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Royals Rumblings - News for May 7, 2015

There is still time for Bruce Chen to play for your beer league softball team.

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Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for May 7, 2015

Sam Mellinger writes the Royals are pretty impressed with the attendance turn out so far.

This is a fun story in any context. Before Tuesday's game, Royals assistant coach Rusty Kuntz was telling a story about driving around town with his wife looking for ideas on how to landscape their house. Kuntz ended up noticing all of the Royals flags hanging by front doors.

But for the Royals, the attendance means more. Years ago, some players would quietly complain about the small crowds. Now, there is at least a little bit of awe in Duffy's voice as he talks of the crowd at the Wild Card game making the noise of 150,000 people.

The trick for the Royals is to turn this into a trend that feeds on itself. Not just in making Kansas City a more fun place to play, but in giving the team more money to sign and keep better players. So far, the attendance has been better than anyone expected.

Miles Wray at Fangraphs writes about how Chris Young is confounding BABIP again.

On the surface, it doesn’t look like Young’s uptick in velocity shouldn’t be making a tangible difference. Davis made the jump from an average fastball at 92 MPH to an average fastball at 95 MPH. Young has made the big ol’ leap from 85 MPH to 86 MPH. Why the heck doesn’t this guy get clobbered?

At this point, well over a thousand innings into Young’s career, his ability to induce weak contact — specifically weak fly balls — sure does look like a repeatable skill. That low, low career BABIP is historically great, and can only be approached by just a few active veterans, most of them lifelong relievers. The word commonly thrown around when talking about Young is "Invisiball." His long limbs make for such an unconventional delivery that starts so close to the plate, that the ball looks, I guess, invisible to batters.

Clark Fosler at Royals Authority looks at some ex-Royals enjoying some success and notes how it doesn't seem to bother us anymore.

The good news is the Royals’ have reached the stage that you can assemble an entire team of former players. The better news, that team would be nowhere near as good as the current Royals’ squad. That sounds like a no-brainer, but not very long ago it would not have been.

Mike Norris at Kings of Kauffman expects the bullpen to regress some, but not by much.

The point is nearly every Royals’ pitcher is performing better than their career averages of ERA, WHIP, K/BB ratio, etc. through 25 games. In reality, that pace should not hold up through 162 contests. However, it has been so good that even a regression doesn’t mean it will cost the Royals many losses. It’s like hitting a Grand Slam in the ninth inning of a time game, as opposed to a solo shot. Both win the game for you, but the Grand Slam is more impressive.

Holland may blow a save, Davis may even give up an extra-base hit or two, and Finnegan could show his youth from time to time, but this bullpen is the best in the Majors, and it’s going to stay that way.

Lee Judge writes about how Mike Moustakas nearly killed him.

I heard a belated "Heads up!" and a baseball appeared about a foot away from me and smacked the dugout wall approximately two inches to my right....

That’s when a concerned Mike Moustakas came in the dugout to see if everyone was alright—it was his throw that scattered everyone. When Moose found out I was the one that almost got smoked by the ball, his mood changed somewhat: he started giggling.

"Lee, it was a good throw, but I hit the screen."

"Moose, it wasn’t that good a throw—you hit the screen."

Combined with Kelvin Herrera, we have a couple of murderers on our team.

Lee also writes that Moose's bunts have kept the Indians from shifting so dramatically against him.

Jeff Passan writes that Miguel Cabera's grin after Kelvin Herrera struck him out Friday night shows what a special player he is.

They dueled for nine pitches until Herrera blew the 10th by Cabrera at triple digits. Rather than stomp away in frustration, Cabrera smiled.

"I saw it," Herrera said. "He knows exactly who he is. That's why he feels like he can do that. We all know what type of hitter he is."

Speaking of Herrera, he had his appeal to reduce his two suspensions totaling seven games, and should hear a decision from Major League Baseball soon.

Alcides Escobar took batting practice and some groundballs, but still has to pass a reactions test today to be cleared to play.

Former Royals pitcher Al Fitzmorris reflected on his time with the team.

Clubhouse Conversation had Royals legend Bill Pecota on his podcast to discuss his career and the player projection system he inspired.

Luke Hochevar is expected to rejoin the club this weekend after spending over a year recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Matthew DeFranks looks at what has transpired in the 651 days since Kelvin Herrera last allowed a home run.

Bubba went yardski again.

Old friend Bruce Chen is in the Indians rotation now, his eleventh club, tied for fourth-most all-time.

Andrew Simon at Sports on Earth looks at players playing out of position, which reminds me of this piece I wrote about Royals playing out of position. MITCH!

Grant Brisbee looks at what's wrong with the AL West.

Bryce Harper is good at baseballing.

Manny Ramirez apparently spiked a drink with Viagra once. Talk about your performance-enhancing drugs.

The NFL issued a report that showed the Patriots were messing with their balls.

NFL players don't think domestic abuse training is working. They may have a point.

Boulevard did quite well in a blind taste-test of the 35 best American saisons.

The guy that made J.C. Penny into what it is today is back with a new idea.

Vietnam has devalued the dong again, making it harder to hang.

If you run for President, you should probably secure all possible web domains.

McDonald's is bringing back the "Hamburglar", but as a creepy-looking hipsterish dude.

Talk about a real go-getter, this man was fired from his job after two weeks only because he looked at 39 hours worth of porn on the job over that time.

Your song of the day is Elvis Costello with "Pump it Up."