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Royals Rumblings - News for June 5, 2015

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Rain, rain, go away.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for June 5, 2015

Danny Duffy's simulated game went well and he'll be tweaking his delivery.

During his three-inning, 45-pitch simulated game Thursday afternoon, Duffy experimented with his newest tweak: bringing his hands over his head before uncorking a pitch. He had previously kept his hands together at his chest before separating them and throwing.

"It was a tweak to start throwing more strikes," Duffy said. "That's probably the name of the game for me right now."

Kris Medlen also threw a simulated game and things went well.

Medlen is expected to return to Arizona for his next throwing session. He visited the team during this homestand because renovations have begun at the team’s complex in Surprise, and the organization is currently moving their equipment across the valley to Papago Park in Phoenix.

General manager Dayton Moore indicated Medlen would expand his pitch count to five innings before beginning a rehabilitation assignment. That should occur in the next two weeks. From there, Medlen could join the club in some capacity by July.

Kris, how do you think it went?

Hunter Samuels at Pine Tar Press looks at Omar Infante's disappearing plate discipline.

This may come as a surprise to you, but the only Royals with more than 100 plate appearances last season with a lower out-of-zone swing rate (O-Swing%) were Nori Aoki and Jarrod Dyson. Infante chased just 24.8% of the balls he saw. So yes, Infante was a selective hitter last season, and he’s been that way for much of his career, only topping a 30% O-Swing rate twice in the Pitchf/x era (since 2007). Including this season, his O-Swing% in that timeframe is 28.3%.

This season, though, like Riley Curry, Infante’s current O-Swing% is waaaaaaaayyyy up. It’s sitting at 36.2%. That’s not quite at the level of Salvador Perez, but he certainly seems to be trying to emulate his fellow Venezuelan, though without any power potential to compensate for a lack of discipline.

David Hill at Kings of Kauffman thinks Greg Holland is getting closer to form.

Given those numbers, it is not surprising that Holland’s ERA is considered to be better than expected. Indeed, his FIP indicates that Holland should have a 4.50 ERA, taking him from the realm of the elite closers and closer to the level of pitchers like Jason Grilli. That is not what the Kansas City Royals need in the back of the bullpen.

So, what has been the reason for this dropoff? First, Greg Holland has lost almost two miles per hour from his fastball this season, dropping from 96.43 MPH over the past three seasons to 94.58 MPH. While that may not seem like a big difference, those two miles per hour can mask the occasional struggles with command that Holland is experiencing this season. However, this drop in velocity may not be as troubling as it would appear.

The Giants visited the White House with an old friend in attendance.

Ned Yost announced his coaching staff for the All-Star Game, which will include his staff on the Royals. Except Mitch :(

MLB Daily Dish ranks the Royals as the top buyers at the trade deadline this summer.

The Royals are the defending AL Champs and the pressure is on to repeat. Meanwhile, their pitching behind Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura, and Chris Young (what?) has been awful and is not likely to improve much.

MLB.com has an oral history of the 2005 draft, a talented class that included Alex Gordon.

Gordon, OF, Royals (No. 2 pick, Royals, Nebraska): I really had no contact with the Royals. I thought I was going to go No. 3 to Seattle. I talked to one of their area scouts who lived close to Lincoln [Neb.], so I talked to him all the time.

The Sporting News ranks Dayton Moore as the ninth-best General Manager in baseball. "The Contest" seems so long ago.

Speaking of the Sporting News, thirty years ago they featured the Royals on their cover lauding them for the "lifetime deals" they handed to George Brett, Willie Wilson, and Dan Quisenberry. Those contracts turned out to last not quite a lifetime.

Ben Lindbergh at Grantland looks at trends in the past few MLB drafts.

This old Royals scouting report on Wade Boggs says he "needs help with the bat."

Jeff Zimmerman has his draft rankings for Hardball Times.

Its been a good year for MLB rookies so far.

The NCAA finds the University of North Carolina had a lack of institutional control.

Did Lebron save Cleveland?

The Warriors take Game One of the NBA Finals in overtime.

Your guide to the 2015 Women's World Cup which begins in a few weeks in Canada.

Costco sells more organic food than Whole Foods.

Is tipping at restaurants on the way out?

Lego rips off "Minecraft", which had already ripped off Lego.

People in Japan are shaving their dogs into cubes.

Jason Alexander reveals why George Costanza's fiancee on "Seinfeld" had to die.

Your song of the day is Huey Lewis and the News with "Heart of Rock and Roll."