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Royals Seem Closer To Improving, Yet Keep Falling Short Anyway

Kansas City continues to flash a bit, yet come up well short in the grand scheme.

It was a hit-and-miss week for the Kansas City Royals. Quite literally, in fact. The Royals started the week getting shut out in back-to-back games against the Toronto Blue Jays, but then they bounced back with a three-game winning streak by scoring 23 combined runs in those victories. Unfortunately, the week ended with losing back-to-back games to the Baltimore Orioles.

What were some takeaways from this past week? Let’s dive in.

At the beginning of every week, 'Mondays with Mark' will dive into the latest developments with the Royals. Have something you want to be discussed? Let Mark know on Twitter @MarkTheOverseer or find Inside the Royals @InsideRoyals.

Jun 10, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jonathan Heasley (49) delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Heasley continues to look legit

Over the past week, young Jonathan Heasley continued looking like a legitimate piece of the Royals' starting rotation. His latest start was the best of his career to this point: seven innings, seven strikeouts, zero walks and zero runs allowed. If Heasley can keep this train rolling, he will force the Royals' hand to keep him in the rotation for the rest of this season and it may just put him in the conversation as a part of the club's long-term future.

Royals' bats go from cold to hot

The Royals' offense went from getting shut out in back-to-back games to averaging seven runs per game in the final five games of the week. For them to have a chance to win games, they need to keep the offensive hot streak going on their west coast road trip.

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MJ Melendez is impressive (again)

Jun 9, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter MJ Melendez (1) hits a home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the third inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie MJ Melendez just continues to impress. He had two monster home runs this past week and reached base 10 times in 24 at-bats. He also added seven RBIs to his season total of 16. He played catcher, right field and DH this past week, showing off his versatility and making it known that he wants to stay in Kansas City for the rest of this season. His play will likely make it difficult for the team to send him back down to the minors at this point. Melendez even had a highlight-reel catch in right field, a position he has had very limited time at during his career at any level. It's early, but Melendez could be a superstar in the making.

Bobby Witt Jr. comes back strong

Bobby Witt Jr. had a rare day off against the Orioles on Saturday, but he bounced back in a big way in the series finale on Sunday. He went 3-for-5 and hit his eighth home run of the season. Witt continues to assert his professionalism day in and day out, and Royals fans should be very happy to have this man as part of the organization.

Kansas City's general pitching struggles continue

Jun 7, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brad Keller (56) delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It’s becoming a theme, at this point. The Royals' pitching woes continued outside of the effort from Heasley this past week. Daniel Lynch was looking strong until he got to the sixth inning and gave up a three-run home run. Brad Keller did have a quality start (in a loss) to the Blue Jays but couldn’t get through the second inning in his final start of the week. 

Kris Bubic took a step back again in his second start since returning from Triple-A Omaha. Collin Snider melts down more often than not. The list goes on and on, but you get the point. The Royals' pitching needs to step up its game.

The Royals will take their talents to the west coast this week, facing the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics in consecutive series. Their next game will be Monday night at 8:45 p.m. CT against the Giants, where Brady Singer will face off against Alex Wood.