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Royals Rumblings - News for July 24, 2015

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Royals Rumblings - News for July 24, 2015

David Schoenfield of ESPN writes that Lorenzo Cain is a stealth MVP candidate.

His season line against fastballs: .388/.448/.619. That's the fourth-best batting average against fastballs, and he owns the sixth-best wOBA. As you can see, it doesn't really matter much where in the zone the fastball is located: Up, down, away ... Cain blisters fastballs.

So, why do pitchers keep throwing him fastballs? Well, they're trying not to. Cain ranks 136th out of 160 batters in percentage of fastballs seen. Cain hasn't improved much against offspeed stuff (.256 wOBA last year, .280 this year) and is chasing pitches out of the zone at about the same rate as 2014, although he is making more contact. More than anything, it just looks like that when he sees a fastball or gets into a fastball count, he attacks and delivers.

Jim Bowden of ESPN keeps the rumor mill going.

The Scott Kazmir trade may have been the catalyst to motivate the Royals.

Clark Fosler at Royals Authority looks at the looming trade deadline.

If you have been reading this site for the last few months or run across a tweet or two from me, you know that I have long been beating the drum to acquire a bat more than a starting pitcher. Even assuming that Alex Gordon comes back by September 1st and is back into Gordonish form by post-season time, the bottom third of the order is an on-base trainwreck of Salvador Perez, Alex Rios and Omar Infante. My mindset has been, and mostly still is, that with the Royals’ marvelous bullpen compensating for ‘here and there’ starting pitching, that getting a bat to beef up the bottom of the order was more important.

I still believe that the Royals are in something of pick one mode when it comes to the trade deadline. They don’t seem to have enough prospect cache to go get both an impact bat AND a premier starter. Now, as quiet as the trade market has so far been, maybe someone will panic and actually have a true fire sale. Then maybe the Royals could do something crazy and end up with a Cueto, a Bruce and still have Raul Mondesi in the farm system. I think that is unlikely, but it could happen.

Sam Mellinger writes about the difference between good Yordano Ventura and bad Yordano Ventura.

Yordano Ventura is the most talented starting pitcher the Royals have had since Zack Greinke. When he is good, he is one of the game's best young pitchers and worthy of a bobblehead giveaway. When he is bad, he is worthy of a demotion to the minor leagues. And the difference just isn't that big.

"The difference is his lack of ability to get outs with runners on base," Royals general manager Dayton Moore says. "That's what it is. His strikeout rate, his walk rate, nothing's really changed. His stuff hasn't changed. It's all there."...

"I don't know what's going on from here up," said one talent evaluator, holding his hand at his chin. "But from here down he's still very good."

Lee Judge looks at Wednesday night's safety squeeze play.

Now let’s look at the safety squeeze. In this play, there’s a lot more pressure on the players; if you run a suicide and the batter gets the bunt down anywhere on the field, the runner is probably going to be safe. If you run a safety squeeze the batter has to get the ball down on the first base side of the pitcher’s mound. The bunt has to draw the pitcher away from the third base line because that’s where the runner will be. The runner waits to break for home until he sees the pitcher’s numbers; that tells him the pitcher is going toward first base and away from the third base line.

After watching five years of Ned Yost managing, I can tell you he prefers the safety squeeze. I don’t know exactly why Ned prefers the safety squeeze, but I can tell you it’s a play that covers a manager’s butt.

Remember Meche Money? Now we have Vargas Money!

The Royals lead all of baseball in local TV ratings at 12.7, a 114% increase over last year.

Here is Craig Brown and myself on the Kansas City Baseball Vault podcast for the All-Star Game Watch Party.

The Pirates reunite with Aramis Ramirez.

The Indians may be dealing pitcher Carlos Carrasco.

The Reds are looking to save money in dealing Jay Bruce.

Jim Bowden on ESPN INSIDER has an interesting piece on how conversations between GMs turns into a trade.

Commission Rob Manfred is considering moving the trade deadline to August and Grant Brisbee thinks that's a bad idea.

Madison Bumgarner leads the list of player jerseys sold in baseball, with no Royals in the top twenty.

This is the best pre-at bat routine ever.

Sporting Kansas City players are not pleased with the condition of the field at Sporting Park.

Why do professional woman football players play in the Lingerie Football League for no pay?

Is Royals parking attendant the most meaningless job in America?

Wind and solar power won't become realities until outdated grid rules are repealed.

Would you want to "Google" your own personal memories?

Vulture has its top movies of 2015 so far.

Your song of the day is of Montreal with "Heimdalgate Like a Promethean Curse."