K.C. Columnist: trade Greinke and Soria for prospects

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Zack Greinke headshot.jpgMy dad gave me one dollar bill ‘Cause I’m his smartest son, and I swapped it for two shiny quarters ’cause two is more than one.  And then I took the quarters and traded them to Lou for three dimes — I guess he don’t know that three is more than two:

In an American League Central that features four more talented teams than the Royals, it’s time to shake things up. Trade Zack Greinker and Joakim Soria

The Royals’ two most popular and talented players, the trades would leave many fans disappointed. However, it could also leave the Royals’ cupboard stacked with young
talent and within five years, the Royals could be a prime-time
contending team.

Even if we were to assume that the Royals should trade their best players for prospects — which I wouldn’t assume, but play along — do you really want to trust Dayton Moore to be the one to turn them into prospect gold? I sure wouldn’t.

Maybe you try to trade Soria — that is, if you determine that doing something fun like turning him into a starter won’t work — but if the Royals can’t at least pretend to build around Zack Greinke they should just pack it in and merge with the Cardinals or something.

Giancarlo Stanton dented the outfield wall in Marlins Park

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If we haven’t said it before, it bears repeating: When it comes to pure muscle mass and power, no major league player rivals the sheer force of Giancarlo Stanton. His record-setting 504-foot home run in 2016 has yet to be bested in the Statcast era (though it narrowly beat out Jake Arrieta‘s 503-foot blast in 2015, because baseball is weird), he broke the Dodgers’ outfield fence on an attempted catch at the wall last Sunday, and he carries 25 home runs that have each exceeded 460 feet.

It should come as little surprise, then, that when Stanton muscled his 12th home run of the season against the Angels on Friday night, it not only hit the batter’s eye, but left a visible dent in the wall:

Stanton’s mammoth shot put the Marlins on the board in the first inning, setting the stage for a four-run effort that gave the club an early lead. The home run measured a cool 462 feet, the slugger’s longest of the season. He still has a little ways to go to catch up to the 2017 season leader, Jake Lamb, whose 481-foot home run against the Rockies currently leads the pack.

The next item on Stanton’s bucket list? If we’re lucky, maybe something a little like this:

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.