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Royals Rumblings - News for March 19, 2015

No Alex, no wins. Know Alex, know wins.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for March 19, 2015

Sam Mellinger writes that with no contract extension talks, Alex Gordon could be experiencing his last spring training in a Royals uniform.

If team and player were to negotiate a long-term contract, now would be the time. This is the time of year Gordon and the Royals negotiated his current deal, but with less than three weeks until opening day there have been no talks. "Nothing," Gordon says. "Not one bit." These words come without agitation. Gordon is just answering a question. He says he’s happy with his contract, and calls himself "blessed to be in this situation."

Edinson Volquez had a rough start in an 8-4 loss to the Brewers, giving up six runs. But he hopes to replicate his success in Pittsburgh here in Kansas City.

In moments of crisis last season, Edinson Volquez recalls bearing down on a catcher who would not look at him. Russell Martin might gaze into the Pittsburgh dugout. He might peer into the stands. He might study his shin guards. Anything to slow Volquez’s breakneck pace and steady his unreliable delivery. Volquez understood the implicit message. He resurrected his career with Martin, enough to convince the Royals to sign him to a two-year, $20 million contract this winter. He conveyed this strategy to his new catcher, two-time All Star Salvador Perez.

"That’s what I’m trying to say to Salvy," Volquez said. "Just look around, give me some time. Shut me down. Sometimes pitchers just want to go fast and throw the pitch."

Yordano Ventura is working on his secondary pitches.

When 2014 began, Eiland considered Ventura’s changeup ahead of the curveball. Ventura could fit the changeup within the zone for strikes. His mastery of the curve was flakier. After the All-Star break, Ventura began to incorporate a 94-mph cutter into his arsenal, too. The cutter fulfills the same purpose as the changeup. It upsets the opposing hitter’s timing, and tends to cause weakly hit balls. The combination could allow him to utilize his fastball with even more effectiveness in 2015.

"He throws enough curveballs and changeups for strikes to offset it," Yost said. "Can the consistency get a little higher? Yeah. And it will through his development."

No decision yet on Brandon Finnegan's role.

"He's always going to be that guy who is going to be that middle-of-the-road guy," Yost said. "We'll try him two or three innings, then at the point if he can jump up, he'll jump up [to being a starter]. Or, we'll back him down [for a bullpen role]. That's the plan until the end of Spring Training. "When you look at reality, we have very few spots left open. If he doesn't fit in that spot, we need him to be ready for Triple-A. We're keeping our options open."

More on the Rafael Furcal contract financial details.

Lee Judge asks himself whether Mike Moustakas should bunt to beat the shift.

Craig Brown at Royals Authority looks at how the Royals will round out the bullpen and bench.

Sounds like lefty reliever Franklin Morales has made the team.

Yordano Ventura is 33/1 odds to win the Cy Young at Bovada sportsbook in Las Vegas. Edinson Volquez is on the board at 100-1.

August Fagerstrom at Fangraphs previews team defenses, and predicts the Royals to be the best.

They’re one of just two teams in baseball to be at least league-average defensively at every position, and when Gordon, Dyson and Cain roam the outfield simultaneously, they form like Voltron to create the Ultimate Outfield.

Commissioner Rob Manfred wants an international draft.

The Marlins sign young outfielder Christian Yelich to a seven-year contract.

A Double-A team in Hartford will be named the "Yard Goats", thanks to the internet.

Speaking of mascots, here is your 2015 Mascot Death Bracket.

The Chicago Cubs burn Darren Rovell on Twitter.

The Colts propose nine point touchdowns in the NFL.

Its NCAA tournament time so re-read this piece I wrote a few years ago about Royals who played college basketball.

Could Kentucky make the Eastern Conference playoffs in the NBA?

Matt Hinton at Grantland looks at the proliferation of transferring quarterbacks at elite college football programs.

This is Kansas City, so we need a BBQ bracket, of course.

Geez, accused murderer Robert Durst, the subject of the HBO miniseries "The Jinx", was arrested with a latex mask to conceal his identity along with several items indicating he was on the run.

Can religious movies be good?

An oral history of how "South Park" came to be.

Your song of the day is Peter Gabriel with "Sledgehammer."