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Royals fire hitting coach Pedro Grifol, name Dale Sveum as replacement


Kansas City ranks dead last among AL teams in home runs, slugging percentage, OPS, and runs scored, and today the Royals fired hitting coach Pedro Grifol and replaced him with former Cubs manager Dale Sveum.

Grifol took over as hitting coach in July of last season after George Brett stepped down from the job and ends up lasting less than a year, which is nothing new for the Royals. Sveum is their sixth hitting coach since 2012 and shifts over to the new role from third base coach on manager Ned Yost’s staff.

For whatever it’s worth: Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that Grifol was technically reassigned rather than being fired.

Wilmer Flores lost 10 pounds due to strep throat

Wilmer Flores
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“Strength and conditioning coaches hate him! Learn this baseball player’s one weird trick for shedding pounds overnight!”

Oh, wait. This is not a weird trick. This is horrible:


Flores will be on the NLDS roster, of course, but it will likely keep him on the bench a great deal. Here’s hoping he’s feeling better soon.

John Lackey to start Game 1 of the NLDS for the Cardinals

John Lackey
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St. Louis has decided on John Lackey as the Game 1 starter in the NLDS versus the winner of tonight’s Wild Card game, manager Mike Matheny announced.

Lackey led the Cardinals in starts (33) and innings (218) this season while posting a 2.77 ERA and 175/53 K/BB ratio with 21 homers allowed.

Carlos Martinez being out for the playoffs with a shoulder injury took a big rotation option away from Matheny, but Lackey has a 3.10 ERA in 43 starts since joining the Cardinals in mid-2014 and also has a 3.08 ERA in 117 career postseason innings.

He’ll face either the Cubs or the Pirates, in St. Louis. No word yet on the order, but Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, and Jaime Garcia figure to follow Lackey in the rotation.