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Royals Rumblings - News for August 8, 2016

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Put the praying mantis in the rotation.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for August 8, 2016

Rustin Dodd writes about the challenges facing the Royals as they re-tool for next year.

"They have to upgrade their arms," an American League talent evaluator said. "Offensively, they can compete with a return to health, but that staff is holding them back. Those guys aren’t enough for a serious contender.

"The wild card obviously [is] Ventura, but at some point, we need to stop staying that and make him what he has shown to be more often than not."

In addition to the pitching questions, rival scouts and executives see other challengers in the long term. Among those: Rules changes in the MLB draft and international scouting system that have changed the landscape for small-market teams, hindering their ability to keep up.

Craig Edwards at Fangraphs breaks down Danny Duffy’s brilliant start against Tampa Bay last week.

In Duffy’s brilliant game against he Rays, his first-strike percentage was actually a tad lower than normal at 53.9%, and his zone percentage was just a bit under 50%. Where Duffy excelled was getting the Rays to chase the ball outside the strike zone. Of the pitches outside of the strike zone, Rays batters swung at 44% of them and made contact on just 20% of swings...

I have attempted to draw your attention to the ridiculous 53.8% whiff rate on the change. Duffy threw the pitch 26 times, hitters swung 19 times and they whiffed 14 times.

Craig Brown at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City looks at Eric Hosmer’s ground ball problem.

That’s right. There’s no one in the American League with a higher ground ball to fly ball ratio than the Royals’ first baseman. It should be noted the above chart from Baseball Reference includes line drives in the fly ball bucket when calculating this ratio. This is something which makes Hosmer’s perch atop this leaderboard all the more astounding. I’ve chosen to sort by GB/FB ratio. Had I sorted by ground out to air out ratio, Hosmer would have ranked third, one of three qualified batters to hit at least two ground outs for every fly out.

It should also be noted that of the 14 players listed above, (the table includes only those qualified AL hitters with a GB/FB ratio greater than 1.0) Hosmer is the only one who has a line drive rate of less than 20 percent. In fact, his 18 percent line drive rate is tied with Leonys Martin for the lowest in the AL. Ground ball machine.

Jeremy Guthrie will be participating in the NBC Tournament in Wichita this week.

Will Dayton Moore regret not selling?

Eric Hosmer has faced Devon Travis before - in Little League.

Billy Burns discovers a giant praying mantis.

Jason Vargas begins rehabbing in Arizona.

Minor league first baseman Josh Banuelos talks about being released by the Royals.

Local group plays baseball under 1860s rules at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop in Olathe.

Ichiro Suzuki reaches the 3,000 hit plateau.

Giancarlo Stanton hits a 500-foot laser of a home run.

Alex Rodriguez is retiring and will play his last game on Friday.

How baseball teams are using tablets in the dugout.

What is the Hall of Fame case for Mark Teixeira?

A look at "juiced ball" conspiracy theories.

The USA Men’s basketball team "accidentally" walked into a brothel in Rio.

The Olympic refugee team has already overcome incredible obstacles.

WalMart will buy Jet.com for $3 billion.

Just how independent are think tanks?

Amazon announces nine shows for this fall, including one from Woody Allen.

Your song of the day is the Presidents of the United States of America with "Naked and Famous."