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Royals Rumblings - News for March 4, 2015

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The Royals are playing a baseball game today!

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for March 4, 2015

Sam Mellinger likes the newer, more confident Ned Yost, and argues his critics are out to lunch.

But, anyway, to your question, I’ve never been on the Ned As Moron track as much as what seems like a majority of Kansas City. I’ve always thought of him as average, maybe a little below average. It’s only fair to raise that a little now, but I still see him in the middle. I heard a lot of people think I was being far too nice with that before, and will probably hear a lot of people think I’m being too hard with that now.

But I just don’t see where he’s a moron. He made, off the top of my head, three horrendous decisions last year with bullpen usage: the Jonny Gomes Game, the Aaron Crow Game, and the Yordano Ventura Game. But I think following or rooting for one team rips away perspective, and if you followed any team for 162 games plus the playoffs, you could find mistakes like that with the manager.

Also, and before I say this I should emphasize that nobody pounds the "managers are overrated and get far too much blame and credit" drum more than me. So before I even type the following sentence, let’s all agree that the Royals bullpen is awesome because Greg Holland is awesome and Wade Davis is a cyborg and Kelvin Herrera would be a closer for many teams. But, if you’re going to rip Ned for mistakes and losses, shouldn’t he get even a little credit for the success?

Luke Hochevar is starting to ramp things up after a season off following Tommy John surgery, but he is not a lock to be on the Opening Day roster.

"It’s all stepping up the progression ladder and getting into a game," Yost said. "But his stuff was very good. Real good curveball. Real sharp. Tight spin on it. Nice change-up. Good velocity on his fastball. They were all good to see."

That’s positive news, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Hochevar is on track to begin the season with the Royals. Yost said earlier in the week that Hochevar could start the season on the disabled list if he wasn’t ready for opening day but "it’s going to be real soon afterwards" that he’d be with the club.

Craig Brown at Royals Authority is not optmistic about Kendrys Morales.

Then what exactly happened to Morales in 2014 that made it so awful? In a nutshell, he stopped driving the ball. Compare his spray chart from 2013 to his chart from last season. Notice how much deeper his fly balls travelled in ’13 compared to ’14.

Morales is a switch-hitter and his power comes primarily from the right side. There are clusters of blue representing fly balls in left and center that are present in 2014, but they aren’t as deep on the plot as 2013. That has to account for something. As RJ Anderson discovered at Baseball Prospectus, Morales posted career low BABIP on both line drives and fly balls last year.

Matthew DeFranks of Fox Sports Kansas City.looks at the biggest questions facing the Royals in 2015.

The Royals reached deals with a number of pre-arbitration-eligible players, including Yordano Ventura and Christian Colon.

Louis Coleman is one of eight players out of options this year, making it difficult to ship him to Omaha.

Four Royals made the Minor League Baseball Community Top 100 prospect list, with Sean Manaea outranking his organization-mates at #38.

The Royals have a baseball game today! They play the Rangers with Aaron Brooks starting against Colby Lewis in the opener.

What's that feeling? Pride? No. Less shame? Yea.

Fangraphs 2015 playoff odds are now available. Royals have a 1.2% chance to win the World Series, so its pretty much a lock.

Patrick Dubuque of Hardball Times asks whether Charlie Brown is the worst manager of all-time, which reminds me of this fantastic Jeff Zimmerman piece.

Juan Pierre retired, and its kinda amazing he never played for the Royals.

The Mets invited former player and gay activist Billy Bean to camp, and the players were cool with it, even though Daniel Murphy objected to his lifestyle.

Curt Schilling got a Yankees employee fired for tweeting rape threats at his daughter.

Andrew Sharp of Grantland rips the Sixers plan to tank, although it looks like Dayton Moore's mantra is spreading.

rare player-for-player blockbuster trade in the NFL as Chip Kelly sends runningback Lesean McCoy to Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

The NASCAR race in Kansas City is now called the "Spongebob Squarepants 400." Okay.

The MLS may not start its season on time due to a labor conflict over free agency.

NBC will bundle "The Tonight Show" and "Saturday Night Live" online for cord-cutters.

A quadriplegic woman has flown an F-35 fighter jet using only her thoughts.

Prince as an afro-wearing high school basketball player. Game. Blouses.

Your song of the day is the Beastie Boys with "Jimmie James."