Royals predictably aren't playing Kila Ka'aihue

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When the Royals called up Kila Ka’aihue from Triple-A last week I wondered if they’d actually play him, guessing that the answer would be no because … well, they are the Royals after all.
Sure enough, Ka’aihue has started just once in five games since the call-up. Now, in fairness to the Royals they have Billy Butler at first base and Jose Guillen at designated hitter, so finding at-bats for Ka’aihue isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
However, in fairness to logic the Royals are 11-21 and have zero chance of even finishing .500 this season, so playing the 26-year-old Ka’aihue makes far more long-term sense than starting Guillen and Scott Podsednik every day. Unlike those two 34-year-olds, Ka’aihue might actually be part of the Royals’ next above-.500 team (assuming, of course, that such a team will eventually exist).
If any team is in position to give a 26-year-old career minor leaguer a chance to show whether he can hit big-league pitching it’s certainly the Royals and Ka’aihue has hit .283 with a .426 on-base percentage, .534 slugging percentage, and 35 percent more walks than strikeouts over the past three seasons at Double-A and Triple-A.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.