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Royals Rumblings - News for October 4, 2016

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Always October.

Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for October 4, 2016

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City has a nice primer for the off-season.

I think it’s pretty safe to say the top three are set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy and Yordano Ventura. After that, I think Jason Vargas is as close to a lock as you can be for the fourth spot, so that leaves one last pitcher in the rotation. There are young guys to compete like Alec Mills, Jake Junis and Matt Strahm. And if the TOS surgery was what cured Kyle Zimmer’s issues, then he’s the favorite for the spot. I’m not holding my breath just yet, but there’s at least some hope there.

I think the most likely route the Royals go in finding a fifth starter is a trade. One name I’ve mentioned before and think could gain some traction is Patrick Corbin from the Diamondbacks. The issue is that Arizona doesn’t really have needs outside of the bullpen where the Royals have a surplus, but that doesn’t mean the teams can’t get creative. While many will want the Royals to look at guys like Sonny Gray or Julio Teheran, I just don’t see it happening. Instead, the focus will be on pitchers like Dan Straily, Tom Koehler or maybe even Alex Cobb and Ervin Santana.

Paul Swydan at Fangraphs looks at Eric Hosmer’s rare 100-RBI, negative WAR season.

Lots of players have driven in 100 runs in a season before. Twenty-two players did so this season, Hosmer included. These players aren’t always good — RBI is more a function of who hits in front of a batter and that first player’s ability to get on base. RBI, as a counting stat, is also largely aided by the ability to stay in the lineup all season. Of course, players who (a) bat behind a talented on-base guy and (b) stay in the lineup all season — they’re usually pretty good. So it’s a surprise when one is so bad. Consider: a simple average of the WAR figures for this year’s 22 different 100-RBI players produces a result of 4.0 WAR. Hosmer’s -0.2 WAR is the worst by a full win. As it turns out, his season put him on the short list for worst 100-RBI season ever. He wasn’t the worst, but the fact that he’s on the list is worrisome, and you really couldn’t blame the Royals if they non-tendered him this winter.

The Royals are confident they can contend in 2017.

August Fagerstrom at Fangraphs lists Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon as among the best defenders at their position, with Eric Hosmer and Cheslor Cuthbert among the worst.

Former Royals General Manager John Schuerholz is one of ten names to be considered by the Hall of Fame.

The Braves will interview former Royals Bud Black and Ron Washington for their managerial job with bench coach Don Wakamatsu mentioned as a potential candidate.

Walt Weiss is out as Rockies manager.

The Diamondbacks fire GM Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale, with Tony LaRussa removed from power.

Grant Brisbee ranks all 25 potential World Series matchups.

Noah Syndergaard faces Madison Bumgarner tomorrow night in the Wild Card.

Are the Cubs the best playoff team ever?

The Indians won the Central by dominating the division matchups.

How the Nationals navigate a social media minefield.

ZIPS bested the other projection systems in predicting the standings.

The Mets beat the Yankees in local TV ratings for the first time ever.

How should we evaluate managers?

Five takeaways from USA’s Ryder Cup win.

The Supreme Court denies a petition to hear the Ed O’Bannon case against the NCAA.

Has the mysterious identity of author Elena Ferrante finally been solved?

Understanding the creepy clown panic of 2016.

All eight Harry Potter films are returning to theaters.

Your song of the day is Eurythmics with Would I Lie to You?