The Royals may have already locked up their first-round pick

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Thumbnail image for royals1.jpgAccording to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals “are thought to be close” to a deal with University of Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal to be the fourth pick of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft on Monday.

Other outlets, including Frankie Pilere of AOL Fanhouse, are suggesting that the Royals may already have an agreement in place with the 21-year-old. Grandal batted .422/.545/.754 with 14 home runs for the Hurricanes this season. He is highly-regarded for his abilities behind the plate and is projected to arrive to the majors rather quickly.

There’s little doubt by now that the Nationals will take Bryce Harper with the No. 1 pick. The Pirates, who hold the second pick in the draft, are reportedly deciding between shortstop Manny Machado or right-hander Jameson Taillon. The Orioles, who pick third, will likely take whoever the Pirates don’t. Therefore, it’s fairly certain that Grandal will still be there when the Royals make their selection.

By the way, get ready. We’ll have plenty more coverage of the draft on Monday.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.