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Royals Rumblings - News for August 26, 2015

Hard to write the Rumblings with a "cranky arm."

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Royals Rumblings - News for August 26, 2015

David Schoenfield of ESPN writes the Royals have been kind of lucky in building the best defensive team in baseball.

Moore's first team was actually pretty good on defense, at least according to defensive runs saved. Then it got really bad, and as the team started to develop some young pitching it undoubtedly wanted to support them with better defense. But they also got a big break starting in 2010. That was the year Alex Gordon, drafted as a third baseman, moved to left field after struggling to hit in the majors.

Reading the stories at the time, it's pretty clear the team had no inclination that Gordon would become the best defensive left fielder of the decade. "We need Alex to play. He is going to go down and do some work in left field, get some playing time in the field, some at first base," then-Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "Not going to ditch third entirely, but I'm hoping that a change in position will give him an opportunity to swing the bat a little bit better."

It was really a move of desperation, Gordon's last chance to remain in the Royals organization.

Greg Holland has been dealing with a "cranky arm."

"They all deal with something," Yost said before Monday’s series opener against the Orioles. "See the way this thing works — and it’s strange to you guys, but it’s normal to us — is that these guys know their bodies. They know what they can pitch through. And with a big lead, they’re not going to push everything."

Sam Mellinger looks ahead to how the lineup looks with Gordon back.

If it was up to me, Ben Zobrist is at second base, and the Royals use Jarrod Dyson in a platoon in right field. Rios and Infante have both played their way out of regular big-league duty. They’ve picked up lately, but still, Rios is slugging — SLUGGING — .322 and is somehow the better power threat of the two.

Doing those spots this way also maintains the defense. Infante is a fine second baseman, and the Royals don’t talk about this much, but his arm is mostly gone. That’s not his fault. Infante is a pro, and has played 995 big-league games at second base. There’s value in that. But I’m guessing the two are close to even defensively, and the difference offensively is enormous.

Lee Judge says team chemistry matters for the Royals.

Dayn Perry lists Lorenzo Cain as one of the top ten players on first place clubs.

Speaking of players who do it all, we have Cain. He's on the short-short-list of best defensive center fielders in baseball, he's batting .307/.361/.487 with 29 doubles, and he's stolen 24 bases in 28 attempts. Recognize one of the most complete players of 2015 and a certifiable MVP candidate.

Andrew Simon at Sports on Earth looks at ten underrated off-season moves that paid off this year.

Kansas City seemed to be taking a risk in handing Volquez a two-year, $20 million contract (plus a 2017 option) in December. After five pretty rough seasons (4.94 ERA, 4.9 BB/9), Volquez had bounced back with a 3.04 ERA and career-low walk rate for the Pirates in 2014. But how sustainable was that improvement? Thus far, the gamble has worked. Through 26 outings, Volquez has held his walk and strikeout rates steady while posting a 3.40 ERA as well as a 3.73 FIP that is his best since 2008. He has been the best starter for the Royals, who also did well with modest signings like designated hitter Kendrys Morales and pitchers Chris Young and Ryan Madson.

J.J. Cooper of Baseball America writes about how the post-season is the time for speedsters like Terrance Gore to shine.

From April to August, Gore is a very speedy outfielder playing in the Royals minor league system. There are plenty of scouts who question whether he’ll ever hit enough to be a regular, even as he’s hit .285 this season, a career best for a full-season. The 5-foot-7 Gore has no power (zero pro home runs in 1,200-plus at-bats) and his arm limits his usefulness in center field....

But when September arrives and rosters expand, Gore’s value is easy to see. He’s one of the best basestealers in the game at any level. Some pitchers say he’s faster than Billy Hamilton. For his pro career, Gore has succeeded on more than 9 of every 10 steals he attempts (204 steals in 219 pro attempts when you include the playoffs). And at the point of the year where the rosters become more flexible, that skill ensures Gore has a job.

"He’s going to be a September call-up for the next 10 years," Royals VP of player personnel J.J. Picollo said.

In his chat session, Andy McCullough says Miguel Almonte could be a relief arm in September.

Dayton Moore joins Chris Russo on MLB Network's "High Heat."

Drew Butera talks about who has the better hair - him or Eric Hosmer.

Burlington's Brandon Dulin was named to the Appalachian League All-Star team.

Wilmington's James Stone was named Carolina League Athletic Trainer of the Year.

Kansas City watchmaker Niall gave Ned Yost a new timepiece to replace his Apple Watch (h/t Jeremy Sickels)

This animated GIF shows how each MLB team's logo has changed over the years.

Grant Brisbee lists the biggest regrets from last off-season.

The relationship between spending and winning in baseball remains rather low.

Kids display some terrific sportsmanship in the Little League World Series.

The best college football preview available.

The attorney for Adnan Syed, made famous from the "Serial" podcast, files a motion that his conviction was based on faulty evidence.

In case you didn't already think Jared Fogle was complete scum, it turns out his charity foundation was a complete scam too.

How schools neglect some of their brightest students.

J.J. Abrams is leaking details about Kylo Ren, the villain in the new Star Wars movie.

Your song of the day is Martha Reeves and the Vandellas with "Nowhere to Run."