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Royals Rumblings - News for February 11, 2015

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Lee Judge and Luke Hochevar are best friends for life.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for February 11, 2015

Sam Mellinger thinks the Royals played the James Shields era perfectly.

The Royals were never going to sign him, and for reasons including but limited to the link two paragraphs up, should not have signed him. The biggest contract they’ve ever given a man is $20 million less than what Shields just signed for, and that’s a big investment for a 33-year-old with nearly 2,000 innings on his arm. The Royals, actually, played this perfectly. The acquisition, production, and now return — they’ll get a compensatory first-round pick in June — of Shields was the dream scenario.

They can’t replace Shields, and adding Edinson Volquez shouldn’t be read as the Shields replacement. This will have to be done by committee, most likely with Yordano Ventura as the staff’s best starter, and everyone else filling in behind. It’s worth pointing out that the Royals have been remarkably healthy the last few years, particularly with their starting pitchers.

Lee Judge thinks the Royals can get even better in 2015, thanks to Luke Hochevar.

Ballplayers will tell you that the two hardest innings in baseball are the sixth and seventh innings, and here’s why they say that: the two best relievers in a bullpen are the eighth-inning set-up man and the ninth-inning closer. If the starting pitcher can go seven innings and hand a lead to those two relievers, his team’s chances of winning are very good.

But if your starting pitcher has a pitch limit in the vicinity of 100 and he averages 15 an inning, he’s at 75 pitches after five innings — down to his last 25 or so pitches with two innings left. And by the sixth inning the other team is probably going through the order for the third time. And by the third at-bat, opposition hitters have a very good idea of what the starter has that night.

That’s why the sixth and seventh innings are so difficult.

TheFakeNed agrees!

The twelfth is cream cheese though.

David Lesky at Pine Tar Press looks at contract extension candidates for the Royals.

Lorenzo Cain – The Royals center fielder put it mostly together in 2014 with a .301/.339/.412 season that featured a career high of 133 games played. His defense was, of course, outstanding, and that’s where his long-term value probably lies. I’ve talked before about his BABIP likely being unsustainable, but Cain is a valuable player even if he’s below average offensively. He just settled outside of arbitration for about $2.7 million, which is well below what he will likely be worth. The upside for Cain is probably his 2014 season. If you knew you were getting that, he would be worth a five year, $80 million type deal probably, even with starting off as low as $2.7 million. Of course, he carries risk with him. I mentioned the BABIP and the 133 games played as a career high is a problem too. Because of that, you could be looking at a deal around 4 years for $25 million or so, give a take a couple million. If he can stay on the field for 130 games a year, that would end up being a bargain.

The Royals are auctioning off their custom-made spa from their clubhouse.

Tigers hitter Victor Martinez has successful knee surgery and should be out 4-6 weeks.

A-Rod apologizes to the Yankees.

The lousy teams from 2014 that want to contend this year.

San Jose's attempt to reverse the anti-trust exemption for baseball is a swing for the fences.

Vox.com writes that St. Louis' idea to build a new football stadium is a mistake.

Jon Bois is cookin' up eggs benedict. Every day.

Grantland's Matt Zoller Seitz sits down with director Wes Anderson.

Marvel and Sony agree to joint custody of Spider Man.

Brian Williams has lasted longer than most in the NBC Evening News anchor chair.

Here are ten ways to spot your own false memories.

Jon Stewart is leaving "The Daily Show." Alan Sepinwall looks at who could replace him.

Charles Manson's fiancee may have just been using him for his corpse. Who could have guessed she'd turn out to be crazy?

The comic strip "Cathy" makes more sense when you fill in the text with Louis C.K. quotes.

Your song of the day is Devo with "Uncontrollable Urge."