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Royals Rumblings - News for December 29, 2014

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Welp, football season is over and baseball season is three months away. This is just the worst.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for December 29, 2014

Christina Kahrl of ESPN thinks Eric Hosmer is one of ten players who could breakthrough in 2015.

There’s a decent cadre of semidisappointing first basemen to choose from, guys you might be hoping might take a big, Anthony Rizzo-level step forward, as Rizzo did last year. Yonder Alonso might be too far along and need a change of venue, while Brandon Belt has the bat but may not be durable enough. Hosmer is the guy in this group who’s younger than Rizzo, just heading into his age-25 season and into the beginning of what you’d consider to be a normal peak range for a hitter. If Hosmer’s performance down the stretch and into the postseason (.841 OPS in September, .983 in October) while working with new hitting coach Dale Sveum is any indication, he might finally start delivering in kind on the huge expectations Royals fans have piled on him for the last four years.

David Hill of Kings of Kauffman considers what the Royals should do with 2014 draft pick Brandon Finnegan.

It may well be that the Royals themselves do not quite know what they have in Finnegan, and may spend a part of Spring Training attempting to find out. Would he be more valuable to the 2015 Royals, and for future teams, as a lefty reliever? Or would it be more worth their time to find out if Finnegan can, in fact, be a solid starter for them going forward?

Personally, I think the Royals may be better off keeping Brandon Finnegan in the bullpen. Tim Collins did not inspire confidence last season, and is not a given to perform well. Having Finnegan in the bullpen would give the Royals another option should Collins falter, and help make what is already a strength that much deeper.

Mike Petriello thinks the Twins may have already weakened a weak defense, widening the gulf between their outfield gloves and the Royals' outfield gloves.

The 2014 Twins outfield ended up being the fifth-worst DRS unit that we have on record dating back to 2003:

Last year’s top defensive DRS outfield, as you may have guessed, was the Royals, at +46. Yes, that’s a 96-run difference. Yes, the numbers are saying that defense alone in just the outfield was worth 10 wins between the two teams. If that sounds high, maybe it is, but then also think about Oswaldo Arcia, Josh Willingham, Kubel, Colabello, and friends; now think about Alex Gordon, Jarrod Dyson, and Lorenzo Cain. Maybe it’s too low.

Baseball Prospectus looks at seven items that defined baseball in 2014:

The Alex Gordon's sinking liner that was horrendously misplayed offered the Royal faithful some hope but third-base coach Mike Jirschele threw up the stop sign, holding Alex Gordon to a triple. One Salvador Perez foul pop later, and Bumgarner passed into legend while the Royals became another notch for the lefty's postseason resume.

The stop sign became instantly controversial, and it will remain a sore topic for Royals fans for quite some time. For that reason, the stop sign is my choice for items that tell the story of 2014

Jonah Keri of Grantland has a Hall of Fame balloting primer, and an appreciation of Randy Johnson.

Jeffrey Flanagan of Fox Sports Kansas City reveals his Hall of Fame ballot.

Vegas has the Royals at 18-1 odds to win the World Series, eighth best chances in baseball.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro may or may not be in a heap of trouble.

A defense...sort of...of MLB's blackout rules.

Why your baseball card collection is now worthless.

The Chiefs season is over, without a playoff appearance. That Royals Devil Magic didn't make its way across the parking lot.

Americans are driving less, but is that about to change now that gas prices are so low?

The worst buildings of 2014.

Former "Saved by the Bell" star Dustin Diamond was arrested for an alleged stabbing. For no reason, here is 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh sitting next to Dustin Diamond in an episode of "Saved by the Bell."

This "Wheel of Fortune" contestant is straight up ballin'.

Your song of the day is James Brown with "Get Up Offa That Thing."