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Royals Rumblings - News for January 26, 2015

Eliminating defensive shifts could make Moustakas a star!

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for January 26, 2015

Billy Butler was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, and said he would be open to returning to the Royals someday.

"It’s disappointing, but you understand that the game’s a business and I didn’t leave on bad terms," Butler said. "I’d be more than happy to come back. That’s home for me. I’ll always be forever tied to the Royals organization and the community there.

"The memories there are for a lifetime. I think, down the road, I’ll be back either as a coach or still playing, doing something — scouting or whatever it is — to help the organization that took a chance on me and drafted me."

Read more here:

The Star's Vahe Gregorian got to spend a week in the DominicanRepublic this time of year, and to show for it he has this series on Yordano Ventura and how he got to the big leagues.

Never mind that it was around midnight. This was an urgent matter to Royals scout Pedro Silverio: He had just glimpsed the future in the improbable form of a spindly 17-year-old.

"I can’t believe it, that guy," Silverio thought after he’d watched the pitching of the run who maybe was 5 foot 6, 125 pounds.

Yet he had seen it for himself. From the craggy mound of the weathered Estadio Municipale, the boy began unleashing a pitch that lit up at 89 mph on Silverio’s radar gun.

Again, the puzzled Silverio told the teen.

Again: 89

Again: 90

Again: 91

Then he uncorked a curveball and a change-up so deftly that on Silverio’s report he wrote that he could pitch in the big leagues – that very day.

Craig Brown at Royals Authority writes about the market for James Shields.

For those thinking of a short-term impact, at Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan ran some numbers and figured out how much Shields would improve each team. Dan Szymborski did the same at ESPN. I urge you to visit both sites (although you’ll need Insider for Dan’s post at ESPN) because the results are interesting.

Sullivan has Shields improving the Royals rotation by about 2.1 fWAR which places the Royals in the lower third of teams who would benefit from signing Shields. Szymborski says ZiPS has the Royals as currently constructed in the low 80s for wins and figures adding Shields would throw them back into contention for the Wild Card.

Hunter Samuels at Kings of Kauffman writes that Alex Rios could be a liability on defense, in part, because of his arm.

It’s possible another cause was Rios’ injuries, again. If he wasn’t getting to as many balls as he used to, as quickly as he used to, then opposing coaches and baserunners wouldn’t need to worry as much about the throw because Rios would have less time to make the play. That sore ankle might have made his arm look worse than it actually was.

And even when Rios did make throws, his sore thumb may have affected his accuracy. I don’t know how much that could play a part, but it’s possible it was a factor. Or maybe it wasn’t. I’m neither a doctor nor an expert on throwing baseballs.

It’s also possible that Rios is simply declining due to aging. That would make some sense, considering he’s almost 34. That potential cause would be concerning for the Royals this season.

Maybe the real cause was a combination of everything.

The Royals announced their spring training radio schedule.

Congrats to new father Terrance Gore!

New Commissioner Rob Manfred has suggested banning defensive shifts, which could make Mike Moustakas a tolerable hitter!

Grant Brisbee looks at why we all hated former Commissioner Bud Selig so much.

Carson Cistulli of Fangraphs looks at Dominican League performance as an indicator of future value. Royals pitching prospect Miguel Almonte was one of the top performers in that league this winter.

RIP Cubs great and former Kansas City Monarchs infielder Ernie Banks.

Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors scored all the buckets.

Deflate-gate officially jumps the shark here as an ESPN analyst compares it to the evolution/creationism debate.

SkyMall is now bankrupt, so read about their weird business model while your curl up with a massage pillow shaped like the Millennium Falcon.

Fivethirtyeight rates the board games you should be playing with your kids.

The naked guy from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" may be doing a good job portraying writer David Foster Wallace.

Seriously, what the heck is "Mortdecai"?

Your song of the day is AC/DC with "Back in Black."