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Royals Rumblings - News for July 20, 2015

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Smiles are a disgrace to baseball.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for July 20, 2015

Danny Duffy took the longest outing of his career all in stride, braj

"That elusive eighth-inning out?" Duffy said with a relentless smile. "Dude, I was at 7 1/3 (innings), and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I’m at 7 1/3. That’s crazy.’ I was just happy to even get into the eighth, to be quite honest with you."

Neil Weinberg at Fangraphs has a terrific article about the offensive emergence of Lorenzo Cain.

In thinking about power, there are really two ways to get better. You can either hit the ball more squarely on average, or you can hit the average ball with more force. Cain seems like an easy study because you generally don’t see a lot of players getting physically stronger between 28 and 29. We’re usually thinking about players in their early twenties when talking about guys who start hitting the ball harder. It seems like Cain is among those players making better contact rather than harder contact. There’s obviously no way to be sure, but it’s a defensible hypothesis in context. Cain is striking out less and he’s hitting for extra bases more often. It seems like he’s barreling up the ball more effectively.

Specifically, Cain has closed a hole in his swing. That’s really what this comes down to. Cain probably isn’t a true talent 140 wRC+ hitter, but there is a very real reason to believe he is a better hitter than the one we saw a year ago.

Yahoo! writers regret some of their pre-season predictions, namely, that they chose the Royals to finish fourth.

Coming into the year, it was easy to expect some regression from the Royals. The team lost ace James Shields, and didn't make any major free-agent signings. Apparently, they didn't need to. The offensive breakouts from last season have carried over. Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer appear to be the real deal, while Mike Moustakas and Kendrys Morales have been pleasant surprises. While the pitching hasn't been great, the team has endured without Shields. The bullpen and defense have maintained last year's excellence, making us all look like fools.

The Royals' success has Las Vegas bookies worried.

The Royals are the consensus World Series favorites in Vegas. They are listed at 4-1 at the MGM sportsbook and have been attracting some significant wagers since early in the season.

"We took some pretty heavy action on the Royals the first weekend of the season," MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood said. "A gentleman bet them three times, at 18-1, 15-1 and 10-1, all the way down, between $25,000 and $30,000 a pop." William Hill's Nevada sportsbook took a $7,500 futures bet on the Royals at 28-1 on April 12.

Yohan Pino is up, Brandon Finnegan shipped down, but Pino's stay could be short as Kris Medlen will be activated today.

The Royals have promoted pitcher Sean Manaea to AA Northwest Arkansas.

Outfield prospect Bubba Starling left Saturday's game for Northwest Arkansas on a cart after crashing into the wall.

The deadline to sign 2015 draft picks was on Friday, and the Royals failed to sign P Junior Harding and OF Marquise Doherty, both considered long-shots to sign. They did ink 36th round pick outfielder Tanner Stanley, son of former big leaguer Mike Stanley.

Aaron Stilley of Royals Authority shows where Municipal Stadium, the first home of the Royals, used to sit.

An Arrowhead Pride fanpost wonders if Kansas City has the best overall sports venues in the country.

The Reds firesale is about to begin.

The Astros and Padres are discussing James Shields, Tyson Ross, and Andrew Cashner.

Zack Greinke has a 43 1/3 inning scoreless streak.

Benches cleared in the Rangers/Astros game over the weekend.

Frank Robinson feels slighted he wasn't part of the "greatest living player" honor at the All-Star Game.

Holy crap, a surfer had to fight off a shark during a competition.

The British Open has a three-way tie after 54 holes of play.

No one quite knows what ESPN's future is with Grantland.

A ten-year old deposition reveals chilling new details about Bill Cosby and his nonchalant attitude towards sexual assault.

Gawker could very well get sued for libel for running a story trying to out a non-famous company executive.

A Chinese megapolis the size of Kansas with a population six times that of New York City has sprouted up around Beijing.

Woody Allen thinks Amy Schumer is funnier than him.

Your song of the day is Don Henley with "All She Wants to Do is Dance."