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Royals Rumblings - News for April 3, 2015

Brace yourself. Baseball is coming.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for April 3, 2015

Blair Kerkhoff writes about how Mike Moustakas wants to evolve into a more complete hitter.

The response from Moustakas and other Royals left-handed hitters who face a shift has been to accept the challenge and forge ahead.

"I’ve got to find a way to beat it," Moustakas said. "I’ve been a pull hitter most of my life. It’s smart for teams to shift me. It’s on me to figure out a way to beat it, maybe lay down a couple of bunts, go the other way a little more. These are the things I need to work on." Moustakas’ thoughts on the matter were expressed early in spring training, and his exhibition-game results were generally positive....

"The only way to stop the shift is to stop giving guys free base hits," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

No surprise, Fangraphs ranks the Royals as having the best bullpen.

Here’s a simple test of whether this is measuring anything. What we’re trying to do is project the best and worst team bullpens for 2015. If the process is sound, we basically know the Royals ought to rank No. 1. What do we see? The Royals rank No. 1. The process is sound! On the one hand, the Royals’ lead is slim — a fraction of one win. On the other hand, the Royals are in front of the runners-up by 13 percent. Baseball is going to feature many good bullpens. No bullpen stands a better chance of being really good than Kansas City’s, because this is just kind of what they do.

Minor League Baseball takes a look at some Royals prospects to watch this year.

This spring, Manaea has been hampered by a strained abdominal muscle but said he's prepared to be back for the season at full strength. "I've got to listen to the trainers and everything," he said. "My ab gets better and better each day. We just have to keep resting it and try to keep as little resistance as I can on it. I can't wait to get back to throwing."

The Royals' No. 2 prospect led the Carolina League with 146 strikeouts last season and didn't break down as his first professional season wore along.

"I didn't really have any issues throughout the whole season, just a little soreness here and there," he said. "For the most part, for my first season I felt really good throughout the entire season. Working out and stuff, I tried to find a routine and stuff with my workouts. ... Halfway through the season, stuff started clicking and I finally found a routine working-wise and what to do in between starts throwing and all that."

Clark Fosler at Royals Authority gives his predictions for the first week of the season.

  • Alcides Escobar will attempt to bunt in his first at-bat of the season.
  • We will wake up on the morning of April 13th and Yordano Ventura will lead the American League in strikeouts.
  • Someone will mention Famous Daves or Dickey’s and Twitter will explode with righteous indignation.
  • Alex Gordon AND Eric Hosmer will each homer twice in the first week of the season.
  • Greg Holland will blow a save. (He always blows a save in the first week…always. It means nothing, but we will wonder if it means SOMETHING).

Sluggerr will be on "Good Morning America" this morning.

The Kansas City Symphony will perform the National Anthem at Monday's season opener.

Former Royals outfielder Bo Jackson has to explain to Adam LaRoche's kid who he is at White Sox camp.

Boulevard Brewery will be serving their craft beers in "Craft and Draft" at Kauffman Stadium.

Former Royals pitcher turned Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt, a devout Christian, pleads for more tolerance towards gays from other Christians.

Jeff Zimmerman makes an appearance on "Effectively Wild", the Baseball Prospectus podcast.

Royals farmhand Angel Franco talks about minor league life on the Clubhouse Conversation podcast.

Justin Verlander and Bruce Rondon will start the season on the disabled list for the Tigers.

Jim Caple and David Schoenfield of ESPN look at ten ways to improve offense in baseball.

Commissioner Rob Manfred promises in-market streaming of games this year.

Joseph Kahn of the Boston Globe wonders if long-term deals in baseball are really worth the cost.

Ryan Nanni has your guide in this video on how to prepare for Opening Day.

Bowling Green fired its basketball coach for "inappropriate conduct" at a bar.

UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma thinks the men's game is a "joke."

Here's your coverage of the Final Four this weekend. Who ya got?

The U.S. Army is finally changing its stance on arm-sleeve tattoos.

Netflix is reportedly close to signing a deal to re-boot the "Full House" TV series. They also may be reuniting former "Mr. Show" creators David Cross and Bob Odenkirk for a new show.

Andy Greenwald at Grantland looks at the legacy of "Mad Men", which begins its final season on Sunday.

The definitive oral history of Max Headroom.

Your song of the day is The Temptations with "Get Ready."