News: Ventura gave up four runs over just four innings in Kansas City's 6-4 win over the White Sox on Sunday.
Impact: Ventura's season ended on a somewhat sour note. He had been 7-2 with a 2.08 ERA over his previous 10 starts before Sunday.
News: Butler was 2 for 2 with his 32nd double in a win over the White Sox on Sunday.
Impact: The Royals are in the AL's wild-card game despite Butler hitting a career-low .271 in 151 contests.
News: Aoki was 2 for 3 against the White Sox on Sunday to close his regular season.
Impact: Aoki hit .370 over his final nine games to raise his season average from .261 to .285.
News: Escobar was 2 for 3 in Sunday's season finale against the White Sox, finishing with a .285 batting average - the second-highest of his career over a full season.
Impact: Escobar enters the postseason on a red-hot stretch, batting .412 over his last 12 contests.
Mon. Sep 29, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Shields will start Tuesday's AL Wild Card game against the Athletics, Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports.
Impact: Shields was expected to start this game, so no surprises here. He will face Jon Lester in Kansas City for the chance to move into the ALDS against the Angels. Shields owns a 14-8 record with a 3.41 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 180 strikeouts over 227 innings heading into the postseason.
Louis Coleman - #31 - Pitcher - 6'4" - 202lbs
Sep 28, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Coleman pitched a scoreless ninth inning to get the save in a 6-4 win over the White Sox on Sunday.
Impact: After mostly mop-up work in losses, Coleman got the save opportunity Sunday. He's put together three straight scoreless outings. He's had a good September, giving up just three runs in 10.1 innings.
Sep 28, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Ventura allowed four runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out six in four innings in the Royals' 6-4 win over the White Sox on Sunday.
Impact: Ventura has been strong all season, but this was his shortest start since June 28. The eight hits are also the most since Sept. 12. However, he hasn't allowed more than four runs in any start in the last two months.
Sat. Sep 27, 2014 | STATS
News: Guthrie was brilliant Friday.
Impact: Guthrie fired seven scoreless innings and figures to get a shot at being a postseason starter for the playoff-bound Royals.
News: Holland picked up his 46th save of the season on Friday against the White Sox, as he pitched a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout.
Impact: If there's one arm the Royals have been able to count on all season, it's Holland. The Royals' closer is second in saves only to Fernando Rodney who has one more at 47. With a playoff spot locked up and only two games remaining in the season, the Royals may give Holland a rest.
News: Escobar remained hot with the bat on Friday against the White Sox, as he went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the Royals' win.
Impact: As of September 15, Escobar has raised his batting average 10 points from .273 to .283 by going 16-for-36 with five runs, a homer and five RBI. He set the table nicely once again for the Royals on Friday night and remains a solid asset over the last few days of the season.
News: Cain went 1-for-4 with a run scored, a stolen base and one RBI against the White Sox on Friday night.
Impact: The stolen base was Cain's 28th of the season, which is where most of his value is to fantasy owners. Cain (.304/.341/.416) has an outside shot at 30 stolen bases this season, while keeping his batting average around the .300 mark.
News: Guthrie (13-11) pitched seven shutout innings on four hits against the White Sox on Friday night, while striking out six hitters and netting the win.
Impact: It was perfect timing for Guthrie as he helped secure a playoff spot for the Royals with the win. Guthrie has rebounded nicely since his September 8 outing where he gave up eight runs in 2.2 innings pitched. He kept hitters off balance all night, only allowing one baserunner to reach second base. Guthrie was removed from the game after the seventh inning after 93 pitches.
News: Colon (finger) played six innings in an instructional league game Thursday, the Associated Press reports.
Impact: Although it was in a controlled environment, the live action represents Colon's first since he suffered a broken middle finger on his right hand Sept. 2. Colon racked up two hits but GM Dayton Moore did not comment on how his finger felt afterward, and it's not clear if Colon will be included on the team's postseason roster. The 25-year-old Colon has hit .302/.348/.442 in 20 games with the big club this season.
News: Shields did not get a decision as the Royals put themselves on the verge of a playoff spot with a 6-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.
Impact: Shields allowed three runs and five hits, including a two-run homer. His next start will be in the postseason, assuming the Royals do not somehow collapse and choke.
News: Hosmer homered and drove in two runs as the Royals put themselves on the verge of a playoff spot with a 6-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.
Impact: Hosmer had three hits to improve his average to .325 in his last 23 games.
News: Cain had four hits and scored twice as the Royals put themselves on the verge of a playoff spot with a 6-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.
Impact: Cain is sizzling at .333 in his last 26 games.
News: Shields allowed three runs on five hits and two walks in six innings Thursday against the White Sox to wrap up his regular season.
Impact: With this no-decision, Shields finishes 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, although his performance this year was much spottier than those numbers make it sound. Nonetheless, the Royals will be leaning on him in the playoffs, assuming they hold onto their wild-card spot.
News: Hosmer continued his late-season hot streak Thursday against the White Sox, going 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI.
Impact: He's hit in seven straight, notching multiple base knocks in five of those games. And although he still hasn't been hitting many home runs (Thursday's was his first since Sept. 14), Hosmer has rapped out five doubles over the course of this streak. It's not going to be enough to endear him to fantasy owners for next year, though.
News: Cain stayed hot Thursday, going 4-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs.
Impact: He's hit in seven straight games, raising his average to .304 in the process. Fantasy owners who acquired Cain on the cheap can hardly complain about getting a guy who's hit over .300 with 27 steals, although his RBI and run production has been spotty.
News: Vargas had another tough outing in Kansas City's 6-4 loss at Cleveland on Wednesday, giving up four runs over four innings.
Impact: Vargas has given up at least four runs in each of his past four starts, failing to complete more than 5 1-3 innings each time.
News: Butler was 2 for 4 with his 31st double and three RBIs in a 6-4 loss at Cleveland on Wednesday.
Impact: Butler is 7 for 16 over his last four games with five RBIs after going 1 for 19 in his previous six.
News: Hosmer was 2 for 5 with his sixth double in nine games in Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the Indians.
Impact: Hosmer owns an OPS of .718, but he's ending the season in strong fashion with a 1.009 OPS over his last 16 contests.
News: Escobar was 3 for 5 in a 6-4 loss at Cleveland on Wednesday.
Impact: Escobar is a red-hot 15 for 35 over his last eight games.
Josh Willingham - #7 - Left Field - 6'2" - 228lbs
Thu. Sep 25, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Willingham has told people close to him he plans to retire at the end of the season, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Impact: Willingham is in the final season of a three-year, $21 contract and will be a free agent this winter. At age 36 next year and having missed close to 40 percent of his team's games the past two years due to injuries, Willingham apparently has decided to call it quits. However, his mind could change if he gets a large free agent offer or has a strong postseason.
Thu. Sep 25, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Vargas gave up four runs on four hits over four innings in a no-decision against Cleveland on Wednesday.
Impact: The Tribe plated the eventual game-winning run against Brandon Finnegan in the fifth inning, keeping the slim playoff hopes alive for Cleveland and pulling the Royals further away from overtaking the Tigers in the AL Central race. Vargas seems unlikely to start the Wild Card Game next week if the Royals fall short of winning the division, as the rotation order will likely be shuffled to optimize matchups.
Wed. Sep 24, 2014 | STATS
News: Ventura looked like 'Ace Ventura' on the mound Tuesday.
Impact: The hard-throwing Ventura allowed four singles in seven innings and threw a 100 mph fastball on his 104th pitch for his 14th win.
Wed. Sep 24, 2014 | STATS
News: Butler was 2 for 4 with three runs scored Tuesday.
Impact: Butler is still a pathetic 7-for-37 in his last 11 games.
Tue. Sep 23, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Ventura was dynamite Tuesday, tossing seven innings of four-hit, shutout ball in a win over the Indians. He also walked four and fanned six.
Impact: That's two wins in a row for Ventura, who improved to 14-10 with a 3.07 ERA on the season in this one. The 23-year-old sophomore hasn't allowed a home run in his last nine starts and has surrendered just 13 in 186 innings this season, and he's a big reason why the Royals are currently hanging onto the second AL Wild Card spot. Ventura will close out the season Sunday against the White Sox, in a game that may feature K.C.'s playoff spot on the line.
Tue. Sep 23, 2014 | STATS
News: Duffy pitched six shutout innings for his first win in more than a month as Kansas City moved within one game of first-place Detroit and kept some distance over Cleveland in the wild-card race, beating the Indians 2-0 on Monday night.
Impact: Duffy, who had thrown just one pitch in September before the start, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first and held the Indians to six hits. The left-hander had been sidelined since Sept. 6 with a sore shoulder. "I wasn't feeling any pressure," Duffy said.
News: Holland recorded his 44th save of the season Monday against the Indians as he recorded one strikeout in one perfect inning.
Impact: Holland has been spectacular yet again for the Royals as he is only one save away from recording at least 45 saves in back-to-back seasons.
News: Duffy (shoulder) won Monday against the Indians as he allowed six hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts in six scoreless innings.
Impact: Duffy pitched very well in his first start in over two weeks and now has a 2.32 ERA and 1.09 WHIP overall. He may not get another start in the regular season depending on where the Royals stand in the playoff hunt. If they have secured a spot by his next turn, they may hold him back until the playoffs begin.
News: Colon (finger) is unlikely to play again during the regular season, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports.
Impact: Colon hit .302 over 43 at-bats before landing on the DL due to a broken finger. He may have been a candidate to challenge Omar Infante for playing time down the stretch, but it seems as if he won't be back this year unless the Royals make the postseason.
Sun. Sep 21, 2014 | STATS
News: Shields lost for the first time in five starts Saturday, giving up three runs over 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 loss to Detroit.
Impact: Shields still owns an impressive 1.75 ERA over his last five contests.
Sun. Sep 21, 2014 | STATS
News: Escobar was 4 for 5 in a 3-2 loss to Detroit on Saturday.
Impact: Escobar remains red hot, going 11 for 29 with five runs scored over his last seven contests.
News: Guthrie gave up five hits and two runs (with two strikeouts and two walks) in 5.1 innings against Detroit on Sunday.
Impact: It wasn't pretty, but Guthrie did enough to help Kansas City grab a crucial win. Guthrie will take a 4.28 ERA and 1.32 WHIP into Friday's scheduled road assignment against the White Sox.
News: Butler figures to see increased playing time down the stretch, the Kansas City Star reports. "I plan on using him every day from here on out," said manager Ned Yost.
Impact: Butler has been losing playing time at DH to Josh Willingham and Nori Aoki of late, but it appears Yost will ride Butler as the Royals attempt to earn a spot in the postseason. Butler has just two hits in his last 32 at-bats, but he notched two singles and an RBI in Sunday's victory over division rival Detroit. On the season, the 28-year-old is hitting .266 with 60 RBI and nine home runs. He's just two seasons removed from posting a .313 average to go with 29 homers and 107 RBI.
News: Butler is back in the lineup Sunday against the Tigers, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports.
Impact: Butler has yielded DH duties to Josh Willingham quite frequently of late, but will bat fifth in the order Sunday afternoon. He has collected just two hits over the entire month of September, but owns a .340 career batting average against opposing starter Rick Porcello. Although the matchup plays in Butler's favor Sunday, look for manager Ned Yost to continue to limit the playing time of the slumping DH, at least until he shows some signs of promise at the plate.
Sat. Sep 20, 2014 | STATS
News: Vargas was pounded into submission Friday.
Impact: Vargas allowed five runs on nine hits in 3 1-3, his shortest outing since April 16, 2013. He seeks to regroup next week against the Tribe.
News: Duffy (shoulder) threw a bullpen session during the ninth inning of Friday's game, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports.
Impact: The lefty was already in line to start Monday against Cleveland after completing a four-inning simulated game earlier in the week, but he should be officially in the clear following Friday's session. In four appearances (three starts) against the Indians this season, spanning 21.2 innings, Duffy has allowed just five earned runs (2.08 ERA) with 21 strikeouts against five walks.
News: Cain is out of the lineup Saturday against the Tigers, Josh Vernier of FOX Sports Kansas City reports.
Impact: This was likely a no-brainer for manager Ned Yost, as Cain is 0-for-15 with seven strikeouts in his career against Saturday's starter Max Scherzer. Jarrod Dyson will take over in center, following 11 straight starts by Cain.
News: Butler is not in the lineup Saturday against the Tigers, Josh Vernier of FOX Sports Kansas City reports.
Impact: Josh Willingham will serve as the Royals' designated hitter Saturday, as Butler sits in the midst of a 1-for-19 slump. It will be Butler's ninth time on the bench in 14 games. With the team clinging to a wild-card spot, manager Ned Yost figures to continue sitting the struggling Butler frequently over the remainder of the regular season.
Sat. Sep 20, 2014 | STATS
News: Colon went 2 for 2 with two RBIs in his return to action Sunday.
Impact: Colon was on the disabled list with a broken finger.
Fri. Sep 19, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Vargas was rocked for five runs on nine hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out one while lasting just 3.1 innings in a 10-1 loss to the Tigers on Friday night.
Impact: The Tigers were roaring against Vargas (11-10, 3.59 ERA) and continued the onslaught against the Royals' bullpen after he departed. Vargas has struggled of late, and with Kansas City involved in a hotly contested playoff race, he's going to need to step up in his final start against the White Sox in Chicago.
Tim Collins - #55 - Pitcher - 5'7" - 170lbs
Fri. Sep 19, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Collins was recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Friday.
Impact: While Collins struggled to the tune of a 4.15 ERA and 1.56 WHIP with the Royals this season, he pitched much better with tht minor league club, posting a 2.76 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP while striking out batters at a clip of 1.32/IP. He will join the Royals' bullpen for the final three series of the season.
Thu. Sep 18, 2014 | STATS
News: Cain went 3 for 5 with a three-run homer in Wednesday's win over the Chicago White Sox.
Impact: The outfielder is batting .350 over his last 10 games.
News: Colon (finger) has been placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Sept. 7, and is eligible to be activated on Sept. 22.
Impact: Colon hadn't been cleared to hit as of Tuesday, so it was unlikely he would be able to play before next week. Even though he's eligible to return next week, there's still a chance he won't return this season.
Mike Moustakas - #8 - Third Base - 6'0" - 195lbs
News: Moustakas is out of the lineup Wednesday against the White Sox.
Impact: The Royals will go with a right-handed heavy lineup to counter lefty Chris Sale, who is on the mound for the White Sox. Moustakas is just 4-for-20 with seven strikeouts in his career against Sale.
News: Hosmer is out of the lineup Wednesday against the White Sox.
Impact: Manager Ned Yost decided that with lefty Chris Sale on the mound for the White Sox, it was an optimal time to give Hosmer a day off. He's been in the lineup for each of the Royals' 15 games since being activated from the DL on Sept. 1, batting .264/.339/.472 during that time.
Wed. Sep 17, 2014 | STATS
News: Aoki collected four hits for a second straight day in Tuesday's loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Impact: Aoki is 8 for 9 in two games and is batting .368 over his last 17.
Francisley Bueno - #67 - Pitcher - 5'11" - 205lbs
News: After posting a rough 10.57 ERA in August, Bueno has opened September with three consecutive scoreless appearances.
Impact: Other than that brief rough patch, Herrera has been effective in middle relief for the Royals this season. If his August numbers were excluded, the 33-year-old lefty would have just a 2.25 ERA on the season. Nonetheless, Bueno remains too far down the pecking order for save opportunities to warrant much fantasy consideration.
Wade Davis - #17 - Pitcher - 6'5" - 220lbs
News: Davis allowed an earned run for the first time since June 25 Tuesday night against the White Sox.
Impact: Davis had been holding one of the longest active scoreless inning streaks in the majors up until Tuesday, second to only teammate Kelvin Herrera. Despite playing a role in a tough Royals' loss, Davis has been one of the elite relief pitchers in baseball this season, striking out 97 batters over 66 innings with a nearly untouchable 0.83 WHIP.
Kelvin Herrera - #40 - Pitcher - 5'10" - 200lbs
News: Herrera allowed two earned runs on two hits and a walk over two-thirds of an inning Tuesday night against the White Sox.
Impact: Herrera had amazingly not been scored upon since June 24, which had been the longest active streak for eligible relievers. Both he and teammate Wade Davis saw their scoreless streaks end Tuesday on a Conor Gillaspie bases-clearing triple in the seventh inning. Putting that brief hiccup aside, Herrera has been one of the elite relief pitchers in baseball this season, posting a 1.55 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 55:24 K:BB ratio.
News: Butler is not in the starting lineup Tuesday, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports.
Impact: Royals manager Ned Yost has been using the DH spot a variety of different ways, which has led to more time on the bench for Butler recently. Norichika Aoki will handle the DH role Tuesday night.
Liam Hendriks - #39 - Pitcher - 6'1" - 201lbs
News: Hendriks gave up four earned runs on seven hits and a walk in three innings Tuesday against the White Sox.
Impact: Despite remaining in the rotation, Hendriks has not fared well, especially from a fantasy standpoint, as he hasn't lasted longer than four innings in any of his last three starts. He will now disappear off the fantasy map for the rest of the season, as Danny Duffy is healthy enough to take back his spot in the rotation, leaving Hendriks with a low-leverage bullpen role.
News: Duffy (shoulder) is in line to start Monday against the Indians, MLB.com reports.
Impact: Duffy was pleased with how his four-inning simulated game went Tuesday, saying he felt "better than normal" during the live session. He incorporated all four of his pitches, totaling about 60 throws. The lefty has missed three starts due to shoulder inflammation, but assuming he makes it through one more side session without issue, he'll make two more starts before the end of the regular season.
News: Colon (finger) has not been cleared to hit, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports.
Impact: Now two weeks removed from suffering a broken middle finger on his right hand, Colon has been practicing throws but still is not close to 100 percent. A set timetable for Colon's return has not been established, but it seems like a long shot to think he could make it back during the regular season.
Tue. Sep 16, 2014 | STATS
News: Aoki went 4 for 4 with a run scored in Monday's 4-3 walkoff win over the White Sox.
Impact: Aoki raised his average back up to .271, the highest it's been since Aug. 17.
Thu. Sep 11, 2014 | STATS
News: Holland could be available for the Kansas City Royals this weekend after dealing with some tightness in his right arm, while left-hander Danny Duffy was awaiting word from doctors before beginning to throw again.
Impact: Holland planned to play catch and would be available if all went well. He has not pitched since saving a 4-1 win over Texas on Sept. 3. Wade Davis picked up three saves in his place during the Royals' recent six-game road trip.