281 with 38 HRs, 249 RBI, and 71 SBs in 2,104 at bats. Over parts of four seasons at AAA, he hit .289 with 22 HRs, 127 RBI, and 38 SB in 1,065 at bats. Colon could offer a 10/15 seasonwith a neutral batting average with a full season of at bats. His K rate (9.1) has been an asset for most of his career with a league average walk rate (7.9). Possible bench flier in an AL only league, but his bar and opportunity really is that high.
  2. Cheslor Cuthbert (2B)- Cheslor Cuthbert will compete for playing time at second base. He hit .259 in his minor league career with 49 HRs, 299 RBI, and 31 SBs in 2,208 at bats. His K rate (16.6) and walk rate (8.6) are in a strong enough range where may be able to handle the jump to the majors. Possible 15 HRs power with low level speed.

Prospects

  1. Raul Mondesi (SS)-mondassi Mondesi became the first-ever player to debut in the World Series, which tells you little about what kind of prospect he is. His main value comes from what he can do with the leather, but there is some offensive upside here, too. He possesses above-average bat speed and a clean, line-drive stroke from both sides of the plate, which would make the hit tool above average if he had a semblance of patience. His aggressiveness leads to poor walk totals and more swing-and-miss than you’d want from a hitter with only 40 pop. His double-plus speed does make him a threat to steal 50 bags per year if he’s on base enough, and also allows him to take extra bases that other players with average speed could not. The reason Mondesi is an upper-echelon prospect is his potential value with the glove. The aforementioned speed gives him elite range, and his ability to get the ball out quickly helps his cannon arm play up, making him a potential star at the position. He has cut down on his errors, both mental and physical, but there are times when he’s moving too fast, which leads to some silly throws and/or flubs with the glove. As one executive put it, Mondesi just “needs to learn to calm the hell down.” If he can, he’s a potential All-Star, but if not, he’s more of a bottom-of-the-order hitter who still provides value with his legs and glove.
  2. Kyle Zimmer (RHP)- Older brother of Bradley, who was mentioned in last week’s Indians’ prospects to keep an eye on. When healthy, Zimmer will show as complete an arsenal as any prospect in the game, led by a four-seam fastball that will sit 92-95 mph with movement and touch higher. His bread and butter is a hammer curveball that he can locate for strikes, take out of the zone to generate swings-and-misses, or use to coax ground balls. Those two pitches alone would make him a quality prospect, but he also features an above-average slider that flashes plus with hard tilt, along with a solid-average change for good measure. He repeats his delivery, and he throws all four pitches for strikes to all parts of the plate. So why isn’t a pitcher with this kind of stuff and above-average command on top of this list? Because Zimmer can’t stay healthy, and there are serious doubts about whether he ever will for long. He’s missed time now with elbow, lat, and shoulder issues. He has yet to throw more than 109 innings in any of his three-plus seasons as a professional (only 217 in his career). If he can keep the arm intact, he’s a top-of-the-rotation guy, but no one would blame the Royals for moving him to the bullpen and seeing just how dominant that stuff could be in a high-leverage role.

If you want to further the discussion on the defending champs, find me on twitter; @zaksauer

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Major League Fantasy Baseball Weekly Show: Join Lou Landers and Kyle Amore live on Thursday March 10th, 2016 from 8-10pm EST for episode #4 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Weekly. We will discuss player positions and help prepare you for the coming draft season. This will run every Thursday as a live broadcast that will take live callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. This week we will discuss the short stop and 2nd base players to target or avoid in 2016.

This week’s guests are Marc Foster and Nick DeSisto. Marc was a writer with us in 2012 and 2013. He is one the original 8 core members who has been playing in our leagues since 2008 and he will be a frequent guest on our shows this year. Nick is going into his 3rd year as an MLFB owner and he will also be a frequent radio guest this year.

Come join a lively debate!

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(Click the RED link below to listen to the show)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Show: Join Corey D Roberts on Sunday March 13th, 2016 from 7-9pm EST for this week’s episode of the Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show. We are a live call in radio show so we encourage callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We begin the division by division break downs with everything fantasy and MLB relevant in the A.L. East.

Our guests this week are Zak Sauer and Hernan Batista. Zak is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com. Hernan is a key owner in our leagues and will be a regular guest on our shows this year.

Come join a lively debate!

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