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Royals Rumblings - News for April 1, 2015

The Royals have acquired Mike Trout. Haha, just kidding, April Fool's.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for April 1, 2015

gout-free Andy McCullough reports reliever Luke Hochevar will begin the season on the disabled list and won't return until May.

"This is not a scenario where you want to push him," Yost said. "Because he’s that good. We know what we have. It’s a tremendous asset that we’re going to have in our bullpen. But you’ve got to make sure he’s ready to maneuver through a major-league season in the bullpen."

Ned Yost declared the final bullpen spot to be between Louis Coleman, Brian Flynn, and Ryan Madson and expects roster decisions to be made on Sunday.

Veteran Joe Blanton, however, has not made the club, but he will not exercise his opt-out.

The Royals did release infielder Rafael Furcal, signed just two weeks ago to a minor league deal.

The Royals project to have the 16th highest payroll in baseball, thanks to that cheapskate David Glass. Its still just 40% of what the Dodgers payroll will be.

Blair Kerkoff writes the Royals have become a team for others to emulate.

The Royals hit on a winning formula in 2014, all the way to the seventh game of the World Series, and it wasn’t just the Yankees who took notice. "Elite bullpen, elite-level defense, and to see some of their guys step up on the big stage, that was fun to watch," said Jon Daniels, the Texas Rangers’ president of baseball operations and general manager. Generally, the Royals’ blueprint involves winning in ways that are economical, which led the Royals to stock up on power bullpen arms instead of power bats and understand the dynamic of speed and defense, especially in a spacious home ballpark.

"To be honest," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "We just do what we think is best for our team."

Dave Skretta with the Associated Press concurs, speed and defense has become a winning formula.

"In a market like ours, we may not be able to afford top-of-the-rotation pitchers, or a power bat," Moore explained in an interview with The Associated Press. "But what helps your starting pitchers? A good bullpen. What makes them better? Defense. So what we tried to do was make sure we have as many quality defenders and speed-type players as possible."

Makes sense, right? Speedy, weak-hitting outfielders come cheaper than someone who pounds 30 homers. And you can get a bushel of relievers for the price of a starting pitcher.

Yet the approach was initially met with derision. Many fans still could not understand why the frugal Royals never made runs at pricy power bats like Albert Pujols. It hardly quelled their voices when the Royals continued to languish near the bottom of the standings.

But something strange happened last year, when Moore's long-term vision finally matured. It wound up working.

Vahe Gregorian has some random notes on the Royals as he wonders if they can possibly top last year's excitement.

Manager Ned Yost is 59 and under contract through 2016. But he’s not sure whether he’d want to manage until that time or past it.

"I could go another three years, another two, another one," he said. "Right now, I’m playing it by ear. I don’t know how long I’ll go. … "My wife didn’t want me to come back this year, but this is a fun group to be around." But it’s hard being away from his family, he added, and Yost is conscious of his mortality.

"Your time on Earth," he said, "is running out."

Is that a threat?

Sam Mellinger answers some doubts about free agent addition Edinson Volquez, who has had a dreadful spring.

There are questions about how Volquez will adjust to the American League, and adjust to a new catcher. In certain baseball circles, Russell Martin gets a lot of credit for Volquez’s rebirth — and nice new contract — both for bringing out the best in him mentally, and for being a spectacular pitch framer. Sal Perez, at least according to this, is not a good pitch framer. Either way, it is a bit striking that the Royals have five entirely competent big-league starting pitchers in their rotation. It sounds like a simple thing, but there are a lot of teams who are particularly weak at the back. There’s profit to be made there.

Here is Mellinger's Over/Under Royals Challenge.

Dayn Perry at CBS Sports ranks Alex Gordon as the fourth best player in the league, and Yordano Ventura as the sixth best pitcher.

Baseball America ranks the Royals thirteenth in their organizational rankings.

High-Ceiling Sleeper: Just an eighth-round pick, 1B Ryan O’Hearn dominated the Rookie-level Pioneer League in his debut after adopting a more aggressive offensive approach. The Royals would love to see it continue in full-season ball, and he could add outfield play to the package.

Former Royals prospect Mike Montgomery was shipped from the Rays to the Mariners for pitcher Erasmo Ramirez.

ESPN polled MLB players on a number of issues, and 41% of them thought Alex Gordon should have tried to score. 41% are stupid.

The Royals will have a franchise-record 161 games televised this year. It would be 162, but Ryan Lefebvre has a dentist appointment.

KCTV5 updated us on Royals superfan Jimmy Faseler, recovering from a gunshot wound from a home invasion. The gofundme page to help him with his medical expenses is here.

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander may have his first ever stint on the disabled list.

The average MLB salary has jumped to over $4 million.

Commissioner Rob Manfred says Montreal needs to get a stadium commitment to get a team back, then we'll talk.

The Reds have opened a suite for breast-feeding moms at the game.

Spencer Hall wonders which sports people you could beat in a fight?

Kim Cross has a nice long-form piece on a veteran's attempt to get on the U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team.

Jason Berger at Grantland looks at how the Wichita State Shockers basketball team became a big shot in Kansas.

St. Louis County has been dropped from the proposed Rams football stadium financing plan.

Can the documentary "Going Clear" do to the Church of Scientology's tax-exempt status what "The Jinx" did for Robert Durst?

How Comedy Central Roasts have become just good PR for celebrities with tarnished reputations.

Huzzah! "The Americans" was renewed on F/X.

Why brands should not make April Fool's jokes.

Your song of the day is Queen with "You Don't Fool Me."