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Royals Rumblings - News for June 25, 2014

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for June 25, 2014

Star beat writer Andy McCullough found out that the Royals do not have Danny Duffy on an innings-pitched limit this season, despite his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

The team will monitor his condition as the season continues and "just go start to start and month to month and see where he is," general manager Dayton Moore said.

When the Royals auditioned Duffy for the bullpen in March, Moore told two reporters from The Star, on separate occasions, that he projected Duffy would throw only 150 innings in 2014. Around that same time, Duffy told The Star, "I know I’m going to have a limit this year."...

But to hear team officials tell it, his innings will not be an issue. Reminded of his earlier remarks on Monday, Moore replied, "I don’t know why I said that." He framed his comments as a prediction rather than a fiat.

Well at least they have a plan.

Sam Mellinger again stresses that this team is under a lot of pressure, and has struggled under that pressure thus far.

What clouds it all a bit, for me, is that I do believe there is something real about this idea that this group struggles under pressure. It sounds counterintuitive on the surface, but you can make a case that there is more pressure on this team than there would be if they played in, say, Minnesota or Seattle or Texas. Kansas City is so starved for any sort of baseball success that a lot of fans have been robbed of the perspective of what’s a big game and what’s a baseball game. In turn, they all turn into big games, and at least on some level, that has to seep into the clubhouse.

Not only that, but because of Shields’ contract and other factors, everyone knows this is a crucial season for what’s been brewing for eight years now. That’s a lot to put on a group that’s largely never been in a big league playoff chase.

He also writes the team is used to ups and downs. Billy Butler, the Vulcan:

"The (fans) that believe that because of a four-game losing streak we’re not the same team we were before, I don’t think they’re very rational," he says. "I just don’t."

Baseball Prospectus looks at the job Dale Sveum has done, namely how he has identified vertical recognition of the strike zone as the team's weakness.

Five out of nine of the Royals’ hitters have seen their swing heights increase. Interestingly, several of those five had among the more severe drop-offs in swing height between last year and this year, suggesting, perhaps, that they were singled out as being in particular need of improvement.

The overall change in swing height is positive since Sveum arrived, so on average the Royals’ batters are swinging at higher pitches. Still, the difference isn’t huge. What’s more, the number of swings is too small to make for any statistically significant results just yet.

I offer this story, then, not as positive proof but as an interesting trend, one worth keeping an eye on as the season develops. I’m still intrigued by Sveum’s diagnosis, which was not only accurate but insightful. Maybe his comments provided a small window into the more advanced metrics that coaches and teams care about.

Greg Hall at OTC has some select quotes about Zack Greinke's return to Kauffman Stadium.

"I don’t know. I was pretty rude on the way out. They have every right to be mad at me. I didn’t want to be rude. I felt I had to be in order to get traded, and I wanted to get traded." Zack Greinke, in his postgame comments about being booed by his former fans at The K, LA Times

Matthew LaMar already covered this yesterday, but Jeff Passan also takes a look back at the Zack Greinke trade four years ago and how it set the Royals up for success this year.

Pitcher Christian Binford will be the only Royals representative at the Futures Game in Minneapolis, representing the good ol' U-S of A.

The Sacramento Kings are planning to crowdsource their NBA Draft Pick. Would that work for the Royals?

Dave Chappelle is back with the audience he wants.

A breakdown of teen internet habits shows they're using Facebook and not reading enough Royals Review!

If you're confused why digital publishers obsess over Facebook and social media, make this graph your smartphone wallpaper. Even the most popular site among teens—BuzzFeed—has fewer daily visitors than any network or app in the graph. (Even Beats, which is considered a tiny music service, has more daily users than any website in the survey.) Seventy three percent of teens don't read BuzzFeed, 84 percent don't read Reddit, and 96 percent don't read Mashable or Gawker. For young people, Facebook is the newspaper, and websites are the authors.

Your song of the day is how I feel when the Royals are facing a pitcher like Clayton Kershaw. I give you "Why Bother at All" by Koufax.