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Royals Rumblings - News for January 22, 2016

Trophies are neat.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for January 22, 2016

Craig Brown at Royals Authority looks at what the lineup might look like.

There is no way Escobar should continue to lead off. No way. Among 13 Royals who tallied more than 100 plate appearances in 2015, Escobar was the 12th best hitter, ahead of only Infante. His .297 on base percentage was ninth on the team, ahead of Alex Rios at .287. Do you see where I’m going with this? Escobar is keeping company with two very unpopular Royal hitters. This is who he is: A career .262/.298/.344 hitter with a 74 wRC+. Yet I will accept his offensive output because his glove is super-valuable. However, I don’t want to watch him hit at the top of the order for an entire summer.

You are welcome to disagree with the above opinion. ALCS MVP and all that. *Cough* Small sample size. *Cough* Despite my kvetching about Escobar at leadoff, I’m fine with him if hacking at the first pitch and establishing Peak Escobar means the Royals voodoo is working and they will win the game. Whatever it takes, man. I’m not a total moron.

Jeffrey Flanagan answers questions in his mailbag, including the health of Omar Infante.

The funny thing is, Infante said his arm and shoulder felt pretty good all last season. He injured an oblique late in the season, but his arm strength was as good as it has ever been, according to Yost. The Royals have no worries about Infante's defense -- he still has decent range, he charges grounders as well as any second baseman in the league, and his turn at second is still as quick as anyone not named Robinson Cano. But offensively, the Royals need to see Infante make adjustments at the plate. He gets far too stubborn in his approach and becomes an easy out too often on inside soft stuff and hard stuff away.

Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele remains grounded despite his championship ring.

The Clintonville native and third-base coach of the world champion Kansas City Royals has worked during winter months at the local furniture business for 34 years, and see no reason to stop, even though he owns a World Series ring and has a full-time gig with a multi-million-dollar corporation. "Yesterday I was up on a scaffold, scraping the ceiling because we’re remodeling inside right now," said Jirschele, who attended Tuesday’s 51st annual Red Smith Banquet in Appleton.

"I enjoy getting back there. It’s a release for me, a chance to get away from baseball and concentrate on the furniture." He may have been up in the air for ceiling repairs, but Jirschele, 56, remains as grounded as anyone employed in professional sports. He and his wife, Sheri, call Clintonville home and he spends his offseasons there, hunting, enjoying family time and handling whatever task awaits him at D. Mitchell Interiors.

"I don’t think anyone’s in awe of me because we won the World Series — people don’t treat me any differently," said Jirschele.

Hello, gorgeous.

The Star formally introduces new Royals beat writer Rustin Dodd.

Eric Hosmer was spotted out on the town in Miami.

Wandy Rodriguez, who spent part of last year in Omaha, signed a minor league deal with the Astros.

Former Royals pitcher Everett Teaford has retired to become a scout with the Astros.

The Rays sign Steve Pearce to a one-year deal.

The National League could have designated hitters by 2017.

This year's non-waiver trade deadline will move to August 1.

Bill James says three Red Sox free agents basically conned the team.

Aroldis Chapman won't be charged for his domestic dispute.

Michael Baumann at Baseball Prospectus says its not easy to tell football players to "just choose baseball."

The referees left the footballs and gauges at the hotel for the Patriots/Chiefs game.

Every Royal Rumble, ranked.

FanDuel lays off workers as states continue to ban their business.

What are your odds of becoming a millionaire?

Scientists have developed a sarcasm detector. @What a great use of resources.@

Erotic photo hunt is the best bar game ever.

Your song of the day is Weezer with "Buddy Holly."