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Royals Rumblings - News for May 21, 2015

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I cannot comprehend all this winning.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for May 21, 2015

Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated takes a look back at Dayton Moore's mocked off-season and marvels at how well it has paid off so far.

Moore committed around $21 million to those six players for 2015, and after six weeks—according to FanGraphs’ WAR-based valuation—has already received around $20 million in production from them. Six-for-six isn’t a bad start.

Perhaps the best part, though, is that Moore’s off-season has only begun to bear fruit. Though Hochevar—signed for $10 million over two years—is back and throwing 95 miles per hour again, he’s only worked a total of three innings. Alex Rios, who was available on a one-year, $11 million deal after a sprained ankle ruined the second half of his 2014, seemed up to his old five-tool ways again until a fractured hand sidelined him just seven games into the season, at which time was batting .321 with one homer, eight RBIs and two steals. He could be back in the next two weeks. The real wild card is Kris Medlen, who at one time seemed like a genuine ace for the Braves—he went 25–13 with a 2.47 ERA between '12 and '13. Moore signed him to a two-year, $8.5 million deal last December, and he is currently rehabbing from a second Tommy John surgery. He could return by the All-Star break.

Eric Hosmer says the Royals are like the Blues Brothers - they're on a mission.

"We’re a team on a mission," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "We’re trying to get back to what we fell short of last year. This is a great start for us."

Sam Mellinger tries to get inside Yordano Ventura's dome.

But the theory that has the most traction within the organization is that Ventura began the season trying too hard to live up to his new contract and status as the league champs’ best pitcher. He always has had an edge to him. He often has wandered over the line from confident to cocky. But maybe some combination of last year’s success, returning to his native Dominican Republic as a hero, the contract and opening day start became too much. ....

He lost that edge. At times, he looked almost detached. Ventura had seen last year’s ace for the Royals, James Shields, build a nine-figure career out of turning that fire into focus, but Shields was a rookie when he was Ventura’s age. Ventura is 24 years old, which isn’t so young that it’s an excuse, but is young enough to be an explanation.

Lee Judge talks about what Mike Moustakas is doing differently this year.

Here’s a baseball truism: a hitter can look away and adjust in, but a hitter can’t look in and adjust away. And pitchers tend to pitch away because it robs most hitters of power. So Mike can look for a pitch away and still adjust to something in the middle third. If a pitch is on the inner third it feels like too much of an adjustment and he wants to let that pitch go — most of the time.

Moose said he’d still look inside on certain pitches off certain pitchers in certain situations. So if a pitcher tries to pound Mike inside, he can look for that on occasion and try to get to it.

John Viril of Kings of Kauffman wonders if we should be worried about closer Greg Holland.

Fangraphs.com indicated Holland’s velocity has fallen off the last two games. In his first three games back from his pectoral injury, Greg Holland’s fastball averaged 94.4, 94.9, and 94.5. In his last two games, Holland average fastball velocity declined to 92.5 and 91.8. Could there be something wrong with Greg Holland, or was his low velocity just a case of a "cold" radar gun?

Greg Holland’s struggles in the last two games suggest the decline was real.

Phil Rogers at MLB.com writes that the Royals are the team to beat in the Central.

The Royals are the team to beat.

They're no longer the surprising team with the athletic lineup and powerful bullpen. Until further notice, the conversation should be whether the Tigers can find a way to take them down, not the other way around. We've known that on some level for awhile, but how can we overlook all that star power in Detroit, not to mention the way that Mike Ilitch and Dave Dombrowski keep the roster upgrades coming?

Since July 22 last year, the Royals have gone 66-37. That's 9 1/2 games better than the Tigers and a .641 winning percentage, which equals 104 wins over a full season.

Reds beat writer C. Trent Rosencrans has praise for Kauffman Stadium, the first stadium he ever visited for a MLB game.

To me, Kauffman Stadium is going to games with my dad. It's sitting in right field as Dan Quisenberry sprayed fans in the bleachers with a water hose. It's seeing Brett up close. It's the stadium of my youth, and to me, that makes it perfect. It says quite a bit that Kauffman is still around. It opened in 1973, and so many of its contemporary stadiums — like Riverfront and Three Rivers and Busch II — are gone.

The Royals made improvements before the All-Star Game in 2012 to make the stadium better, but it's always been one of the jewels in the game. (Really, the only knock on it is its location. It's not great, that's for sure, as there's nothing really around it. However, parking is plentiful and easy, and that's a good thing.)

Twenty-four consecutive scoreless innings this week tied a franchise record.

Former Royals outfielder Carlos Peguero was designated for assignment by the Rangers after hitting .186/.310/.414 in 84 plate appearances.

Jesse Spector of The Sporting News ranks the Royals ninth in baseball in drafting players over the last decade.

Keith Law liked what he saw out of Royals pitching prospect Cody Reed at Class A Wilmington.

Blue and Red spotted former Royals pitcher Robinson Tejada pitching for the Joplin Blasters in the independent leagues.

Will the Cincinnati Reds be sellers at the trade deadline?

Kiley McDaniel at Fangraphs looks at the "Black Swan" theory on drafting pitchers.

The latest "30 for 30" short is about the worst mascot ever - the San Francisco Crab.

What if the NFL had a draft lottery?

NBA beat writer Chris Sheridan is a fan of the Timberwolves owner's wife.

The biggest political science study of the past year turns out to be a complete fraud.

Paypal tricked people into using its credit service and will now pay $25 million.

Why does Twitter "promote" hateful tweets?

Ever Seinfeld episode is coming to Hulu.

Goodbye, David Letterman.

Your song of the day is Ben Folds with "Lullabye."