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Things Are Looking up a Bit for the Royals on Independence Day

Kansas City continues to play respectable baseball as the calendar has flipped to the month of July.

Happy birthday, America! 

It’s been a year since I started writing with Inside the Royals. This time of year always reminds us why baseball — and the nostalgia that comes with summer and the Fourth of July — remains with us year after year. There’s still nothing quite like taking in a game at the ballpark. I wrote plenty about that in my debut article for Inside the Royals. Enjoy your festivities on Monday and, hopefully, that includes some baseball. Whether you’re watching a game or playing catch in the yard, it’s a baseball holiday.

It was the third straight week that the Kansas City Royals won three games and lost three games. Playing .500 ball is about what most Royals fans hoped for in the 2022 campaign. However, due to a terrible start to the season, this means that the club is still 19 games under .500 overall.

At this point, Kansas City's front office likely should be willing to make some trades to help the team as it looks to the future. Let’s take a look at some of the happenings from this past week in Royals baseball.

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.

Jul 3, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Fireworks display after the game between the Kansas City Royals and the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Santana gets traded

The Royals traded Carlos Santana for a major league-ready relief pitcher and a top-30 starting pitching from the Seattle Mariners organization. Getting any player that can contribute going forward made this a successful trade, and it looks like the Royals may already be winning it judging by early contributions from one player who came over in the deal. 

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Wyatt Mills makes Kansas City debut

Speaking of that, Wyatt Mills came to the Royals in the aforementioned Santana deal. He had very solid numbers in Triple-A this season, along with a few major league appearances under his belt. He recently made his debut for the Royals and picked up a hold while striking out two batters and not allowing a hit on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers. It was a great first impression, and one the Royals hope can continue to grow into a reliable bullpen piece for this season and beyond. Mills wasn’t the only one who made his Royals debut this past week, however. 

Vinnie Pasquantino gets the call-up

The Santana trade had a ripple effect across the organization, and that included the call-up of first base prospect Vinnie Pasquantino, who belted a home run for his first major league hit. It was exciting, albeit a bit awkward because it barely went over the wall and it appeared that he got thrown out at second base before umpires confirmed the home run. This served as a memorable moment, to say the least. Congratulations are due to Pasquantino on the promotion and the home run, and they're also in order for oldest veteran on the team.

Zack Greinke makes 500th career start

Zack Greinke was able to pitch in his 500th career start this past week. He won the game — his second win in a row since returning from the Injured List with a right flexor strain — and the Royals continue to be happy to have him back in Kansas City. However, it is possible that the Royals could deal him at the trade deadline. Greinke would likely have to be on board with the trade, though, due to his veteran status and his fairly recent choice to single out the Royals as the team he wanted to play for in 2022. Whatever happens, it’s been a thrill to have Greinke back in Kansas City this season.

Nicky Lopez heating up?

Nicky Lopez finished the week going 4-for-4 in a Sunday afternoon game against the Tigers. It’s been a bit of a rough first half for Lopez but if this is the start of a hot stretch for him, the Royals could try to move him by the deadline. Lopez had a brilliant 2021 season but the Royals don’t have a lot tied to him, financially speaking.

One reason Lopez could be on the trading block is that they have a second baseman, Michael Massey, knocking on the door in Triple-A. Massey logged 14 RBIs over this past week, including a grand slam in an Omaha Storm Chasers 6-4 win on Saturday.

Next up, Kansas City will face the Houston Astros in a four-game series before heading to Cleveland to close out their road trip in a three-game set. The Royals' next game will be Monday at Houston starting at 3:10 p.m. CST and is featured on ESPN+. Jonathan Heasley and former Royals prospect Jake Odorizzi are projected to be the starting pitchers for each team.

For more Kansas City Royals news, coverage and analysis, be sure to bookmark Inside the Royals and follow the site on Twitter @InsideRoyals.