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Weekend Rumblings - News for August 20, 2016

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Yawn

Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Weekend Rumblings - News for August 20, 2016

Jon Heyman writes that the Royals couldn’t move Edinson Volquez at the trade deadline because of the money he was owed.

Rivals suggest they don’t blame the Royals for not selling despite seemingly being outside the cusp of the race at the time of the deadline. Edinson Volquez is probably the best of their free agents. And his $6-million price tag (including $3 million buyout) limited his trade value to less than one might think even in a poor pitchers’ market

Tony Blengino at Fangraphs looks at balls-in-play data on the Royals.

It looks like the projection systems are getting a small measure of revenge on the Royals. They project as the second-worst club in the AL on BIP alone, with projected offensive and pitching ERAs of 5.02 and 5.76, respectively, both clearly worse than league average. Offensively, their contact-oriented problems are many: they hit the fewest fly balls in the AL as of the break and hit their liners with particularly limited authority (projected production of .643 AVG-.837 SLG).

On the mound, it could have been even worse, as the Royals’ staff allowed by far the fewest liners in either league at the break, a reality that begs for regression. They allowed a well higher-than-average fly-ball rate, and the flies and liners allowed were hit much harder than league average. On BIP alone, the Royals’ projected winning percentage of .432 is by far the worst in the Central, and better than only the Yankees in the AL.

Jeffrey Flanagan profiles Royals replay coordinator Bill Duplissea.

It has been that kind of season for Duplissea, who has emerged as one of baseball's best replay coordinators, if not the best. Duplissea had won eight straight challenges entering Thursday's game with the Twins, and his success rate of 71 percent (22-for-31) is the best in the Majors.

Oakland is next at 64 percent (16-for-25).

"He's really, really good at it," Yost said. "And he's fast. He's so much faster than anyone else. If we get a call, and the other team is trying to decide to challenge, Billy usually comes back way before them and says, 'Yeah, the call is right.' Or, 'No, it's not.'"

Ned Yost had a low-key birthday.

Ned Yost was about to leave the ballpark after Thursday’s 8-1 win when he was stopped in the parking lot. Some Royals fans tried to offer him a beer.

One of the men said it was his birthday, and Yost followed by telling the group that his birthday was the next day.

He then asked the men how old he looked.

“They said, ‘Oh, you look 50, 51,’ ” Yost said with a smile. “I said, ‘OK good. You guys go have a good time and stay out of trouble.’ ”

The Royals are hoping Jason Vargas can return in September.

“He’s tracking well,” Moore said. “As is the case with all the players that are coming back from injury, each phase of the rehab process is very important and crucial. So until he gets to that 75-pitch mark and can do it on a continuous basis, it’s hard to predict. All indications are he’s tracking very well.”

Jeff Zimmerman at Fangraphs looks at what is working for Danny Duffy.

Former Royals beat writer Andy McCullough is very candid about his time in Kansas City.

Sean Thornton at Bleeding Royal Blue writes about the enigma of Eric Hosmer.

Lee Judge wonders if the Royals can get back into the race.

Former Royals outfielder Brian McRae is named manager of a Canadian amateur team.

Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard are cleared of PED accusations from Al Jazeera.

Kansas City businessman John Sherman buys a minority stake in the Indians.

The best baseball stories of 2016.

The Mets are Mets-ing this year.

Rob Manfred wants shorter games and more offense, which is impossible.

If steroids never leave your body, should users get a permanent suspension?

Derek Jeter’s media company is pitching a movie.

The U.S. men’s 4x100 relay team was disqualified for an early handoff.

NFL kicker Josh Brown got only a one-game suspension for domestic violence because his wife would not cooperate.

Wal-Mart has a crime problem that is causing problems for local police.

Does Kansas City need one flag to unite the metro area?

Comedian Norm MacDonald may be his own worst enemy.

Your song of the day is Dexter Gordon with “The Panther.”