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Royals Rumblings - News for September 22, 2015

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Yordano has been PUNK'D!

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for September 22, 2015

Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes about the struggles of Johnny Cueto.

Cueto has baseball people wondering again about the health of his elbow, among other issues. From 2011 until his trade, Cueto was second in the majors in ERA (2.51), batting average against (.216) and slugging percentage against (.330) among starters only to Clayton Kershaw. Yes, Cueto was in the NL then, but his home games were in Cincinnati’s bandbox. The bugaboo was fragility, and Cueto always is going to have to work against the perception he breaks easily.

The Royals could have a strong starting group if Cueto has righted himself, the volatile Yordano Ventura does not implode, Edinson Volquez stays steady and Kris Medlen continues to upgrade as he gains distance from Tommy John surgery. That is a lot to ask, but it all begins with Cueto — the piece Kansas City did not have last year.

Lee Judge looks at the evolution of stolen bases in the game.

Royals base running coach Rusty Kuntz said he’s gone back to look at the pitchers who were giving up 100 steals in a season and they were taking as much as 1.7 to 1.8 seconds to get the ball to home plate. No wonder guys were stealing bases like it was going out of style—it was. Pitchers decided to do something about it; hence the slide step. And if you wonder why the Royals aren’t running other teams ragged this season, it’s because other teams have asked their pitchers to deliver the ball to home plate more quickly. On the other hand, the Royals stolen base threat means those pitchers are throwing more fastballs and that’s at least part of why Kansas City has the second highest team batting average in the big leagues.

Craig Brown at Royals Authority has a mea culpa on Kendryrs Morales.

This seems like the right time to admit I was wrong about the Morales signing. (At least I’m not alone in this admission.) While I expected him to better his 2014 output, I certainly didn’t expect this kind of production. He has been Much of the criticism pointed at the Royals last December came after they postured when they let Billy Butler walk that they wanted some "flexibility" at the designated hitter position. Meaning, they were looking more for a cast of characters to fill the role as opposed to a full-time DH. The rest of the criticism came at the awarding of a two-year, backloaded contract to a guy who some in the industry felt didn’t even merit a major league deal coming off his miserable ’14. Yet this signing was a masterstroke by Dayton Moore and company. Morales has served as an anchor in the middle of the Royals strongest offense in over a decade. The full-time DH remains a rarity in the league, but Morales is more than holding his own

Sung Woo Lee is back in town, but he's not predicting the Royals playoff outcome.

The Royals prank pitcher Yordano Ventura in the dugout.

No one is taking responsibility for Matt Harvey's innings-pitched limit.

C.C. Sabathia may need knee-replacement surgery.

Yadier Molina has a torn ligament in his thumb and will miss some time.

Bill James and Billy Beane talk big data in baseball.

Roger Cheng at Fangraphs looks at whether it is smart to save your ace to NOT pitch in Game One.

Jon Bois charts the Eagles awful running game on Sunday.

J.J. Watt and Kevin Durant are here to cheer you on.

Trade secret trolls could be the new patent trolls.

A Texas man pleads guilty to a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme.

British Prime Minister David Cameron as a student allegedly stuck a naughty body part in the mouth of a dead pig.

non-profit takes back a tuberculosis drug after the buyer hiked prices from $13.50 to $750 per tablet.

Make yourself look like a Peanuts character.

Your song of the day is Ryan Adams with "Shake it Off."