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Royals Rumblings - News for March 5, 2015

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The Royals are now bunting the ball over the wall.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for March 5, 2015

The Royals drilled the Rangers 13-2 in the Cactus League opener, with back-to-back-to-back home runs from Eriic Hosmer, Kendrys Morales, and Alex Rios in the first off Rangers starter Colby Lewis. Andy McCullough has his video report from Surprise. Salvador Perez will play sparingly in spring training, and Omar Infante is still nursing his elbow.

Vahe Gregorian doesn't want to read too much into yesterday's power burst, but he thinks it could be a sign this team has more power.

Then up stepped Hosmer, who pulped the ball. Afterward, he suggested that the approach he came to at the end of last season has flowed into this exhibition season.

"Just more relaxed," he said. "Going up there with a plan, and basically just trusting your plan."...

But how much does any of this have to do with when it matters?

"Let’s see, let’s see," Rios said, later adding, "It’s irrelevant what you do during the spring." Except, he added, "You just have to get a good feeling and then bring that feeling to the season." So they got a day closer to that on Wednesday, which beats the alternative — and flashed the difference that added dimension could mean to this team.

The Royals hardly noticed the new pace-of-play rules in a game that was played in a shade under three hours.

"I really didn’t think about it honest," Hosmer said. "The only thing different was the clock, and it definitely seemed like it shortened the time between the innings. It got things moving a little bit."

Matthew DeFranks of Fox Sports Kansas City thinks newcomers Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios could make some noise for the Royals.

While it is unlikely Morales will hit 34 home runs like he did for the Angels in 2009, 20 dingers could be a realistic goal for the 31-year-old. He hit 23 for Seattle in 2013 and 22 for Los Angeles the season before. Twenty home runs would have accounted for more than a fifth of the KC total a year ago (95).

Rios, meanwhile, should fit in nicely in right field and in the Royals' lineup, given his combination of speed and power. His numbers were down in 2014 (four home runs and 17 stolen bases for Texas), but he has posted two 20-20 seasons in his career. Rios' power dip didn't coincide with a decline in his batting. He still hit .280 with 30 doubles and eight triples, more than any Royal last season and good for fourth in the American League.

John Viril of Kings of Kauffman thinks Alex Gordon needs to lead off again.

I think returning Gordon to the leadoff role is Ned Yost’s best option. Alex Gordon, unlike most of his teammates, draws a significant number of walks with a 9.2% walk rate over his career. He’s a guy that you can rely on to make pitchers work and get on base on a consistent basis.

Once on base, he can cause some problems for the defense. Alex Gordon is a good, not great, baserunner with more than 10 stolen bases each of the last four season....

On a club without a prototypical leadoff hitter, Alex Gordon is the guy you want getting the most at bats.

The Royals could set a precedent with the number of "V" pitchers - Jason Vargas, Yordano Ventura, and Edinson Volquez -  in their rotation, the kind of stat FOX would probably appreciate.

Alex Gordon talks to ESPN about his health and has to answer that stupid question one more time.

The Gil Meche signing is the fifth-smallest free agent signing that is the most expensive free agent signing in a franchise's history.

MLB Advanced Media is unveiling some new player-tracking data for fans to enjoy.

Say what? The Cubs almost played in Milwaukee this year?

Bill Barnwell of Grantland sorts out the Lesean McCoy trade.

Whatever happened to that Dez Bryant video anyway?

Old friend Matt Cassel was traded to Buffalo.

MLS avoids a work stoppage and will start the season on time.

Grant Brisbee provides the unwritten rules to eating a sandwich in the Mets clubhouse.

Happy Gilmore and Bob Barker are still brawling.

Does Apple Pay have a fraud problem?

Should Star Trek aspire to be the "True Detective" of science fiction?

Vince Vaughn and the cast of "Unfinished Business" posed for cheesy stock photos and one of them has already fooled a newspaper.

Hey, our podcast is now on iTunes!

Your song of the day is Snap with "I've Got the Power."