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Royals Rumblings - News for April 7, 2015

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The Royals Magic Number is 162.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for April 7, 2015

Sam Mellinger writes that Ventura's thumb is fine, but his pitching was better.

Yordano Ventura’s thumb cramp was worse than the neighbor’s teenager after playing four hours of Call of Duty. Yordano Ventura grabbed his thumb like a midnight foot cramp. That’s the same hand Ventura used to sign that big contract, right? "We all kind of laughed about it after," Royals manager Ned Yost says.

New slugger Kendrys Morales proved to be a good addition yesterday, getting on base four times.

"They can bring in a lefty to face Hos, but they have that switch hitter that can turn around and have your right, left still going on," Yost said. "We think that him in the five spot will be really productive for us."

But it was Alex Rios who was the big hitting star, smacking a home run in his Royals debut.

"A guy like Rios is going to hit," third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "He’s a great player and we’re all excited to have him. He really did put the icing on the cake today."

Speaking of Moose, he seemed to like hitting in the number two spot yesterday, hitting a home run, and dropping a sacrifice bunt.

"I’ve grown up a lot playing this game; got humbled a lot last year," said Moustakas, who got sent down to Class AAA Omaha mid-season. "And now I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team win, (whatever) that calls for."

Craig Brown at Royals Authority was impressed with Moose's ability to go opposite field with his home run.

For Moustakas to go that far to left is huge. And something we have never seen. (Bruce Chen called it on the broadcast. I’m not looking to dump Uncle Hud, so maybe a three man booth in the future.) If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I’m highly skeptical about this latest transformation of the Royals third baseman. We’ve been down this path before. But damn if he doesn’t have me scratching my head. Maybe, just maybe, he has become a different hitter trying to take the ball to all fields. Maybe, just maybe, he’s becoming some kind of better hitter because he’s staying within and going the opposite way instead of trying to yank everything. I don’t know. I need more evidence than one game. But that’s a much more promising start than doing it in Arizona.

Pitcher Luke Hochevar is headed to Omaha to build up his strength in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

"I think that to be able to come up and to be ready at the big-league level, I think there’s a couple steps that I still need to take," Hochevar said. "The majority of it has to do with recovery and how I’m responding to my outings.

"Even now, I’m pitching with two days in between. That’s got to get moved to one day in between. And then be able to respond, be able to repeat my stuff. And then that’s got to be able to be moved to back-to-back days, and be able to repeat my stuff.

Carson Cistulli at Fangraphs looks at the top five Royals prospects by projected WAR.

They’re not precise comps for each other, but Manaea’s projection — and the variables informing it — nevertheless bears more than a passing resemblance to Finnegan’s (above). He’s young, performed at points in college, was injured at points in college, and possesses little in the way of a professional track record. Unlike Finnegan, Manaea has worked exclusively as a starter since having been selected by Kansas City — and therefore, unlike Finnegan, is forecast here as a starter, too. The projection complements McDaniel’s own comments regarding Manaea — namely, that he’s exhibited considerable promise, but also oughtn’t be regarded as prepared for a major-league role. Some kind of innings sample in the upper minors — if he’s able to continue his above-average performances — would positively influence his projections.

Jonah Keri at Grantland looks at how the Craig Kimbrel trade impacts the Braves and Padres.

Grant Brisbee lists 288 things he likes about baseball.

The Red Sox ink starter Rick Porcello to an $82 million contract extension.

Oakland's Sonny Gray nearly tosses an opening day no-no.

Eleven outrageous ballpark food items that may very well kill you.

WWE made baseball logos for your favorite wrestlers.

Duke is your college basketball champ, the feel-good underdog story of the year. Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was not too pleased after losing the game.

Vox.com tries to correct the history of cigarettes.

The metal band Gwar is being sued for allegedly stealing the remains of former lead singer David Brockie.

All six Star Wars movies are coming to iTunes and Google Play.

Your song of the day is Duran Duran with "Rio."