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Content: KANSAS CITY  Patrick Willis Jersey  , Mo. — The end is near. No, not for the season, although for the Kansas City Royals, it can’t come soon enough. Shortstop Alcides Escobar’s string of starting 406 consecutive games at shortstop might be coming to an end. Escobar may or may not be at shortstop Wednesday night when the Royals close out a three-game series against the Texas Rangers. It will also be the finale of an eight-game homestand with the Royals failing to collect a victory in the first seven. The Royals are in a full-fledged youth movement with a 22-51 record. Escobar, 31, is not part of the future. The Royals are optimistic Adalberto Mondesi, 22, will be. “Esky’s been our shortstop for a long time,” Royals manager Ned Yost said Tuesday. “It’s a pretty big change, seeing somebody different at short, but it’s exciting, too because now you’re starting to give other younger players opportunities to see what they can do.” Escobar has been the Royals starting shortstop since he arrived in 2011 from the Milwaukee Brewers as part of the Zack Greinke deal. He started for the American League in the 2015 All-Star game, claimed a Gold Glove that year and the Royals won the World Series. The Royal re-signed him to a one-year contract during the winter after he declared for free agency. “It’s a good chance to experiment right now,” Yost said. “There’s nothing that is going to make or break us. You can start looking at thing a little bit differently and start experimenting with some things.” He said he plans to play Mondesi a couple of games a week at shortstop  Nate Solder Jersey  , which is his natural position. Meanwhile, he said he would use Escobar in different positions, including center field, second base and third base. While the Rangers have won a season-high four straight, the Royals have lost eight in a row — equaling their season-high — and 14 of 15. They managed a mere four singles in a 4-1 loss on Tuesday night to the Rangers’ Cole Hamels and relievers Jake Diekman and Keone Kela. In June, the Royals are hitting .186 and averaging 2.2 runs per game. They have scored 36 runs in 17 June games. They went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday and are batting .196 with RISP this month. Left-hander Yohander Mendez was scheduled to start Wednesday for the Rangers, but instead he was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock for violating team rules. The incident occurred away from Kauffman Stadium and after the Monday night game. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the violation did not involve the police, was criminal or involve Major League Baseball. The Rangers recalled right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx from Triple-A Round Rock and he will make the start Wednesday. He had a 2-3 record with a 4.47 ERA in 11 starts in the Pacific Coast League. He made two starts earlier this season for Texas, going 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA. Bibens-Dirkx spent 12 seasons in the minors before making his big-league debut last season. He went 5-2 with a 4.67 ERA in 24 games, including six starts, for the Rangers as a rookie in 2017. The Royals will counter with right-hander Jakob Junis, who is 5-7 with a 4.43 ERA. He has dropped his past four decisions. He yielded six runs, matching his career high, over 5 1/3 innings in his last start  Nazair Jones Jersey  , a loss to the Houston Astros. Junis is 3-5 with a 4.84 ERA in eight home starts this season. He has allowed 18 home runs, 13 of them at Kauffman Stadium. This will be Junis’ first appearance against the Rangers. The Rangers have won 16 of their last 19 games against the Royals, dating to July 23, 2016, including winning four of six this season. Shin-Soo Choo singled in the sixth inning Tuesday night and has reached base in 33 consecutive games. The Rangers outfielder is hitting .328 during the streak, which is the second longest in the majors this year. CAROLINA PANTHERS (11-6) OPEN CAMP: July 26, Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina LAST YEAR: Panthers enjoyed bounce-back season after failing to reach playoffs in 2017. Carolina lost three times to New Orleans, including wild-card playoffs. No deep threat, lengthy injury to TE Greg Olsen and poor pass protection doomed offense. Defense remained one of NFL's best behind high MLB Luke Kuechly. IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Rookie WR D.J. Moore, WR Torrey Smith, WR Jarius Wright, RB C.J. Anderson  Ronnie Lott Jersey  , RB Kenjon Barner, G Jeremiah Sirles, DT Dontari Poe, rookie CB Donte Jackson, CB Ross Cockrell, S Da'Norris Searcy. IMPORTANT LOSSES: G Andrew Norwell, RB Jonathan Stewart, DT Star Lotulelei, DE Charles Johnson, S Kurt Coleman, CB Daryl Worley, QB Derek Anderson. CAMP NEEDS: Panthers need to adjust to three new coordinators: Norv Turner (offense), Eric Washington (defense) and Chase Blackburn (special teams). Turner's relationship with QB Cam Newton critical to team's success. Second-year RB Christian McCaffrey is featured back with Jonathan Stewart gone. Team expected to use more two tight end sets, play-action under Turner. Addition of WRs D.J. Moore  Mark Herzlich Jersey  , Torrey Smith and Jarius Wright should bolster passing game. Washington inherits defense looking to replace four starters (Lotulelei, Johnson, Coleman and Worley). Kuechly, DT Kawann Short, LB Thomas Davis, CB James Bradberry and pass-rushing tandem Julius Peppers and Mario Addison (11 sacks each) all return. GM Marty Hurney thrilled with second-round pick CB Donte Jackson, who'll start. EXPECTATIONS: Core of team that's been to postseason four of past five seasons remains intact, but aging quickly. Peppers is 38, S Mike Adams 37, Davis 35, and C Ryan Kalil and Olsen are 33. Newton is 29. Plenty of pressure to win now under new owner David Tepper before window closes. Carolina should compete for NFC South title with New Orleans and Atlanta if offense improves.   Womens Ronald Jones II Jersey