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Royals Rumblings - News for March 14, 2016

EVERYTHING IS FINE WITH KYLE ZIMMER. ALL IS WELL.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for March 14, 2016

Rustin Dodd looks at how Chris Young came to be Forever Royal after everyone else overlooked him.

"Honestly, it was on my mind every time I was on the mound last season," Young says. "There were 29 other teams that passed on me. I used it as motivation. I wanted to show them what they missed out on. I used that every time I took the ball, from the beginning of the season to the World Series."

The memory lingered into the offseason, as he prepared to enter free agency again. The Royals were the organization that believed in him. If it was possible, he wished to return.

"That was everything," he says.

The Royals are unconcerned with Kyle Zimmer's dip in velocity in his most recent outing.

"I just judge if I'm getting through the ball," he said. "And I was. I felt like I was finishing. The other thing is that this time of spring, you don't really push it. No need to."

Zimmer did admit that there is some slight soreness in his arm, which he said is natural as he builds up arm strength. "That happens this time of year," he said. "Happens to everyone."

Royals utility player Whit Merrifield is in the best shape of his life.

By the end of the winter, the extreme diet — combined with an intense workout regimen — paid dividends. Merrifield, 27, weighed in at 195 pounds when spring training began, 20 pounds heavier than when he finished last season at Class AAA Omaha. In the early weeks of spring training, the Royals have taken notice. As the club searches for ways to optimize its bench, Merrifield has surfaced as a possible final piece, a utility player who could be useful as a 25th man. His strength stems from his versatility.

A former center fielder at South Carolina, Merrifield can play all three outfield spots and all four spots in the infield. Merrifield, a former ninth-round pick in 2010, logged time at all seven positions in 2015.

Former Rays outfielder Fernando Perez, now an instructor and writer, talks to Wade Davis about his conversion to relieving.

For what it's worth, Wade told me the difference between his results starting and relieving might have less to do with the amount of innings thrown or the psychology of the role, than the way he prepared for it.

"I don't know if it was a mental thing or a physical thing. As far as what I would be now if I was still a starter—I don't know. Really when I got moved to the bullpen I started taking my life seriously, and I got a trainer, and I started lifting weights, and I just stopped being lazy."

This aligns up with my memory of Davis as a teammate—he wasn't a gym rat, he was just a pitcher. More of a baseball player than an athlete who happens to play baseball.

The international Royals players talk about giving back to their home countries.

The Royals added a bunch of new banners to Kauffman Stadium.

Scott Dillon at KC Kingdom looks at the worst defenders in franchise history (slideshow).

Former Royals pitcher Mike Montgomery is headed to bullpen duty.

Clubhouse Conversation talks to former Royals coach Glenn Ezell.

A's pitcher Jarrod Parker suffers another injury setback.

Free agent third baseman David Freese finally finds a home in Pittsburgh.

Ole Miss has dinosaur groundkeepers.

Highlights from the 2016 SABR Analytics conference.

BRACKETS BRACKETS BRACKETS! Here's your coverage of the 2016 NCAA Tournament with schedules and gametimes.

The Browns release Johnny Football.

Maps to show the awfulness of Daylight Saving Time.

Artificial intelligence defeats a human world champion in the game of Go.

Is the HBO show Vinyl mishandling its portrayal of women?

Your song of the day is Dr. Dog with "Heart it Races".