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Royals Rumblings - News for February 29, 2016

Its a Leap Year, so the Royals get an extra day to be champs.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for February 29, 2016

Alcides Escobar vows to keep swinging.

It happened throughout the 2015 playoffs, and Escobar said the approach won’t change as the Royals brace to defend their title.

"I’m aggressive all the time," Escobar said. "Oh yeah. If the pitch is in the strike zone, I’m ready to swing the bat."

Ned Yost is leaning towards putting Mike Moustakas back in the #2 spot in the lineup.

Last week, Yost revealed that the decision to bat Moustakas second originally came from his coaching staff, including hitting coach Dale Sveum and bench coach Don Wakamatsu. Yost was unpersuaded at the start.

"They just were very convicted that he would do a very nice job in the two-hole," Yost said.

Baseball games are being played this week! Kyle Zimmer will start the exhibition season opener Wednesday against Texas.

Yost called it less of a reward and more of an audition. "It’s more of, ‘Hey, you’re getting close, let’s see if you can help us,’ " Yost said. "We’ll give you an opportunity to compete. He’s healthy, we’ll give him some starts down here and see what we’ve got."

Rustin Dodd profiles Danny Duffy, who is still battling to be in the rotation this year.

"I believe in my abilities," Duffy said. "And I know they do as well. We wouldn’t be talking about it if they didn’t. The fact of the matter is there are a lot of people that could fill that void — that inning-eater void, and I’ve only had small sample sizes of proving that I can do that.

"In 2014, I went out there and I felt like I could get anybody out. And I did for a lot of the year. Last year, there were parts where I felt I could do that, and parts where I couldn’t hit water if I fell out of the boat."

Ned Yost talks about the tools he uses in evaluation.

The Royals’ reputation of being anti-sabermetrics is somewhat overblown. They employ talented analysts and, like all teams, utilize data to their advantage. Ned Yost — aka World Series-winning manager New Yost — is nonetheless an adherent of old-school assessment. That much was apparent when I asked him which tools he uses to evaluate pitchers.

"I mostly use my eyeballs," Yost told me. "[Pitching coach] Dave Eiland looks at all the charts and the spin rates. I look at that stuff too, but for me it’s the eyeball more than anything else. I look at what guys need to improve, the action on their pitches, the finish on their pitches, the life on their fastballs. You can see that with the naked eye."

The Royals will play some baseball today.

Clint Scoles at Pine Tar Press gives his Royals prospect rankings.

Wade Davis talks about his transition to the bullpen.

Alcides Escobar rejoined the club after returning home following the death of his uncle.

Clark Fosler looks at how champions have fared the following season.

The Royals' spring training complex has been refurbished to the tune of $17 million.

The Rangers sign Ian Desmond to a one-year deal to be their - left fielder?

Dave Cameron has a simple fix for the Qualifying Offer system.

Does a heavy post-season workload for pitchers affect them the next season?

Walk-off college baseball bat flip!

Steph Curry is not of this world.

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal, turns in an acting performance worthy of the Oscars.

"Fuller House" is not just a bad show, it is an inescapable nightmare.

The ten best Pokemon of all-time.

Are the Oscars hacker-proof?

You song of the day is The Postal Service with "Clark Gable."