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Royals Rumblings - News for October 27, 2015

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Time to take care of unfinished business.

Royals Rumblings - News for October 27, 2015

Yoenis Cespedes is still ailing from a bum shoulder, but will play the outfield in Game One.

"I feel much better. I'm not 100 percent, but I know I'll be ready for Tuesday," Cespedes told ESPN Deportes' Marly Rivera on Sunday. "The cortisone shot relieved the pain and inflammation. But even if I'm not 100 percent, I am certain I will play on Tuesday.

"The doctor told me my AC joint is a bit swollen, and that's why it hurt. It happens to many athletes, but it is not a serious injury, and will heal quickly." Cespedes could not lift his left arm when he departed Wednesday's National League Championship Series clincher against the Chicago Cubs in the second inning. He received a cortisone injection in New York a day later.

Kelly Johnson will serve as the designated hitter for the Mets in Game One.

Given the spacious dimensions at Kauffman Stadium, one alternative was to start 2014 Gold Glove winner Juan Lagares in center field and use one of the regular outfielders as the DH -- even though Lagares does not generally start against right-handed pitching. But Yoenis Cespedes recently indicated that he does not want to DH, even with his left shoulder still somewhat of an issue. And Collins said he feels OK with the fielding capabilities of Michael Conforto in left field, Cespedes in center and Curtis Granderson in right.

"We're pretty happy with our outfield defense," Collins said. "This is a big park, like ours. I think Yoenis has shown that he can play center field. And if we need to make moves, we'll make moves later in the game."

The Royals have been working out Raul Mondesi and Cheslor Cuthbert as possible options to replace Terrance Gore on the World Series roster. The Royals may be seeking more infield depth in case Ben Zobrist is called away to be with his expecting wife. Mondesi could be the first player ever to make his Major League debut in the World Series.

The Royals are ready for the hard-throwing Mets pitchers.

But over the next four-plus games, they’re facing a team that likes to hit the hard stuff. "I feel like we hit hard throwers well. It’s not that it’s easier to hit. We just hit fastballs well," Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. "But what we did during the season, it doesn’t matter. Right now, it’s go out there and hit these guys. They’re a very solid staff. We understand that. We know what we’re getting ourselves into. We know what they feature. Once we get between the lines, it’s about applying what you’ve seen."

Ben Lindbergh and Jonah Keri at Grantland preview the World Series by writing the Royals are equipped to handle the heat.

The Royals don’t care. Not only are they unfazed by fastballs, but the faster the heaters, the more their skills stand out. Against all pitches, the Royals’ regular-season Weighted On-Base Average — an all-in-one measure of offensive production on the OBP scale — was five points higher than the MLB average. Against all fastballs, their wOBA was 29 points better than the league’s. And against fastballs 94 and above, the gap grew to 51 points. Even when the radar readings rose to 96 or higher, the Royals were still significantly better than they were against all pitches, even though the league was significantly worse. Only the Blue Jays were better against all fastballs, and no team was better against fastballs 94 and up. The Mets, meanwhile, managed only a .272 wOBA on fastballs that speed, and unfortunately for them, the Royals’ staff throws almost as hard as the Mets’ staff.

Will Leitch at Sports on Earth writes that this year is about unfinished business with the Royals.

Last year's run wasn't just a cameo appearance, or a strange blip that has somehow carried over to this year. It was just the first act. It was the instigating action that spurred their protagonists into 2015, this year, the real story. The Royals led their division all season, clinched their playoff spot before everybody else did, had home-field advantage in every playoff series and took down all challengers. Over the last two years, the Royals have ended the season of the A's, the Orioles, the Angels, the Astros and the Blue Jays. Those are a lot of bodies left in their wake. All that's missing is that title.

That's why the World Series feels a little less charming and a little more professional this year. Like last year, there are Royals signs everywhere in Kansas City -- at the Chiefs game Sunday, a "Let's Go Royals!" chant broke out -- but even those feel a little different. One business downtown has a "GO ROYALS! LET'S FINISH THIS!" sign in its window. That feels about right. It's classic movie sequel sequencing. The first film establishes the stakes. The second one has a different tagline: It's personal.

Vahe Gregorian writes about how upset the Royals were about losing the World Series last year.

After the last out, outfielder Jarrod Dyson dawdled in the dugout to watch the Giants celebrate and thought, "That’s supposed to be us." He wondered briefly why they had to get there if it was just to lose. Then he went into a hushed clubhouse and started angrily throwing stuff in his bag and slamming doors. "I felt like a guy who went out on a date and got dumped by his girl," he said. "Heartbroken, like, ‘What am I going to do next?’ " In his emotional gridlock, he settled on … nothing. "I stayed in my bed; I couldn’t move," he said. "Like, I really couldn’t move if I wanted to."

Pitcher Luke Hochevar, who missed last postseason because of an arm injury but was enmeshed with the team, anyway, said he still feels "the burn." "I mean, the world’s watching," he said. "This is the big stage that everybody dreams of. … "I don’t think you ever get over that. I don’t think you do."

Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs writes about the success of Kelvin Herrera's new pitch - the slider.

His fastball breaks a good deal arm-side. His changeup breaks a good deal arm-side. His slider breaks a good deal glove-side, with more than seven inches of run. Based on movement, it’s actually a fair comparison for Jose Fernandez‘s breaking ball. And Herrera has figured out his delivery and control. As a consequence, the majority of Herrera’s postseason sliders have been strikes, and the majority of the swings at the slider have missed. I don’t even think the Royals planned on this, but a neat way to not miss Greg Holland is to have one of your other relievers take his numbers to the moon. Herrera was already effective, but now he’s pitching like another closer. The guy blessed with the fastball suddenly has two other things.

Andy McCullough writes about the Royals' Dominican pitching trio - Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, and Johnny Cueto.

David Schoenfield at ESPN looks at five reasons why the Royals are better than they were a year ago.

Buster Olney at ESPN Insider looks at 12 matchups to look for in the World Series.

Jeff Rosen reaches out to Mets fans to point out that they are similar to us.

The Royals Dominican Academy was excited about the big leaguers winning the pennant.

Former Royals and Mets catcher Ed Hearn has come to terms with being the infamous part of the David Cone trade.

In this Fanpost, Stephen Suffron looks back at the Don Denkinger play from Game 6 of the 1985 World Series.

Our friends at Amazin' Avenue look at the last time the Mets came to Kansas City, featuring an appearance from Ken Harvey!

Grant Brisbee looks at the worst commercials of the MLB post-season.

Three writers at Fivethirtyeight seem to think the Royals will win in seven.

Jon Morosi says Royals in six.

Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News predicts the Royals will win in a close series.

Tom O'Donnell at Beyond the Boxscore writes how the Steamer projection model does not like the Royals much in 2016.

Twelve million Canadians tuned in to see the Royals break their hearts in Game 6. But the ALCS was the least-watched LCS in American history.

Prince Fielder wins the Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year, which is not the official award. Kendrys Morales finished fifth in voting by the players.

The Mariners hire Scott Servais to be their manager and want Raul Ibanez to work for them.

Torii Hunter calls it a career.

Fredi Gonzalez is the only non-white manager in baseball now, which might be a problem.

The NBA opens up tonight, here are some predictions.

A ranking of the seven college football programs currently looking for head coaches.

Processed meats may cause cancer, but don't flip out over bacon just yet.

Apple is facing a lawsuit for not telling people its feature "Wi-fi Assist" is a huge data guzzler.

Here's how new TV shows are doing this fall.

Your song of the day is Fatboy Slim with "Right Here, Right Now."