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Royals Rumblings - News for May 8, 2015

Be on your best behavior, the commish is in town!

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for May 8, 2015

Sam Mellinger writes about the new and improved Eric Hosmer.

Hosmer says he’s taking more chances now, starting what hitters call their load earlier, in an effort to better attack certain pitches in certain counts. This is about more than strength. This is the intersection of preparation and raw talent, with Hosmer more confidently reading both pitches and situations.

Some of the advanced metrics suggest Hosmer is swinging less often, and missing more but making harder contact. That generally jives with what he’s saying about swinging quicker, and starting the process earlier.

"When (your swing) is quicker, it’s more fluid and you get that backspin on the ball," Hosmer says.

Jeff Passan writes about the new and improved Mike Moustakas.

"Last year, I was really stubborn," Moustakas said. "I didn't think I could get beat by the shift. I felt like I could hit through it. I realized I can't.

No other major leaguer has copped to this reality, though Moustakas' transformation early this season could well offer a template for learning how to defeat the shift. In 27 games, Moustakas has as many hits to left field this season as he did all of last year. His 18 opposite-field hits lead baseball. Less than a year after a demotion to Triple-A, Moustakas is hitting above .300, making contact on more than 94 percent of pitches in the strike zone and not just batting second but making Ned Yost look brilliant for putting him there.

Ned Yost may want to add some depth to the bullpen after a number of short outings by starters.

In the past two games, the Kansas City relief corps handled 14 innings of work. The effort exhausted the group before the weekend. Yost indicated the club could make a roster move, perhaps optioning out backup infielder Orlando Calixte, to add another pitcher for Friday’s game.

"They’re still alive," Yost said about his bullpen. "Which is good. We’ll worry about it tomorrow.":

The Royals picked up a new backup catcher yesterday with Drew Butera, but Dayton Moore still sees Erik Kratz as the backup when he's healthy.

General manager Dayton Moore indicated the club still views Kratz as Salvador Perez’s primary backup. "We’re just trying to get through this period of time," Moore said. "We’ll see what happens from there."

David Lesky at Pine Tar Press looks at some pitchers that might become available this summer that could help out the Royals.

Yovani Gallardo – The Rangers traded for Gallardo in the off-season in the hopes of him co-leading their rotation with Derek Holland. With Holland out, Gallardo is flying solo. He’s not my favorite option on this list, but the Royals could do worse. He’s not an innings eater, but when he’s on, he can carve through any lineup. I can’t imagine he’d be expensive in terms of prospects in return either, which is probably more the Royals style. He’s a name to watch if the Royals do look to the trade market.

New MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was in town, part of his visit to all clubs and commented on several hot topics in baseball, but was also encouraged by what he saw in Kansas City.

"Let me just at the outset say I’m really excited to be back here in Kansas City. I was here for the Wild Card Game and obviously for the World Series last year; I was heartened by the fact that this morning in Starbucks there were as many people wearing Royals gear as there were last fall. The excitement in this city is great, and I really am glad to be back here."

Wonder if he ran into "Frank Yost" at Starbucks.

Speaking of Yost, he talked about his lasting hunting trip with his friend, the late Dale Earnhardt.

That trip was interrupted by a 16-inch snowstorm, which Earnhardt wanted to brave to honor a sponsorship appearance for Budweiser.

"We kept telling him, ‘Dale, there’s 16 inches of snow. You can’t go. You need to stay here,’" Yost said. An argument ensued with Earnhardt yelling at Bill Jordan, another notable outdoorsman who was on the trip.

"It got a little awkward … and all the sudden it got real quiet in there," Yost said. He broke the silence by hollering at Earnhardt, "The only reason he’s saying that. There’s only one reason we don’t want you to go. Man, we love you. You know what, we love you. We don’t want you to go. We love you."

Earnhardt grinned ear to ear, but from the corner where he was seated, Jordan piped up, "Well, I don’t feel the love."

The Commish also ruled on Kelvin Herrera's suspension.


Sam Mellinger recounts a story about rainouts from legendary Royals scout Art Stewart about Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel.

"Gentlemen," he says, "we can work our damndest to beat our opponents. We can work every minute of every day to be at our best and beat the other guy, but one thing I’ve learned …"

Here, at this point, Stengel points to the sky. "We can’t beat that guy."

Alex Rios is all over them dry swings.

Minda has pictures of Luke Hochevar from his rehab assignment in Omaha.

Did you know this?

I want to go there.

Shake up in Boston as they designate reliever Edward Mujica for assignment and fire their pitching coach.

Michael Bauman of Grantland answers the question - who the heck is Blue Jays rookie Devon Travis?

Commissioner Manfred also said he's open to shortening the regular season to a 154-game season.

The guys at Baseball Prospectus review the latest "Out of the Park Baseball" game.

Jon Bois looks at the brief, absurd hitting career of Mets pitcher Koo Dae-Sung.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is a mime.

Are teams hiring new managers avoiding the "Selig Rule" which requires them to consider minority candidates?

Prep star Kyler Murray is "opting out" of the MLB draft to attend Texas A&M University.

Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs looks at who the Diamondbacks might take with the #1 overall pick.

An oral history of how "Big League Chew" came to be.

Tom Brady's agent is salty.

The Cleveland Cavaliers thought domestic violence might be funny.

Your guide to the upcoming United Kingdom elections.

Andy Greenwald at Grantland previews the summer television schedule.

A fan made a Google Maps version of Westeros, from "Game of Thrones."

Eater ranks the best grocery stores.

Google's plans for a Googleplex in Mountain View were rejected.

Your song of the day is Pink Floyd with "Have a Cigar."