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Royals Rumblings - News for May 10, 2016

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I forgot what having a losing record feels like.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Royals Rumblings - News for May 10, 2016

Chris Young is frustrated with his own performance.

Four of the five homers came on fastballs. Young said the pitch is lacking the "life" it showed during his 2015 campaign. For Young, a four-seam fastball pitcher, the life critical. He describes it as the way the ball travels through the strike zone, appearing to pick up speed at the last moment. This year, he is throwing harder than last year. Yet the life is not there.

"I don’t know why," Young said. "I don’t know if it’s mechanical. I don’t know. It’s weird because the velocity is better than it was last year, but the life is not. And I got to figure it out."

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City takes a long view of the Royals' slump.

It’s funny how the narrative can shift when you’re not getting the breaks. Take Sunday’s dash home by Cheslor Cuthbert in an attempt to tie the game. Last year, he scores on that play and it’s another example of, "How the Royals are relentless and put pressure on the other team to force them into mistakes." This year, he hesitates, is gunned down at the plate, and it’s just the latest TOOTBLAN in a season full of bone-headed miscues. It’s difficult to see the game through a consistent prism when your team is involved. It’s your right as a fan to see what you want. But it is kind of strange how the narrative is fluid.

This season, we’ve seen our share of dumb baserunning, poor situational hitting, slumps, injury, and a lack of focus in the field. Errors, strikeouts, and outs on the bases are foreign to us after the last couple of years. Some will argue regression. Others will claim the team is resting on its laurels. (That’s a patently ridiculous statement, by the way.) Meanwhile, I’ll just sit here and think, that’s baseball.

Eric Hosmer is feeling the pressure.

John Sickels at Minor League Ball profiles Brian Flynn.

Flynn is a huge 6-7, 250 pound lefty born April 19, 1990. The Tulsa native was well-known to Midwest area scouts in high school and college due to his size and solid low-90s fastball but needed to progress his secondary pitches. He has a very good change-up, probably a plus pitch, and the combination with his hard sinker works well. Flynn's breaking stuff is still just fair; he has both a slider and a curve but neither are excellent. The slider has some good moments but isn't consistent. The fastball, change-up, and the occasional fringy breaking pitch to keep hitters honest are still enough for him to be a decent pitcher when his command is on.

His major league numbers so far (8.07, 23/18 K/BB in 29 innings, 42 hits) are pretty ugly, but most of that is from five starts with the Marlins. Let's see what he does with a bullpen role, which is how the Royals prefer him.

Bryon Parman of Kings of Kauffman thinks Kendrys Morales will be just fine.

Part of Morales’s issues appears to be his strikeout rate which is up to 21.4% in 2016 from 16.1% in 2015. But that doesn’t appear to be the whole story. In 2015 the KC Royals DH had a batted balls in play average BABIP of .319 but according to fangraphs.com, his BABIP is down to .235. In other words, balls in play by Morales aren’t resulting in hits nearly as often. So why isn’t Morales getting as many hits on balls in play? Well, it doesn’t appear to be his ability to square up the ball.

Lee Judge explains what Cheslor Cuthbert did wrong on Sunday when he was cut down at home.

The son of former Royals pitcher Kevin Appier is trying to make the Olympics as a shot-putter.

Joe Posnanski talks to Negro League Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick on his podcast.

Stephen Strasburg signs a $175 million deal.

The Cubs walk Bryce Harper into the record books.

How the Cardinals courted Cuban free agent shortstop Aledmys Diaz.

Who are the best trade candidates out there?

Can plate discipline be taught?

How baseball's big off-season trades have worked out so far.

Falling fish delays a Japanese baseball game.

Should the Big 12 expand to fourteen schools?

Ray Lewis and Cris Carter are out at ESPN.

Kansas City installs free public wi-fi.

MIT has developed a second skin that makes wrinkles disappear.

Super Mario is coming to Minecraft.

Your song of the day is Björk with "Human Behavior"