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Royals Rumblings - News for September 17, 2015

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ALL IS WELL!

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for September 17, 2015

Kris Medlen pitched well on Tuesday and he maintains the Royals are very even-keel.

"It’s just a matter of not panicking," Medlen said. "You don’t panic yourself into first place. But you can probably panic yourself out."

Lee Judge writes the Royals won Tuesday night by getting back to pitching and defense.

And check out the time of game: two hours and 34 minutes. Medlen was getting the ball and throwing it instead of wandering around behind the pitching mound pondering the meaning of life. When pitchers work quickly they get better defense. Infielders have to get ready and shuffle forward as each pitch is delivered. Shuffling forward puts them on their toes and gets them moving and you know what they say about a body in motion. (And if you don’t you should have paid more attention in high school).

Greg Holland is still the closer, but Ned is keeping an eye on it.

"Being fair, Holly’s velocity has dropped," Yost said. "But he’s always been a guy who has done it. Until he proves he can’t do it, he’s going to get the opportunity to do it. He’s earned it, over the years."

The Royals are optimistic Johnny Cueto can bounce back in his next start tomorrow.

In that last outing, Cueto shied away from using his fastball, Yost said. The team wanted Cueto to relieve the internal pressure they felt he had placed on himself, trust his arsenal and stop over-manipulating his delivery. Cueto denied an excess of weight on his shoulders, after joining the team before the trade deadling in July, but that opinion has been offered by Yost, Eiland and general manager Dayton Moore in recent days.

In the meantime, the organization continues to insist Cueto feels healthy.

Rob Neyer thinks Cueto may be too amped up.

One odd thing about Cueto’s pitching in recent weeks: the range of speeds on his fastball seems to have gotten significantly smaller. Prior to his last seven starts, his fastballs in a game typically ranged from 87 to 96 miles an hour. In his last seven starts, though? Cueto hasn’t thrown a single fastball slower than 91. His two-seam fastball and his change-up are his second and third pitches, and those also have shown less variance lately.

Which might suggest that he’s a little too amped up, and is simply overthrowing. I’m not sure it does us any good to wonder why he might be overthrowing, and I’m not sure any of Cueto’s coaches are qualified to do much wondering. If he’s overthrowing, probably the best a coach or catcher can do is say, "Hey, it seems like maybe you’re overthrowing. How about backing off some tonight?"

Anthony Castrovince sees Cueto as one of the five areas of concern for the Royals.

"He's been trying too hard," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said of Cueto. "Putting too much pressure on himself. He needs to just deliver the ball with conviction and trust our defense."

That may well be, but "trying too hard" doesn't always equate to a .417 batting average on balls in play, which is what Cueto's opponents have turned in against him over his past five starts (leading to 48 hits and 28 earned runs in just 26 1/3 innings). Cueto dealt with minor right elbow issues earlier this year in Cincinnati, and he did pitch 243 2/3 innings last season after just 60 2/3 in an injury-riddled 2013. Maybe there's some lag there. But that explanation would make a lot more sense if there was a notable drop in velocity, and there isn't. Cueto's simply getting knocked around, and it's making Kansas City's rotation alignment decisions for October increasingly intriguing.

The Royals are toying with the idea of having Kendrys Morales play right-field when they play their makeup game in Wrigley Field.

"I thought it was crazy, too," Yost said before Tuesday’s game against the Indians. "Until it hit me over the head like a hammer, watching balls hit in the gap, and he’s getting over and he’s catching them. And then ball’s hit over his head: He’s drop-stepping, he’s turned and, boom, he’s catching it. "And I saw there on the bench and watched the entire extra batting practice, and I’m like ‘Dang.’ "

Statcast breaks down the terrific catch by Mike Moustakas on Tuesday.

NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer is not concerned about the Royals recent slump.

The Royals will play a few exhibition games in San Antonio next year.

Lorenzo Cain is up for "Best Everyday Player" in the Esurance MLB Awards, so VOTE!

Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs looks at the superiority of the American League.

Dave Cameron wonders what happened to the stolen base.

The Angels begin interviewing candidates for their open General Manager position.

How the Dodgers lost Roberto Clemente to the Pirates.

Your coverage of Champions League week one results.

An Australian sports writer live-blogged the debut of Australian rugby player Jarryd Hayne with the 49ers and his take on American football is awesome.

Apple's new OS won't let people install it.

Matt Damon apologizes for his diversity comments on Project Greenlight.

There are over 30 ingredients that make up Cool Ranch Doritos.

Guys, the new power couple is Miley Cyrus and Dane Cook.

Your song of the day is Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats with "S.O.B."