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Royals Rumblings - News for April 14, 2016

Slingin' in the Rain.

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Wannabe cord cutters in the Kansas City area can rejoice, it looks like SlingTV beta allows you to stream Fox Sports KC in market with a subscription fee of only $20 per month (h/t to Ryan McGlauglin):

It’s here! Today we launched a new beta multi-stream service, bringing you even more live and on-demand television with new channels from the Fox Networks Group like FOX local broadcast channels (in select markets), FOX Sports, FX and National Geographic on up to three devices simultaneously for $20 per month. In addition to Fox, the beta service’s base and "Extra" packages include content from AMC, A&E, HBO, Turner, Scripps, EPIX and Univision. Similar to our single-stream service, Sling TV’s beta multi-stream service allows you to stream must-watch entertainment on your favorite devices, wherever you are—at home, in the office or on the go.

That's big news, kids.

At FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan writes again how Kelvin Herrera has basically become impossible to face as a batter:

I’m not exaggerating when I say this happened almost overnight: The ALDS started, and Herrera revealed this hybrid breaking ball. It’s like he was saving it for the playoffs. And he didn’t just flash it from time to time; he went to it consistently, and he’s continued to do so early in 2016. If you look through Herrera’s history, it’s as if he blended his old curve and his newer slider into a breaking-ball compromise. This one, he seems to like, with a curveball’s speed and horizontal break, and something more like a slider’s drop.

In last year’s regular season, Herrera threw 76% heaters, 18% changeups, and 6% breaking balls. Since the start of the playoffs, he’s thrown 65% heaters, 10% changeups, and 25% breaking balls. Just a third of those breaking balls have been thrown in two-strike counts, so Herrera has used them in all situations. This is a high-octane reliever, now with a starter’s repertoire. Batters have to be aware of three different speeds, and the numbers reflect how difficult that is.

In old friend Craig Brown's look at the first few games of the season, he writes the following about what might happen when Jarrod Dyson returns:

On 29 major league teams, Gore on the roster makes zero sense. With Yost in charge, it’s understandable. If Yost really needs to pinch run and Dyson is already in the game, why not Reymond Fuentes? He swiped 37 bags last year in the minors. No, he doesn’t have the "game changing" speed of Gore, but he has enough he can get to second and then score on a single.

But Fuentes, like Dyson, is a left-handed bat. The platoon would still be the planned pairing of Dyson with Paulo Orlando, leaving Fuentes scraping for time. While it makes sense to use Gore solely as a pinch runner, to utilize Fuentes in a similar manner isn’t wise. If he’s not getting some reps in the majors, he should be dropped to Triple-A, so he can stay sharp.

Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Ned Yost will mix and match set-up men:

Barely over a week into the regular season, and already Royals Nation is alarmed that manager Ned Yost is setting up his bullpen with Kelvin Herrera primarily as the seventh-inning guy and Joakim Soria as the eighth-inning guy.

Soria had a terrific Spring Training, posting a 1.80 ERA. But the concern stems from his one shaky outing on Opening Night, when he gave up three runs.

But, as Yost has pointed out often, Soria gave up three broken-bat hits in that game and didn't pitch nearly as poorly as the stats suggested.

It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that Herrera and Luke Hochevar are likely better pitchers than Soria at this point in time, could it Jeffrey?

In Rustin Dodd's Ask Rustin mailbag, he talks of Wade Davis's health:

After Tuesday’s victory, Davis said he was fighting a mechanical issue while recording his third save. In technical terms, Davis said he wasn’t getting "out front" and his body was "running away from his arm." The issue limited some life from his fastball, Davis said. He also said it was not unusual for this time of the year.

"It’s something I usually go through early in the year," he said. "It usually takes about a week to get through that dead arm phase. Hopefully in a week, it’ll be a lot better."

According to FanGraphs, Davis’ fastball velocity has been down a tick this season. He averaged 95.8 mph in 2015 and 95.6 in 2014. In four games, his fastball has averaged 94.5 mph. It’s also April, and Davis said some of that drop was due to mechanical stuff.

Yoenis Cespedes is almost like Alex Gordon, only not quite.

Think minor league baseball is messier? The Modesto Nuts score 13 runs in Bakersfield. All 13 were unearned.

The Warriors now own the best regular-season record in NBA history.

The Guardian looks at rural homelessness in the California redwoods.

Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker says he wants Luke Cage to be Marvel's The Wire.

Here is an in-depth look at internet moderation and free speech from The Verge.

Apparently a bizarre Men in Black / 21 Jump Street crossover movie is in the works.

If you're wanting to get into vinyl, this Pitchfork feature has tips for every aspect of your stereo set-up.

Your song for the day is "Flying Golem" by Wand.