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Royals Rumblings - News for May 11, 2015

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Baseball got weird last night, man.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for May 11, 2015

Lee Judge talks about bullpen roles and why they're needed.

Some fans will argue that the best relievers should be used in the most important situations; if you need your closer in the seventh, why not use him then? Baseball managers also want to use their best relievers in the most important situations, they just disagree about when that is.

Most managers want to use their best relievers in the situation that will be most productive: in the later innings, with a lead, in a close game. If I counted right, the Royals are 14-2 when they have a lead after six innings. So when the Royals get the ball to their best relievers with a lead, they know their chances of winning are good. Use your best relievers earlier and they might wiggle out of a jam, but you wouldn’t be as sure it would matter; lesser relievers would have to pitch those final innings. You might succeed in one high-pressure situation, but create another down the road.

And in the meantime you’ve burned up good innings in a loss.

He also writes about why you don't put in your closer for a tie game on the road.

Paul Torlina at Pine Tar Press thinks its actually Yordano Ventura that is the weak link of the rotation right now.

Pitcher 5 is Yordano Ventura and he IS the starting rotation’s biggest problem thus far. Along with Duffy, he is one of the main components to this season and the team’s ability to make up for the loss of Shields. If Duffy is struggling out of the gate so far, then Ventura stumbled and fell on his face after the first 3 steps. All of his peripherals look pretty decent in comparison to last year with the exception of the HRs allowed....

In short, Ventura hasn’t pitched enough games/innings to get into any kind of rhythm (even less so when he has been sitting idle since the middle of last week to serve a 7 game suspension) and get some feel to taking the ball every 5th game and performing as expected.

The Royals hope Alex Rios can begin making contact with a bat next week.

Kenney also indicated Rios was "on track" to play in a game by the six-week mark of his rehabilitation. "Our hope was that somewhere between four and five weeks we would be able to introduce to him striking a ball," Kenney said before the Royals finished their series with the Tigers on Sunday.

"I feel that that will happen." He added, "We threw a timeline out of four to six weeks for a return. Meaning ‘a return to a competitive game.’ Whether that’s at this level, or in a rehab assignment, that was our hope."

Manager Ned Yost has indicated Rios will likely require at-bats in the minors to become acclimated to live pitching. Rios can swing a fungo bat because it is lighter and has a thinner handle, and it places less stress on his hand.

Mike Moustakas will rejoin the team today after leaving the team over the weekend on bereavement leave.

Andy McCullough gives an update on two injured top prospects,

1. Manaea: Assistant general manager Scott Sharp indicated Manaea might be able to leave extended spring training by the end of May. Manaea strained an abdominal muscle in March and missed most of the spring. He still needs to build up his pitch count before he can join Class AA Northwest Arkansas, which was his intended destination before he got injured.

2. Mondesi: He strained his back on April 9, which was Opening Day in the Texas League. He has been rehabilitating in Arizona ever since. Assistant general manager J.J. Picollo classified the injury as "day to day," even after nearly a month away from the diamond. "He’s getting closer," Picollo said.

Terrence Gore is working hard to become an everyday player.

He said he’s continuing to work on his hitting and making improvement on his throwing arm. The speed is not an issue. The 60-yard dash — which baseball uses as a measuring stick — has the 6.9-second range as a normal reading for most players. Gore clocks in at 6.2 seconds.

"I want to play every day," Gore said. "I don’t want to just play in the eighth inning or ninth inning. I want to play every day."

The Royals assigned former All-Star shortstop Rafael Furcal to Class A Wilmington. Furcal was signed to a minor league deal back in March.

The Royals also assigned 2014 first round picks pitcher Foster Griffin and catcher Chase Vallot to Low A Lexington. Griffin gave up four runs in five innings in his debut, while Vallot went 2-for-3 with a double in his debut.

NASCAR's Clint Bowyer, in town for the race at Kansas Speedway, talks about what it was like to face Jeremy Guthrie in batting practice when he visited Kauffman.

All the Rays pitchers are out for the year.

Buster Olney is cool with shortening the schedule.

Five entertaining uses for MLB's new Statcast tracking technology.

Kiley McDaniel at Fangraphs has his first mock draft up for the first half of the draft.

Was Mike Schmidt casually sexist for saying a player's throw was "girlish"?

BREAKING: Lebron James is good at shooting basketballs. That's why his coach called for a play where he didn't get the ball in the final seconds.

Tom Brady is reportedly going to be suspended for his role in "Deflate-Gate."

The Department of Defense has paid the NFL $5 million over the last four years for in-stadium military tributes that are meant to serve as advertising.

Vanity Fair has the inside scoop on the breakup between ESPN and Bill Simmons.

The first late-night talk show on TV was insane.

The 21 greatest graduation speeches of the last 50 years.

Your song of the day is Kanye West with "Hey Mama."